Court Rules that Fitness Center can Charge Younger Members Less
This week a state appeals court ruled that there is no violation of law if a fitness center charges reduced membership fees based on age. Daniel Javorsky filed a law suit in 2013 against Western Athletic Clubs because they were charging a lower membership fee to “Young Professionals” (ages 18 – 29 years old). The fitness club based this on income disparities between these young professionals and older members. Justice Henry Needham dismissed the case stating that “offering a reasonable discount to a particular age group does not suggest that the group is better than another” or “perpetuate any harmful stereotypes”.
Mr. Javorsky’s expert witness stated that those disparities don’t always exist between age groups and those ages 25 to 29 are just as well off as their older counterparts. He added that fees should be based on income not age. Javorsky’s lawyer also argued that the 1985 California Supreme Court ruling prohibited “ladies’ night discounts at bars and car washes, finding that they were arbitrary acts of discrimination that served no legitimate social purpose.”
The First District Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld the decision citing that state law allows differential treatment among customers unless they are “malicious, hostile or damaging”.