Yakima County Gym Becomes 1st Business Fined For Violating Closure Order
The name of Anytime Fitness may indicate that members can use it whenever they want. But that doesn’t necessarily apply in a pandemic.
One Anytime Fitness franchisee location in Yakima County has been fined nearly $10,000 for staying open despite not being allowed to operate given the county’s current operating phase. It’s the first business fined for ignoring Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Safe Start” measures.
The state Department of Labor and Industries has been getting complaints about the Anytime Fitness in Selah since May. The agency has been urging the owner, Bradshaw Development, to close the gym.
It’s not allowed to operate while Yakima County is still in Phase 1 of the state’s four-phase reopening plan.
Tim Church, a spokesperson for the Washington L&I Department, says usually phone calls and visits by the agency are enough to convince non-compliant owners to close.
“It’s only when no other method works in this situation are we going out, opening an inspection and citing and fining folks,” Church said. “Our hope and belief would be people will think and care about their community and these businesses will do the right thing for their employees and their customers and their community.
L&I has contacted over 400 businesses following complaints of potential violations. They have 1,300 more businesses to get to.
“The great majority of these, they just never get to that point because the businesses have been forthcoming and cooperative and closed if they were told they should be closed,” Church said. “Any businesses that is cited has had at least a handful of opportunities to have discussions about what they should be doing and understand what they shouldn’t be doing.”
The gym owners have until July 5 to close or 15 working days to appeal.
The corporate office of Anytime Fitness, which grants locations its name through a franchisee model, did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon.
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