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Women-Only Health Club Sued

Sex discrimination lawsuits have been brought against two women-only clubs in California.

Phillip Kottle of Santa Rosa alleges that Elan Health and Fitness Center discriminated against him by refusing to sell him a membership in the women-only gym. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed the lawsuit in late September in Sonoma County Superior Court after Kottle filed the complaint in August.

The California state department is seeking a court order to provide equal services and facilities for men. It’s possible that it could test a 1995 state Supreme Court decision that limits the ability of private organizations to discriminate on the basis of sex or race. That ruling said private clubs that operate as businesses are open to state laws that prohibit discrimination.

For the case with Elan, a hearing has been set for Jan. 24, 2005. Elan opted to bring the case to civil court rather than settling with the department.

This isn’t the first sex discrimination complaint Kottle has filed. He also filed a complaint against Body Central, a women’s fitness center. That case is still pending, and the department is attempting to reach a settlement with the facility.

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