Two lesbian fitness instructors have filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against David Barton, owner of six multi-city gyms bearing his name.
The women, Deborah Cooke and Christina Rodino, claim Barton promotes an anti-gay “pervasively hostile work environment.” The plaintiffs say they were fired last year after enduring recurring anti-gay harassment. They hope to win damages for lost wages and benefits.
According to The Advocate, “In the suit, Cooke claims she was regularly called ‘Lesbian Deb’ and asked by a male coworker ‘whether she was ‘going to strap on a penis tonight.’ They both claim they were asked to ‘engage in sexual relations with another woman at the workplace.’
Cooke and Rodino have also accused Barton of molesting female staff members.