A former Planet Fitness manager is expanding her civil suit against the company, naming top executives and CEO Christopher Rondeau as defendants as she seeks compensatory damages for what she claims was a hostile work environment.
Fosters.com reports that Casey Willard expanded her suit last week in an amendment to the original complaint, which was filed in September in New Hampshire.
The suit claims that female employees at the firm were sexually harassed, and that managers engaged in sexual relationships with subordinates. Willard claims to have been drugged and raped by a manager while on a business trip.
In addition, the suit claims that the company encouraged drinking and fostered a “debaucherous” environment through practices such as “Fireball Friday” or “Beer Cart Friday,” where workers would sometimes start drinking as early as 8:30 in the morning. Willard alleged that employees felt compelled to participate in these customs, and those who didn’t would be left out and scorned.
Planet Fitness’s vice president of public relations and communications McCall Gosselin disputed the claims Willard made in the suit.
“At Planet Fitness, we have a zero tolerance policy related to harassment of any kind, and are committed to providing a safe environment for all employees,” Gosselin told Fosters.com. “We vehemently dispute the other baseless allegations outlined in the complaint and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves against them.”
The amendment in Willard’s suit also names company president and CFO Dorvin Lively, former vice president of real estate and development Joshua Beyer, and vice president of construction Al Buell. Willard claims the executives “aided, abetted, incited, compelled, or coerced” Planet Fitness to engage in unlawful or discriminatory practices.
Willard resigned from her job, but is still seeking wrongful termination damages on the grounds that the conditions under which she worked were so difficult that “a reasonable person subjected to these conditions would feel forced to resign.” The suit also seeks restitution for lost wages, back pay, front pay, attorney’s fees, costs and other damages.