NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) — Fitness International LLC, the owner and operator of LA Fitness gyms across the country, has agreed to revise its policies to expand access for patrons with disabilities, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has announced.
“My office is committed to vigorously enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act, which promises all New Yorkers the opportunity to live fully and independently regardless of disability status,” Schneiderman said. “Businesses have a responsibility to make reasonable accommodations that increase accessibility for New Yorkers, and I am pleased that LA Fitness has agreed to take important steps to ensure equal access for all at their facilities.”
Schneiderman has been working with LA Fitness on the issue since receiving complaints that the gym would not modify its membership policy and waive fees for aides who were required to accompany individuals with disabilities. Under the settlement with the state, LA Fitness will allow free access to aides of individuals accompanying disabled patients at its facilities in New York.
“My son and I reached out to the Attorney General’s Office because we were frustrated by the unequal treatment he was receiving at LA Fitness,” said Claudia Ciatto, community educator at the Epilepsy Foundation of Long Island, a complainant in this case. “Charging a person with a disability extra fees to participate in an activity is the definition of discrimination.”