Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against 24 Hour Fitness for Racial and Gender Discrimination
Latino, African American, Asian American and Female Plaintiffs allege discrimination regarding promotions of employees to management positions and equal compensation
July 13, 2010
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, MALDEF and the law firm of Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson, P.C. announced that they filed a class action law suit on behalf of employees of 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. alleging discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin and gender. The lawsuit, Fulcher v. 24 Hour Fitness, was filed in Alameda County Superior Court.
Plaintiffs claim that the giant chain of fitness gyms has systematically subjected minority and female employees to discrimination regarding promotions to management positions and equal compensation in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and the California Business and Profession Code.
Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel, stated "24 Hour Fitness must exercise fair employment practices to ensure that all hardworking employees have the opportunity to advance without regard to race, national origin, or gender. This class action lawsuit seeks to ensure that 24 Hour Fitness gets its employment practices in shape, consistent with longstanding California law."
Lead plaintiff Raoul Fulcher Jr., who felt he was passed over for promotions because he is African American, said: “I am a competitor and I strive to be my best, but at 24 Hour Fitness that is not recognized.”
“At the Concord club, I was the only Latino Membership Counselor. I did everything I could to reach out to our Spanish-speaking membership, and yet I could not get a fair shake and the promotion I deserved,” said plaintiff Richard Lopez.
“My work at the company was so valued that my Regional Vice President personally came to my club to give me a promotion, and yet after that, even though I hit and exceeded sales goals, I was denied any further promotion,” stated plaintiff Rebecca Mason.
Bill Lann Lee, attorney from co-counsel law firm Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson, added, “24 Hour Fitness promises customers a family fitness environment. But, 24 Hour Fitness does not treat its minority and women employees as part of the family. Qualified, experienced minorities and women work lower level jobs, but don't get a chance at management jobs. Breaking the promise of equal opportunity is against the law.”
24 Hour Fitness, a privately held fitness club, has the largest gym membership in the world. Of the 400 fitness centers the company has established in the United States, approximately 200 fitness clubs are located in California, where they employ approximately 10,000 individuals.
This class action lawsuit challenges 24 Hour Fitness’s improper patterns and practices of discrimination against its minority and female employees seeking promotion to managerial jobs and equal compensation in California. The suit asks the court to order 24 Hour Fitness to end its discriminatory employment practices and to provide back pay and damages to the employees who have been treated unfairly.
Any current or former 24 Hour Fitness employee who feels he or she has been discriminated against on the grounds of race or gender should visit www.24-Hour-Discrimination.com or call the toll-free number: 1-800-884-0448 to find out more about the lawsuit.
In addition to Saenz and Lee, other attorneys on the case, Fulcher v. 24 Hour Fitness, include:
- MALDEF: Victor Viramontes, Senior National Counsel
- Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson, P.C: Todd Jackson, Kirsten Scott and Julia Campins
For all media inquiries, please contact Laura Rodriguez.