A woman working out at the West Ashley Planet Fitness says she was asked to leave mid-workout Monday night because her “belly was hanging out.”
The customer, Melissa Mantor, is also 18 weeks pregnant.
Mantor said she was working out at the Sam Rittenberg location when an employee approached her and told her she had to leave.
“I was on the treadmill for about 10 minutes before I was approached by a girl who came up to me telling me that she is going to have to ask me to leave,” Mantor said. “I was very confused by this and thought I may have heard her wrong. She told me again that I am not able to continue my workout until I change my clothes because I am in violation of their dress code.”
The Planet Fitness Corporate Dress Code does not mention exposed midriffs but does ban “string tank tops” which Mantor was wearing at the time.
However, it wasn’t the straps they seemingly had a problem with. Mantor says she has several of the same tank top in different colors and wears them to the gym all the time. She even had her photo taken at the gym wearing the same top (but in gray) for her membership file.
“I was very confused. She continued telling that my belly was hanging out and I need to get it covered up,” Mantor explained. “I told her at that time ‘Of course my belly is hanging out, I am pregnant.’ She handed me a very large t-shirt while telling me that what I was wearing was inappropriate and in violation of their dress code.”
Mantor provided photos of her wearing the offending tank, both with a baby bump and before she was pregnant. She admits the top rides up when she moves around but that had never been a problem at the gym before.
ABC News 4 contacted the local gym’s manager and was directed to the corporate office. McCall Gosselin, Director of Public Relations for Planet Fitness, released the following statement.
“The majority of Planet Fitness clubs are owned and operated by individual franchisees. Our corporate dress code policy, which is enforced at the discretion of club staff, states that jeans, boots, men’s string tank tops, or revealing clothing are prohibited. This particular location also had a stated policy that prohibited bare midriffs. In this instance, a staff member approached the member to inform her of the policy and offer her a free t-shirt to complete her workout. She was not asked to leave the gym as a result of her attire.”
“I have been wearing that outfit for three years without complaint,” Mantor said. “T-shirts are terribly uncomfortable for me to work out in while getting sweaty and lifting weights. I have had equal amounts of my midriff showing from the day I began going to this the gym. The night of the 21st was the first time I attended the gym while noticeably pregnant.”
“We believe that this corporate dress code policy helps us to consistently promote a non-intimidating atmosphere at Planet Fitness where members can feel comfortable working out no matter which Planet Fitness location they are using,” the Planet Fitness dress code reads. “The managers will use their discretion when it comes to any workout attire that they believe is either inappropriate, offensive, or will cause safety concerns.”
Planet Fitness markets itself as a “Judgement Free Zone.” The facility even employs what they call a “Lunk Alarm” that goes off if “someone is grunting at the gym, drops weights or is judging others/making others feel uncomfortable.”
Read More: ABCNews4.com