Former Employee Sues 'Debaucherous' Planet Fitness

Casey Willard says she was raped on a business trip
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 29, 2018 7:58 PM CST
Updated Nov 30, 2018 6:20 AM CST
Former Employee Sues 'Debaucherous' Planet Fitness
Planet Fitness.   (PRNewsFoto/Planet Fitness)

A former manager at New Hampshire-based Planet Fitness has sued the company, saying she was subjected to a male-dominated, "debaucherous" environment that included sexual harassment and rape, the AP reports. Senior management at the Hampton headquarters organized drinking activities such as "Fireball Friday," said Casey Willard, who joined the company in 2015. Employees "competed regarding the number of shots they could consume in the least amount of time" at work, and one manager brought vodka-based gummy worms to work, the lawsuit said. Willard, who was new at the time and followed managers' direction, "sometimes found herself drunk at work by 11:00am," the lawsuit said.

Willard also claims in her lawsuit that she was drugged and raped on a business trip in September 2017 to California by a company manager and his friends. Willard also said that a manager initiated a sexual relationship with her, in violation of an anti-fraternization policy, and that she was concerned she might lose her job. She eventually notified the company earlier this year that she was unable to return to work, the lawsuit said. McCall Gosselin, a spokeswoman for Planet Fitness, said in a statement Thursday that the company investigated Willard's claims and fired an employee for violation of company policy. The company later independently learned of a consensual relationship between Willard and a supervisor that Willard didn't bring to its attention, Gosselin said. The supervisor was fired. Willard is seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages.

(Read more sexual harassment stories.)

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