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Lawsuit: Planet Fitness denied membership due to disability

There are three Planet Fitness facilities in Milwaukee, including one downtown. There are more than 1,700 Planet Fitness franchise locations around the country, each and every one of them proclaiming that it is a "judgement free zone." The chain's marketing claims might not include everyone, however.

A woman with a disability said her membership application was denied by a Planet Fitness manager who told her that allowing her to join would encourage others with disabilities to join. The manager allegedly told the woman who has a foot disability that she would be a "liability."

The woman recently filed a federal disability discrimination lawsuit against the company. In the complaint, she states that the fitness center's manager "specifically mentioned that Planet Fitness would have to admit other people with disabilities if it allowed (her) to join and that Planet Fitness did not wish to admit others with disabilities."

By denying her membership, Planet Fitness violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the lawsuit alleges.

According to a news report, the woman has reflexive sympathetic dystrophy (also referred to as complex regional pain syndrome). The condition prevents her from wearing a closed-toe shoe on her right foot.

A spokesperson for the company said, "Planet Fitness requires all locations to comply with all laws and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act."

As our regular readers know, the ADA was signed into law in 1990. The landmark legislation not only prohibits discrimination against individuals in the workplace, but also in public accommodations, public services and public transportation.

The first step in fighting disability discrimination on the job or by a business is to contact an attorney experienced in ADA-related litigation. In Milwaukee, contact the law offices of Alan C. Olson and Associates for more information.

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