AG: LA Fitness to improve accessibility

ALBANY -- LA Fitness will update its policies to ensure that its locations are accessible to all patrons, after reaching an agreement with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office.

After receiving complaints that LA Fitness’s gyms, owned and operated by Fitness International, LLC, would not waive admission fees for the aides accompanying customers with disabilities, Schneiderman’s office began investigating the company in May 2015.

The agreement announced Wednesday requires LA Fitness to provide free admission to aides at all 29 fitness centers throughout the state.

“Businesses have a responsibility to make reasonable accommodations that increase accessibility for New

Yorkers, and I am pleased that LA Fitness has agreed to take important steps to ensure equal access for all at their facilities,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

Claudia Ciatto, a community educator at the Epilepsy Foundation of Long Island, reached out to Schneiderman’s office after being treated unfairly at LA Fitness’s Lindenhurst branch.

According to Ciatto, the employees at the branch would only admit her son, who has a disability, into the gym if he paid a guest fee for his licensed practical nurse.

The nurse is required to accompany Ciatto’s son during his workout. As a result, her son was forced to cancel his membership.

“Charging a person with a disability extra fees to participate in an activity is the definition of discrimination,” Ciatto said in a statement from Schneiderman's office.    

There was no immediate comment from the California-based company.

Under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the state Human Rights Law, public places of accommodation must modify policies and procedures to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

To file a civil-rights complaint, contact the Attorney General’s Office at (212) 416-8250, civil.rights@ag.ny.gov or visit www.ag.ny.gov.

 


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