Yvette Cormier is a Michigan woman who objected to the presence of a man in the women’s locker room at a Planet Fitness gym. When she complained to the front desk, she was told “that PF didn’t restrict facility-access based on gender-identity.” When she later refused to stop speaking with other members of the gym about her objections to this policy, Planet Fitness canceled her membership and banned her from the gym.
Cormier filed a lawsuit against Planet Fitness, “claiming invasion of privacy, sexual harassment under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (CRA), retaliation, gender-based discrimination, breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.”
On June 1 the State of Michigan Court of Appeals issued an opinion affirming the lower court’s ruling against Cormier, “asserting that [Cormier] failed to plead any valid claim.”
From the opinion:
“Before a plaintiff can establish actionable sexual harassment under a hostile work environment theory or a quid pro quo theory, she must first “allege facts showing that she was subjected to ‘unwelcome sexual advances,’ ‘requests for sexual favors,’ or ‘conduct or communication of a sexual nature’.” Corley v Detroit Board of Ed, 470 Mich 274, 279; 681 NW2d 342 (2004). According to plaintiff, because of defendants’ policy, the transgender man had the opportunity to undress in front of her and to see her undress which, she maintains, is conduct or communication of a sexual nature. See MCL 37.2301. However, the CRA does not define sexual harassment as being subjected to an opportunity for a person to engage in verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature. Rather the CRA requires that the sexual conduct or communication substantially interfered with the plaintiff’s utilization of public accommodations. MCL 37.2103(i)(i)-(iii). It follows that plaintiff must have actually experienced the conduct or communication she complains of.”
According to Cormier’s attorney, David Kallman, “There is no question we’re going to appeal.”