YAKIMA, Wash. - An appellate judge has ruled that the Washington state Department of Labor and Industries did not show sufficient evidence to fine a gym owner for alleged violations of coronavirus regulations in Yakima.
One of Anytime Fitness’ owners, Bradshaw Development Inc. was fined more than $9,000 in July and $29,000 in August after the department said the gym exposed its employees to COVID-19, The Yakima Herald-Republic reported.
Department officials claimed gym locations in Yakima, Selah and Union Gap operated in violation of the state’s reopening plan when the county was in Phase 1 of the plan and gyms were not allowed to reopen.
Judge William R. Strange ruled in favor of the gym after it appealed the fines. Anytime Fitness attorney Scott Brumback said the ruling was a victory for owner Wes Bradshaw.
“They fined him nearly $40,000,” Brumback said. “They were trying to make an example of him, and he stood up to them.”
Department of Labor spokesperson Tim Church said the agency disagrees with the decision.
The department has 20 days from when it was notified on Tuesday to request a written review from the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals. The board would then have 180 days to make a decision if the board approves the review.
“Our authority is based on employee worker safety and health. That’s a key issue,” Church said. “We do not have authority if there aren’t employees involved. We believe there were employees involved.”