A women's workout gym has been found guilty of sex discrimination because it refuses to hire men, a female federal judge says.
Judge Ann C. Williams ruled Friday, in effect, that Women's World Workout failed to prove that women would refuse to accept male employees in its health clubs. Lacking such a showing, she said, the company may not use gender as a hiring criterion.WWW owner Audrey Sedita said there is no way for males to perform the duties of managers or instructors in her 15 Chicago-area clubs without invading the privacy of the female patrons.
She said women do not want men in the clubs, and business would be affected adversely by the presence of men.
The judge said the facts do not support that argument.
"Women's Workout World has previously employed males as `class givers' without going out of business," Williams said in a 10-page order. "This fact suggests that there is no basis in the law for the defendant's present refusal to hire men."
The ruling came on a 1987 suit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. No particular male job seeker was listed as a plaintiff.
A conference is scheduled for March 1 to discuss damages.