Aireial Mack was on a lunch break from her sales job at the LA Fitness gym in Slidell on Jan. 2 when she got a text message from her supervisor: “We took you off the schedule because your (hair) doesn’t meet LA FITNESS STANDARDS in a fro,” wrote Blake Mata, who is white. “We want a classy appearance. We don’t want to leak off a n***er style don’t take it wrong, just change it.”
Mack, who is African-American, said the text was not only sickening, but indicative of a pattern of racially biased comments uttered by her white male supervisors while she was an employee of the gym on the north shore.
She said she immediately brought it to the attention of the gym’s general manager, Mark Mayeux. Several days later, she was fired.
Horrified, she filed a discrimination claim on March 6 with the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights against LA Fitness and its parent company, Fitness International.
The commission investigates harassment and discrimination complaints in Louisiana and is the state version of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
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