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Equinox Personal Trainers, Fitness Instructors California Labor Class Action

Equinox Fitness Club in Irvine, California

This California labor class action makes many familiar allegations against Equinox Holdings, Inc.: failure to pay minimum and overtime wages and failure to allow rest and meal periods, among other things. As often happens, these violations lead to others, such as failure to provide accurate wage statements, failure to pay all wages at termination, and engaging in unfair competition.

Two employees have brought this case against Equinox, which operates what the complaint calls “luxury health clubs” in California. Plaintiff Michael M. Bonella formerly worked for Equinox as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, in San Francisco and San Diego Counties. Plaintiff Frank J. Fodera, Jr. has worked for the company as a personal trainer and still teaches group fitness classes for them in Los Angeles County. 

Both were classified as non-exempt employees. For some tasks, they were paid at hourly rates; other tasks, such as teaching classes and conducting personal training sessions, they were paid on a piecework, fixed-rate basis.

Unfortunately, the complaint claims they also performed off-the-clock work. Some of these tasks were “session-related activities,” such as interacting with clients outside of classes and personal training sessions, creating calendars, and preparing client programs. Other tasks included scheduling work-related meetings, corresponding with supervisors, and contacting prospective customers. 

They were not paid for this work. Instead, the complaint says, the “stated policy was to engage in wage averaging, whereby [Equinox] purported to determine whether the piece-rate compensation paid, divided by the time spent performing the session plus the time spent performing unpaid ‘session related activities’, resulted in an average hourly wage of at least minimum wage.”

In addition, the complaint says, Equinox did not pay employees all piece-rate pay they had earned during the applicable pay period.

The complaint also alleges that Equinox did not pay employees nondiscretionary bonuses that were due to them. In calculating overtime pay, the complaint says, nondiscretionary bonuses were not considered.

In addition, Equinox did not give them proper rest or meal breaks or pay them the required premiums for missed breaks. The employees are entitled to proper rest and recovery periods after piecework, for example, rests after teaching classes, but the complaint says that Equinox did not always provide these rest periods either or pay the premiums when they were missed.

These violations lead to inaccurate wage records and not all wages being paid at termination, as well as to the accusations of unfair competition.

Two classes have been defined for this action. 

  • The first is all current and former non-exempt workers employed by Equinox in California as personal trainers, or in any similar capacity, at any time between August 16, 2015 and the present.
  • The second is the same, only for all non-exempt workers employed by Equinox in California as group fitness instructors, or in any similar capacity.
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