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LA Fitness: Protect the safety of your members NOW!

Last month my boyfriend and I were victims of a hate crime inside a LA Fitness center in Los Angeles. While my boyfriend and I were using gym equipment, an older white man physically harassed us and prevented us from working out. We tried ignoring the belligerent man, but instead he began yelling homophobic and racist’s slurs. Management at the LA Fitness was notified and a staff person asked him to leave. We told the employee that dealt with the situation that we no longer felt safe at the gym, and in response he said he revoked the culprit’s membership. Unfortunately, just last week, the culprit was inside the same fitness center.

This assault could have been prevented.

When I approached the LA Fitness manager about the incident and how we felt uncomfortable and unsafe having the culprit continue going to the fitness center, he said that the incident “only happened once” and that there was “not a trend” yet so there was no need for any disciplinary action. The manager also argued that some people have called him by the “N word” before “but there’s nothing [he] could do about it.” The manager also said that LA Fitness is a private company, and they can do “whatever they want.” He then explained that the only “neutral” option for him would be to revoke my boyfriend and I’s membership along with the hostile, racist, homophobic man. When I asked the manager for their policy on harassment and discrimination, he said they didn’t have one. I asked him if he could look on their website, but he said that there was no such thing online either.

Call on LA Fitness to protect its members against harassment.

LA Fitness’ management of the situation was unfair, misleading, and completely misguided. In addition to failing to protect the safety of its members, LA Fitness does not have the necessary safeguards to prevent incidents like this one in the future. The management had no idea on how to handle the situation and the manager lacked essential cultural competence (in fact one of the staff members referred to us as “homosexual”). There isn’t any clear anti-harassment and intimidation policy in place and accessible for its staff or gym members. This needs to change.

Join us in calling on LA Fitness to adopt a no tolerance policy against harassment, discrimination, and intimidation by signing the petition.

Sign the Petition Calling on LA Fitness to Protect the Safety of All Its Members:

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Louis Welch

Chief Executive Officer

LA Fitness/Fitness International, LLC

6400 Irvine Boulevard

Irvine, California 92620

Mr. Louis Welch, LA Fitness CEO:

I am writing to express my serious concern with your current policies regarding hate speech, harassment, intimidation, and discrimination that your company has in place at your more than 300 fitness locations throughout the nation.

Given the unfortunate hate crime that took place last month at your Hollywood gym, and your company’s mismanaging of the incident, we are calling on LA Fitness to put in place the following changes:

  • Provide training on hate speech, harassment, discrimination, and intimidation for all staff
  • Provide cultural competency training for all staff
  • Make the policy on harassment, discrimination, and intimidation easily accessible online to staff and members
  • Require staff and members to sign a no-tolerance policy on hate speech, harassment, intimidation, and discrimination

I believe you will uphold your “commitment to understanding and meeting the distinct needs of each community [you] serve” by ensuring the health and safety of all your members at more than 300 of your fitness center location throughout the nation.

As a company that prides itself as working to “enhance the physical and emotional wellbeing of [your] increasingly diverse membership base,” we have faith that you will take the necessary steps toward real and positive change.

I look forward to hearing about the implementation of the policy changes that will ensure the safety of all your members, regardless of their actual or perceived race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Sincerely,

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