(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) A black woman who was fired for being late to work nearly 50 times has been awarded $11.25 million by a New York City jury, after she claimed discrimination was the reason for her dismissal.
Röbynn Europe, a former professional female body builder, worked at Equinox gym in New York in 2018 and 2019 for 10 months, eventually being late to work 47 times over the course of her tenure. Eventually, Europe was fired for the continued tardiness, the New York Times reported.
Europe, however, filed a lawsuit soon thereafter, arguing that the company’s reasoning was really just a pretext for discrimination against her because she is a a woman of color.
The jury reached a decision in a remarkably short amount of time–a little over one hour–declaring last week that Equinox did in fact discriminate racially and awarding Europe $10 million in punitive damages and another $1.25 million for her distress.
But according to the former female body builder, the opportunities to make money in the training industry are unprecedented.
“In coastal cities, training is something you can do without a degree and you can make $75 an hour — there are not a lot of opportunities to do that, so it’s a big draw for people of color.”
Equinox “vehemently disagreed” with the jury’s ruling, and noted that it will not and does not “tolerate discrimination in any form.”
The company, while admitting that one of Europe’s subordinates had made racially or sexually charged comments, argued that one employee’s comments do not constitute a “hostile work environment,” and that the “emotional distress” that Europe claims to have suffered was not “egregious” enough to warrant the massive fine.