A Michigan court has ruled in favor of a Planet Fitness policy that allows transgender people to use the locker room of their prefered gender.
The case was brought before the court by Yvette Cormier, who claimed she experienced sexual harassment when a trans woman walked into the woman’s locker room while she was inside. Shaken by the “incident,” Cormier spent four consecutive days approaching other women at the gym, telling them about the policy.
As a result, Planet Fitness revoked her membership, citing their unique “no judgement” policy.
“Our gender identity non-discrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity,” Planet Fitness said in a statement.
In protest, Cormier filed a lawsuit against the chain, alleging sexual harassment, invasion of privacy, and breach of contract.
Last week, the Michigan Appeals Court sided with Planet Fitness in a 3-0 ruling.
The court found that Cormier’s claims did not hold water. As to the sexual harassment, “she failed to plead factual allegations showing that she was actually subjected to verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature (i.e., that her rights were violated).” In fact, both Cormier and the trans woman were clothed during their brief interaction.
It did not help that even after she complained, Cormier continued to use the locker room. “Even though plaintiff did not agree with the policy, her use of the locker room after her knowledge of the policy constituted consent to any intrusion, defeating her claim of invasion of privacy,” the decision read.
Most significantly, the court rejected Cormier’s argument that she had suffered emotional distress from the events. “Transgender rights and policies are polarizing issues and each individual may have a feeling on the issue and on what locker room such individuals should be using,” the Court wrote. “Regardless of whether an average member of the community may find the policy outrageous, the fact is that plaintiff did not suffer severe emotional distress as a matter of law.”
Cormier can still appeal the case to the Michigan Supreme Court.