Robynn Europe, a 39-year-old woman, is set to receive a multimillion-dollar settlement after allegedly being fired for repeated lateness during her tenure as a personal training manager at an Upper East Side gym in New York.
The 39-year-old black woman was awarded a staggering $11.25 million in a racial discrimination case against Equinox, according to the New York Times.
Röbynn Europe, a former employee at the high-end gym franchise Equinox, was recently awarded $11.25 million in a discrimination lawsuit she filed against the company. https://t.co/lu5u793ayt pic.twitter.com/wBlgRhSfqT
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 26, 2023
Europe, who previously attended Oberlin College as an art student, joined the luxury gym franchise in 2018 as a fitness manager. She quickly climbed the corporate ladder and was promoted to the position of personal training manager. However, her time at the gym was short-lived, as she was terminated after just 10 months for consistently arriving late to work.
Court documents revealed that Equinox has a strict policy on attendance and punctuality, which Europe was made aware of when she was first hired. The policy clearly stated that chronic tardiness and failure to work scheduled hours could lead to termination.
On April 15, 2019, Europe received a disciplinary warning after being late to work on nine occasions within a 15-day period. She reportedly arrived late to work 47 times within a period of ten months.
While Europe did not deny her repeated lateness, she claimed that the company used it as an excuse to fire her. In her lawsuit filed in 2022, she alleged that she experienced employment discrimination based on her gender, race, and disability.
According to her, a White employee objected to her being his boss and also repeatedly made inappropriate comments about the bodies of Black women. But nothing was done to address her complaints of discrimination. Instead, she was retaliated against.
While the jury dismissed her retaliation claims, they agreed that her race and gender had to do with her termination.
Reacting to the verdict, her attorney, Susan Crumiller, stated, “Let this be a warning to all businesses in New York that if you try to brush harassment and discrimination under the rug, you will not get away with it.”
Equinox, on the other hand, countered Europe’s claims by stating that there was no evidence of discrimination and that the basis of her termination was genuine. The company strongly emphasized that it does not tolerate any form of discrimination.
After the jury’s decision to award Europe over $11 million, Equinox filed a motion requesting the court to reconsider the case, claiming that the jury had been swayed by sympathy and emotion rather than sound judgment.