Woman Claims Planet Fitness Asked Her To Swap Muslim Headscarf For Baseball Cap

Yesterday, we shared with you the story of a new Planet Fitness member who was asked to cover up because her belly-baring tank top was too revealing. Now a case that’s the exact opposite is in the news: a woman in New Mexico is suing the chain after she was asked not to cover up so much in the club. Specifically, the practicing Muslim was told that she couldn’t wear a headscarf in the club.

The incident in question happened back in 2011, but is just going to trial this spring. The former gym member claims that club employees asked her not to wear her headscarf in the gym, even though she had worn head coverings in two different club locations with no problems. She was told that she could go home and swap it for a baseball cap, or a more formal-looking head covering, but the scarf she had on wasn’t okay. According to the lawsuit, part of the problem apparently was that this scarf was red.

The dress code at Planet Fitness spells out what members can’t have on their heads: bandanas or skullcaps. It doesn’t say anything about scarves. Indeed, after the suit was publicized yesterday, a Planet Fitness spokesperson contacted the Albuquerque Journal and said that this case was a misunderstanding: religious head coverings are totally allowed. “At Planet Fitness, our policy is, and has always been, that members are allowed to wear head scarves for religious reasons in clubs,” the spokesperson explained.

On Thursday, the company’s attorney had told the Journal that the club didn’t understand that their customer wore a head covering for religious reasons.

Planet Fitness says scarves allowed [Albuquerque Journal]

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  1. kjh says:

    Reading the article, she wasn’t wearing a hijab. And she wasn’t wearing the scarf in the picture. She was wearing a red “scarf”. It was apparently mistaken for a bandana which is against the dress code. Hijabs are not against their dress code.

    • furiousd says:

      Yeah it sounds like the policy is in place to prevent displays of gang affiliation, and after clicking through it looks like that was still the issue with her scarf rather than what would clearly be a religious article rather than just a scarf. In a lot of these cases where someone claims discrimination it seems silly to throw a fit over a single incident. Obviously a video of the interaction with sound would make things clear as to which party was being unreasonable, but we likely won’t see that.

  2. CommonC3nts says:

    It seems she was wearing a bandana and not a hijab.
    Anyways If I was a business owner I would ban hijabs as they are a sign of hatred toward women. Their whole idea is that women must be controlled by men and must hid.

    Sorry, but hijabs stand for too much hate to allow them in my business.
    If a man wants their daughter, sister, girlfriend, or wife in my business well they have to keep their oppression at the door. Inside my business a women will not be oppressed.

  3. Alecto67 says:

    When I saw the headline, I thought for sure it would be to the inherent danger of something like that getting caught in a treadmill, weight machine, etc