Sometimes I use this space to talk about issues relating to issues that most people can relate to. Sometimes, like today, I need to address an issue that relates to a very specific demographic – the disabled.
You probably are aware that Planet Fitness is one of the largest gym chains in the U.S. Did you know, however, that they have a history of discrimination?
According to AthleticBusiness.com, in May 2020, disabled veteran Connor Ryan filed suit against Planet Fitness for discrimination in Toledo, Ohio.
In May 2019, a woman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin filed a federal disability-discrimination lawsuit against Planet Fitness. She is represented by Alan C. Olson & Associates.
Per LegalReader.com, in December 2018, Casey Willard filed suit against Planet Fitness’s corporate office in New Hampshire for sexual harassment, a hostile work environment, discrimination, and retaliation.
According to ClubIndustry.com, In April 2015, Planet Fitness settled a discrimination lawsuit in New Jersey for $25,000.
Why do I bring this up? Because I, as a disabled American, was discriminated against by Planet Fitness.
In 2020, I responded to Planet Fitness’ advertisement of a $10 a month membership. I explained to Planet Fitness that I am mentally disabled and wanted to make sure that there were no other charges for the membership. Planet Fitness assured me that there would never be additional charges, yet on March 1, 2021 the fitness company charged my bank account $39 in administrative fees.
When I contacted Planet Fitness by phone to have the error rectified, I again identified myself as disabled, asking for patience. Instead, the Planet Fitness representative laughed at me. This offended me, so I requested that they cancel my membership. Planet Fitness refused.
When I asked for a manager, I was connected to a man who wouldn’t give his name. I again explained the situation and this time the alleged manager laughed at my situation. When I requested that they cancel my membership, the manager refused – again laughing.
In response, I wrote a letter to Planet Fitness management in Woodstock requesting intervention to stop the discrimination. Rather than take action against the Planet Fitness personnel engaging in discrimination, Planet Fitness General Manager, Andrea Floros tried to penalize me by canceling my membership.
To be clear – A disabled man requested that his Planet Fitness membership be canceled, and was refused. When the disabled person got angry, Planet Fitness retaliated by canceling the membership they had refused to cancel.
If you see the logic here, please feel free to explain to me.
Is Andrea Floros trying to shame me for being angry at being discriminated against because I’m mentally disabled?
I will tell you this, I will not apologize for getting angry at being discriminated against. Planet Fitness wants to discriminate against the disabled, that’s going to make people angry.
If a black man was discriminated against because of his skin color and he grew angry, should he apologize? Certainly not.
If Jewish woman was discriminated against because of her religion and grew angry, should she apologize? Certainly not.
There are certain businesses that I refuse to patronize. For instance, I refuse to give business to Home Depot because they contributed millions to Donald Trump’s political campaigns.
Planet Fitness is a disgusting organization that openly engages in discrimination. Just look at the litany of discrimination cases against them.
America is supposed the be the land of the free and the home of the brave. There are businesses out there like Planet Fitness that don’t believe in the concept of equality. They treat people with disabilities with utter contempt and disregard.
So, I call upon you to be brave and stand up against companies like Planet Fitness. Show them that you don’t support discrimination. Take your business to a club that doesn’t openly engage in taking advantage of the disabled and laughing at them while they do it.
Complaints have been filed with the Illinois Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division, and the Better Business Bureau.
Peace. Love. Trust.
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