I cancelled my membership when my friend who worked in internal investigations for 24 Hour Fitness was terminated for what I believe is whistle blowing. Heres the kicker, it took 24 Hour Fitness 5 months (after I notified them of my request) to cancel my month-to-month membership. They continued to take money out of my checking account - like many others I see on this website. In fact, this is how I found this website. My friend said that it didnt surprise him that this delay happened, and that I wouldnt be able to fix things right away. This made me think that this happens way more than what I read here.
Ok, first of all I am very upset as I write this. It is interesting that my friend, who was working as an investigator or loss prevention employee, was terminated after he uncovered unlawful and ethical issues involving lower, middle, and upper-management staff. He said he couldnt tell me specific details about this at this time. I do know that he was devastated when he was terminated, as I know that he dedicated his everyday life to helping the members at 24 Hour Fitness. I asked him why they terminated him and he said that they didnt give him a reason, but he said that he had received a positive review and a raise just a month before. I know from talking to him (he was always at work) that he was dedicated to his job and did things like talking to members about their lockers, cars, and how they could prevent their cars from getting robbed.
I am writing this story because when I last spoke to my friend, I found out he had been blown-off by the legal department at 24 Hour Fitness leading up to his decision to sue them in court. He mentioned to me that his attorney just filed a lawsuit against 24 Hour Fitness in Orange County. Being that he was an internal investigator or loss prevention employee (I dont know the difference but I know that he looked into safety, ethical, and criminal problems) I know that he has witnessed all sorts of bad things that occurred and were tolerated on a regular basis. Heck, from the bad things I have seen written by so many of you on this board Im sure he has a lot to say. Since I had to wait 5 months for 24 Hour Fitness to stop taking money out of my checking account (I still havent received a refund for this time I didnt use the gym) I dont have any faith in this company.
I asked my friend what exactly he is suing 24 Hour Fitness for. He said that he shouldnt tell me at this time because of confidentiality. I asked him if the lawsuit would become public record. He said he thinks so. So I asked why he couldnt say anything. He said that there are many detrimental issues addressed in the lawsuit. He also said he saved a lot of proof that will ultimately become part of the lawsuit through the discovery process. He said that at this time it would probably become part of the public record. I asked him if he could ask his lawyer what he could tell me. He probably wont, does anyone have any advice for me to get details from court records?
I know from my friendly discussions with him throughout his employment, that if any member knew what he knew, they would probably join another gym ASAP. I remember one time when I told him that I saw a news report about how many lockers and cars are constantly broken into. He said there are things that any business should do to address this issue and many have done so with excellent results. Im sure that this is going to be part of his lawsuit. I wonder if the celebrities like Magic Johnson, Andre Agassi, Lance Armstrong, and whoever else who have clubs named after them would be embarrassed when finding out about what he has to say.
One time my friend asked me advice about what I would do about some bad stuff he uncovered, but had no one to turn to that he felt safe doing so without losing his job. I was amazed at the management structure he was in that appeared to be like a good ole boys club.
I asked him if I could see the lawsuit papers so I could get the juicy details. He said he didnt have a copy for me and laughed at me, but said would give me the case number and a copy of the lawsuit when he gets it. I told him that I am pissed because of the problems that they caused him that I still see affect him today. I have known my ex-employee friend of 24 Hour Fitness for a long time and am going to do what I can legally do to let all of you know so you can help yourselves with issues that may be relevant.
The only problem at this time is that he wont give me details right now because he said, it is not public record. Is this true that he cant tell me? Well, if I have to, I intend to get a hold of the public record that I just know will probably be shocking for 24 Hour Fitnesss members, as soon as I can get it from the court house. Anyone who knows how to get this information can contact me to help me out (unless my friend will be able to give me his case information). My friend is being restrained about discussing the stuff he knows to others and myself. I think he doesnt want to tell me details of what he knows or has because he doesnt want to hurt his case against 24 Hour Fitness. Like I said, I am the opposite and will legally tell what I can find out from the courts on this case. I will update this as soon as I can, including the case number if it helps.
Orange County, California
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