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]