3/28/2022 10:58:35 AM
[St. Paul, MN] The Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) today announced a settlement agreement that requires Fitness International, LLC, the company that operates LA Fitness, to ensure all its fitness centers in Minnesota are accessible to people with disabilities.
“Ensuring that public places are accessible to people with disabilities is critical to building an inclusive and thriving Minnesota,” said Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero. “This case is a reminder to all businesses that when spaces are accessible, when they are universally designed, they not only benefit people with disabilities, but in many situations, everyone using those spaces benefits.”
MDHR’s investigation found that an LA Fitness in New Brighton provided non-slip rubber mats in its locker rooms for years to help keep its members safe on wet surfaces. For Greg Reid, a member with a mobility-related disability, these mats were essential to prevent him from slipping.
Without providing any notice or explanation to Reid, LA Fitness removed these mats. Reid repeatedly asked for the mats to be reinstalled or for handrails to be installed.
However, LA Fitness ignored his requests, violating their own policy to be responsive whenever someone requests an accommodation, and did not permanently reinstall the mats or install handrails.
By denying Reid equal access, LA Fitness violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act for disability discrimination.
The settlement resolves the case and requires LA Fitness to ensure that people with disabilities can use their fitness centers in Minnesota without experiencing discrimination. The company is also required to install handrails in both of its locker rooms at its New Brighton LA Fitness.
“I’m happy I could make things safer and better for myself and for all people with disabilities who use LA Fitness in Minnesota,” said Greg Reid.
Approximately 11% of Minnesotans report having a disability, according to Minnesota Compass, and disability discrimination is consistently one of the largest areas of discrimination MDHR investigates.
If you have been discriminated against because of your disability, call the Discrimination Helpline at 1-833-454-0148 or submit this online form.