MIDLAND, Mich. — A Michigan woman whose gym membership was revoked after she complained about a man in the womens’ locker room and warned other female members about the situation has filed suit against the company for punishing her over the matter.
As previously reported, Yvette Cormier, 48, told reporters earlier this month that she walked into the womens’ locker room on March 7 only to find a man wearing makeup and a wig.
“I just stopped right there in my tracks,” she told ABC News. “It was a man for sure.”
Cormier then went to the front desk to express concern. She states that she was told that others have complained, but that the facility allows patrons to use the locker room with which they identify.
“That should be something they pointed out when I signed up,” Cormier said. “If you have male parts you don’t need to be in the women’s locker room. I don’t care what you are; I don’t care if you’re gay, lesbian, transgender or transvestite. I am uncomfortable with you as a male in my locker room, in my restroom.”
She went back to Planet Fitness a few days later, at which time she began to warn other female club members that there was a man changing in the womens’ locker room. The next day, the corporate office of Planet Fitness called Cormier and informed her that she had violated their “no judgment” policy and that it had decided to revoke her membership.
After the matter went public, Planet Fitness spokesperson McCall Gosselin outlined in a press release that Cormeir’s membership wasn’t canceled simply because she complained, but rather because of the way that she handled the matter.
“The manner in which this member expressed her concerns about the policy exhibited behavior that management at the Midland club deemed inappropriate and disruptive to other members, which is a violation of the membership agreement and as a result her membership was canceled,” she said in a statement.
“Planet Fitness is committed to creating a nonintimidating, welcoming environment for our members,” Gosselin continued. “Our gender identity nondiscrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity.”
The man who Cormier had discovered in the locker room later came forward, advising that he isn’t a member, and that he had used the area on a few occasions to hang his coat and purse while he visited with a friend.
On Monday, attorneys for Cormier filed suit in Midland County Circuit Court against Planet Fitness, contending that her membership was unjustly terminated.
“Ms. Cormier was wrongfully denied the benefits of her contract with Planet Fitness and wrongfully denied the use of the public accommodations at Defendant’s gym because she objected to Defendant’s unknown policy,” a press release from Kallman Legal Group outlines. “The policy allows men who self-identify as women to use the women’s facilities, including the women’s locker room and showers.”
“Mrs. Cormier has filed this lawsuit to protect Michigan women and children and to hold Planet Fitness accountable for its irresponsible policy and actions,” it continues. “This case further illustrates the potential harm caused by adding the proposed new categories of sexual orientation/gender identity to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.”
The complaint alleges invasion of privacy, wrongful retaliation, Consumer Protection Act violations and breach of contract. She is seeking $25,000 in damages.