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Planet Fitness in more trouble after telling Muslim woman to take off head scarf

Tarainia McDaniel
Tarainia McDaniel
Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal

Last week we told you how Planet Fitness in California had asked a woman to cover up, because she was "Too fit." Now the national gym chain known for its “Judgment Free Zone” slogan, faces a lawsuit from a New Mexico Muslim woman who says she was asked to leave the gym because she was wearing a head scarf.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, 37-year-old Tarainia McDaniel is suing Planet Fitness for not letting her enter the gym because of her head scarf. McDaniel wears the scarf for religious reasons, but apparently it violated Planet Fitness’ dress code. The gym prohibits its members from wearing bandanas, skull caps and “revealing apparel.”

The lawsuit states that on Oct. 3, 2011, McDaniel entered the gym, like she has done on many others occasions, but that this time, she was asked her to leave because she was wearing the head scarf.

The lawsuit claims that Planet Fitness denied McDaniel access to its facility based on her religion or on her race.

She said, “I already 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.”

Planet Fitness denies violating either the Human Rights Act or the Unfair Practices Act. The company's attorney Erika Anderson maintained that McDaniel failed to comply with the gym’s dress code by wearing the scarf.

Anderson said, according to New York Daily News, "At Planet Fitness, our policy is, and has always been, that members are allowed to wear head scarves for religious reasons in our clubs. My client’s position is that they didn’t know the head covering was for religious purposes. It violated their dress code policy.”

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