Tarainia McDaniel (pictured), recently filed a lawsuit against a Planet Fitness in New Mexico over an incident that occurred in October 2011, claiming that the gym wouldn’t allow her to wear her religious head covering when she tried to work out, reports Albuquerque Journal.
According to the 37-year-old Albuquerque resident, she signed a two-year contract with the New Hampshire-based business at one location where she was never given a problem about wearing her Muslim head covering. When McDaniel transferred her membership to another Planet Fitness location, though, she was allegedly told that her religious head covering was not allowed because it was against the gym’s dress code, according to the lawsuit.
However, the gym in question did display a sign that read, “No jeans, work boots, bandannas, skull caps, or revealing apparel.”
McDaniel alleges in her complaint that she asked the gym’s representatives if she could wear her head covering to accommodate her faith and even asked if she could instead wear a hijab, a more formal piece that covers the head and chest.
McDaniel claims that her requests were flatly denied and told that the head coverings were direct violations of the strict gym dress codes.
Planet Fitness’ attorney, Erika Anderson ,defends her client’s position regarding the case, telling Albuquerque Journal, “My client’s position is that they didn’t know the head covering was for religious purposes. It violated their dress code policy.”