Equinox Found Liable for Race & Gender Discrimination in Ex-Manager’s Wrongful Termination Suit

default author image05.15.2023

NEW YORK, NY – Luxury gym brand Equinox has been found liable in a race and gender discrimination trial brought by fitness professional Röbynn Europe in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Case No. 1:20-cv-07787.

A jury of five women and three men found that Equinox subjected Ms. Europe, a former personal training manager at Equinox’s East 92nd Street location, to a hostile work environment and unlawfully fired her on the basis of both her race and gender.

At trial, Ms. Europe testified that Equinox repeatedly ignored her complaints of racist and sexually inappropriate behavior by Christopher Maltman, a fitness manager who reported to her. Maltman frequently made vulgar comments about Black women’s bodies, harassed Equinox employees using offensive language, and diverted personal training clients away from employees of color. Maltman remains employed by Equinox to this day.

Instead of addressing the hostile work environment created by Maltman, Equinox fired Ms. Europe, using “lateness” as a pretext. Swipe-in data shown at trial proved that other managers at Equinox had worse time and attendance records than Ms. Europe, yet she was the only one who faced any discipline for it.

The trial now moves onto the damages phase, where Ms. Europe will testify about the devastating impact of Equinox’s racism on her mental and physical health.

The Crumiller trial team includes founding attorney Susan Crumiller, senior associates Hilary Orzick and Chloe Liederman, and administrative assistant Kendall Rideout.

Statement from Susan Crumiller, Attorney for Röbynn Europe:

“The civil justice system prevailed today. Equinox thought it could get away with its appalling behavior and a jury of New Yorkers said otherwise. This is not just a victory for our client, but for all Black women who have suffered that noxious combination of racism and sexism that is too often tolerated in the workplace. We could not be prouder of Röbynn for her relentless determination to hold Equinox accountable for its vile misogynoir.”

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