On September 16, 2021, Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim of the Northern District of California entered Judgment in favor of RBGG’s client, Michael Andrews in Andrews v. Equinox Holdings, Inc., N.D. Cal. No. 20-cv-00485-SK. Sanford Jay Rosen, Jenny Yelin and Adrienne Harrold did the work to get the judgment. The judgment is here.
RBGG has represented Andrews since 2015, soon after Equinox, the luxury fitness company, terminated him because of his age, then 62. Mr. Andrews had run the fitness program at Sports Club/LA in San Francisco and had been working in that industry for 30 years. When Equinox acquired the gym in 2014, Equinox summarily fired him, telling him as he was walked off the premises that the company did not think he could change because he had been doing things the same way for so long. (In essence telling him “You cannot teach old dogs new tricks.”) Equinox replaced Mr. Andrews with a series of people in their 20s and 30s.
RBGG and Mr. Andrews pursued his age discrimination claim with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. After a thorough investigation and multiple attempts to settle Mr. Andrews’ claims, that were spurned by Equinox, the EEOC concluded that Equinox’s termination of him was discriminatory. RBGG filed Mr. Andrews’ lawsuit in December 2019. On the eve of trial, after nearly two years of hard fought litigation, including defeating Equinox’s summary judgment motion, Mr. Andrews accepted Equinox’s Offer of Judgment by which he was paid $162,000, the equivalent of two years of back pay plus his reasonable attorney’s fees and costs in amounts to be decided by the Court. The notice of acceptance is here.
On November 9, 2021 the Court awarded the firm attorneys’ fees of $1,777,062.00 including a 1.3 contingent risk multiplier. The attorneys’ fees Order is here. Andrews v. Equinox Holdings, Inc., No. 20-CV-00485-SK, 2021 WL 5275822 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 9, 2021)
According to Sandy Rosen: “Age discrimination cases are notoriously difficult to win even in a case in which the EEOC found reasonable cause that an employer had discriminated. Equinox is equally well known to be a recalcitrant, take no prisoners defendant in employment rights cases. Mr. Andrews persevered to achieve his goal of teaching Equinox and other employers that they cannot get away with discriminating against older workers. The message should be clear now that Equinox has been penalized to the tune of nearly $2 million for its gross age discrimination and recalcitrance.”