By COLlive reporter
School teacher Yosefa Wood-Isenberg (formerly Yosefa Jalal) has settled her discrimination lawsuit against the health club chain Lucille Roberts in Manhattan federal court, her attorneys said.
Wood-Isenberg was targeted and harassed by employees of a Brooklyn branch of the health club chain in July of 2015, who said Ms. Wood-Isenberg was not allowed to work out in a modest, fitted, knee-length skirt.
She was also told that her membership was revoked and she was banned from the Lucille Roberts gym.
Wood-Isenberg sued the women’s-only fitness company, accusing them of religious discrimination in violation of federal, state and city statutes.
The settlement reinstates Ms. Wood-Isenberg’s membership in the gym, permits her to wear a fitted skirt at the gym, and formalizes a new policy permitting gymgoers to wear fitted skirts for religious reasons. The settlement also includes a confidential monetary payment.
“I am so thankful that I and other Jewish women can work out in a facility without compromising our religious beliefs,” said Ms. Wood-Isenberg. “This is a joyous win for women who dress modestly. I thank G-d, our legal team, and all who supported us along the way.”
“This is an important victory for religious freedom,” said Ilann M. Maazel, counsel for Ms. Wood-Isenberg. “Observant Jewish women should be able to work out at a gym like anyone else, and now, at Lucille Roberts they can. We applaud Lucille Roberts for doing the right thing.”
“Whether you wear a long skirt, a hijab, or a t-shirt promoting atheism, places of public accommodation are for you. We encourage others to join Lucille Roberts in embracing this core American principle,” said Doug Lieb, another lawyer for Ms. Wood-Isenberg.