An internationally renowned personal trainer has sued the luxury health club where he worked for age discrimination – because they refused to play music recorded more than 18 months ago.
Fitzroy Gaynes, 64, started working part-time as a personal trainer at London health club chain Third Space in April 2001, after enjoying a “long and successful career” with an “international reputation” in the field of fitness, said an employment tribunal.
His employers were described as a ‘cutting edge’ and ‘modern’ organization for which image and presentation had become an ‘increasing priority’.
The central London audience was told this was underlined by its Music Brand Standards policy, which stated that any music played at the club must have been produced and released within the last 18 months.
There was no ban on playing ‘old’ music, as long as it was a recent recording or recent remix, the hearing was told.
Mr Gaynes, who said he does not listen to Radio One or go clubbing, complained that gymnasium politics put him at a disadvantage, saying that he was discriminated against by his employers’ refusal to play older music.
But his claim was rejected by an employment tribunal on December 20 last year after the club – where membership costs more than £200 a month – argued that tracks recorded “years ago” just didn’t sound as good when played through their sound systems. .
Fitzroy Gaynes, 64, started working part-time as a personal trainer at London health club chain Third Space in April 2001 and has developed an “international reputation in his field”, an employment tribunal has heard.
Mr Gaynes, who said he does not listen to Radio One or go clubbing, complained that the gymnasium policy put him at a disadvantage, saying he was discriminated against because of his employers’ refusal to play older music.
Antony Stewart, head of Group Exercise, who has a background in the music industry, told the court that modern music simply sounded better than tracks recorded in the past.
“Music production has come a long way and over time that means songs produced years ago don’t sound as good when played on new sound systems compared to new music that was produced and engineered. to be played with current technology,” he said.
“This is one of the reasons we require that songs used be no older than 18 months, to ensure our club members have the best listening experience that will fuel their overall experience.”
The court heard that in 2019 bosses at the Soho club where he worked launched an investigation into Mr Gaynes for his failure to adhere to uniform and timing policies.
The court heard that he often ate in the studios and left trash there after class.
In October 2019, he filed a grievance alleging bullying, harassment and discrimination based on age, race and gender. He said he felt “targeted”. It was rejected.
Fitzroy Gaynes started working part-time as a personal trainer at London health club chain Third Space in April 2001 (pictured: The Soho Third Space club)
Mr Gaynes’ claim was dismissed by an employment tribunal on December 20 last year after the club – where membership costs more than £200 a month – argued that the tracks recorded “there are years” just didn’t sound as good when played through their sound. systems
He raised a second grievance in September 2020, alleging his colleagues and bosses were conspiring to discipline him and damage his reputation. Their behavior has been described as “racist and ageist”.
This too was rejected and in October 2020 Mr Gaynes was transferred from the club in Soho to that in Islington, north London.
He took Third Space – which runs a number of fitness clubs in London – to the Employment Tribunal for age and race discrimination. However, his case was dismissed.
Ruling that the music policy was not ageist, labor judge Anthony Snelson said: “We have no information on the amount and range of music newly recorded or released as remixes over a rolling 18 month period. .”
“Nor do we have any information (statistical or otherwise) regarding the music preferences of people sharing [Mr Gaynes’] personal characteristics of race and age. And we have little valuable information as to [his] own musical tastes.
“He just tells us he doesn’t go clubbing, he doesn’t listen to Capital Radio or Radio One and leans towards music ‘affected by’ his ‘race, preferences and exposure’.
“In these circumstances, we find it impossible for us to assess whether those who share [Mr Gaynes’] personal characteristics are particularly disadvantaged by the policy or if he is disadvantaged.
‘It’s for [Mr Gaynes] establish the discriminatory effect of the [policy]. He fails to do so.
“The policy was a proportionate means to achieve a legitimate aim. We are satisfied that [Third Space] aimed to provide their clubs with the latest and greatest in music production technology to enhance their members’ experience.
‘It’s sad that [Mr Gaynes], at a late stage in his illustrious career, should find himself pouring great emotional energy into recriminations and bitterness.