Muslim Woman Sues Planet Fitness Over Staff’s Refusal To Let Her Wear Religious Head Covering

March 21, 2014  |  

We’re not really sure what’s going on with the folks over at Planet Fitness, but they seem to be racking up lawsuits pretty quickly. Yesterday we told you about Tiffany Austin, who said that she was told to cover up by gym personnel because her “toned body” was “intimidating” other members. Now the story of Tarainia McDaniels’ October 2011 is making headlines.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, McDaniels, who is a Muslim woman, is suing the national gym franchise after staffers would not allow her to work out with her head covering, despite being informed that the covering was for religious purposes. McDaniels originally signed a two-year contract at a New Hampshire-based Planet Fitness, where she says that she was never given a hard time about her head covering. However, after transferring her membership to a different location, the 37-year-old business owner says that she was told that she could not work out with her head cover because it did not comply with the gym’s strict dress code, which prohibits “jeans, work boots, bandannas, skull caps” and “revealing apparel.”

McDaniels says that she attempted to reason with Planet Fitness representatives, explaining that she was wearing the head covers for religious purposes, but they refused to bend on their rules. She recently filed a lawsuit against the company over the incident. The company’s legal representative, Erika Anderson, however, insists that gym workers were unaware of the religious significance of McDaniels’ head cover.

“My client’s position is that they didn’t know the head covering was for religious purposes,” Anderson explained. “It violated their dress code policy.”

The explanation, of course, conflicts with McDaniels’ version of the story.

“I already (had) made it known before I signed the contract that I covered my hair. I had on [what] I call a head covering. I guess for the sake of the record, they’re referring to it as a head covering,” argued the married mother of two.

McDaniels’ case is scheduled to begin in August.

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