NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Brooklyn woman said she was kicked out of a gym over her workout gear, and she claimed it was a case of religious discrimination.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, the woman has now filed a lawsuit against the gym.
Yosefa Jalal likes to go to the gym, work out, and stay fit. But as an observant Jewish woman, she prefers to maintain her modesty while doing so.
“I don’t feel like I need to compromise that just to go to the gym,” Jalal said.
She said she wore leggings, a knee-length skirt, and a long-sleeved shirt and sneakers to two Lucille Roberts fitness centers in Brooklyn, and was kicked out of both for her attire.
Jalal said employees of the women’s-only gym told her that her skirt was a safety hazard, and said she needed to take it off.
“I can’t take off my skirt. It’s for religious reasons,” Jalal said. “She said, ‘If you don’t take it off, you’re trespassing.’”
Jalal, 25, said the gym revoked her membership and told her to leave – once in the middle of a kickboxing class.
“I was extremely embarrassed that they stopped the class and that all eyes were on me,” she said.
Jalal has now filed a lawsuit in Manhattan U.S. District Court, claiming that the gym is being unfair and her membership contract says nothing about working out in a skirt.
“I could understand if my skirt was to the floor, but my skirt doesn’t come to the floor,” she said. “Why should I not be able to work out at a gym just because of my religious beliefs and religious modesty?”
A representative for the gym tells us they take the safety of its members very seriously. The gym said, “The decision to uphold a dress code policy consistent with industry standards and equipment manufacturers, is not an attempt to hinder any personal religious beliefs.”