Lesbian Personal Trainers Sue Club Over Termination, Hostile Environment

A federal lawsuit filed by two personal trainers fired from David Barton Gyms, a New York City club chain, alleges that they were the victims of sexual harassment, terminated after complaining about the club's hostile environment.

Lesbians Deborah Cooke and Christina Rodino charge that they were the butt of gay jokes and comments about their sexuality by straight trainers (one of whom, the suit alleges, hounded them for sex) and a general manager (who, the lawsuit further alleges, saved Cooke's contact information in his cell phone under the name "Dyke Cooke").

The club's original location in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood enjoys a reputation as a fired because they were working with outside clients (the plaintiffs say straight trainers do the same), and that the club "prides itself on its commitment to diversity, freedom of expression and tolerance."

Cooke and Rodino seek unspecified damages for "lost wages, lost benefits, other economic damages, shame, humiliation, embarrassment and mental distress," according to the lawsuit.

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