On February 28, 2022, a Class Action Charge of Discrimination was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of Jaime Piccolo against Equinox, Holdings Inc. (“Equinox”).
Wigdor LLP and the Lepore Law Group represent Ms. Piccolo, who until recently was one of Equinox’s most senior sales directors. The EEOC Charge alleges that Equinox’s male-dominated work atmosphere is overrun with gender discrimination, discrimination against working mothers and sexual harassment. Like clockwork, Equinox turns a blind eye to this unlawful conduct and retaliates against those who are brave enough to report it, the EEOC Charge alleges.
Ms. Piccolo began working for the company in 2002 in Equinox’s Wall Street gym location and over time worked her way up to the position of Senior Director of Corporate Accounts. From the very start of her employment, Ms. Piccolo was subjected to blatant sexual harassment at the hands of over half a dozen male managers and executives, from her hiring manager all the way to Gary Browne, Senior Vice President, Revenue, as alleged in the EEOC charge.
Equinox’s misogynistic culture can at least be partly explained by the fact that its leadership is almost exclusively dominated by men, as alleged. In fact, with the exception of the Company’s Chief Legal Officer, every Executive Vice President and President is a man.
To make matters worse, as alleged, Mr. Browne habitually and emphatically expressed deep contempt for Ms. Piccolo’s role as a mother to her two young children. For example, as alleged, Mr. Brown repeatedly denied her reasonable requests to work from home part-time to care for her children during the pandemic, when schools were physically closed and childcare options were not available. Mr. Browne also cut Ms. Piccolo’s compensation from 75% to 50% during the pandemic without any legitimate basis, as alleged.
Statement from Michael J. Willemin, Partner at Wigdor LLP, and Lauren B. Lepore, of the Lepore Law Group:
“Ms. Piccolo was successful at Equinox and proved herself to be one of the company’s most valuable employees. Unfortunately, none of that mattered to Equinox’s male-dominated leadership, which apparently viewed Ms. Piccolo as expendable as a working mother with young children and a target for sexually harassing behavior. By filing this action, we hope that Equinox will finally take steps to address its egregious corporate culture and stop turning a blind eye to gender-based misconduct in the workplace.”