Life Time Fitness gets to keep its $460,400 contract with the city of Minneapolis after the city council voted last week to approve an exemption for the company.

Life Time, Chanhassen, MN, has provided health club memberships for employees of Minneapolis’ fire and police departments since 2005, but the city council debated whether to pull that contract after recently learning that Life Time does not offer benefits to the domestic partners of its employees.

The city of Minneapolis’ equal benefits ordinance, passed in 2004, requires that contractors with city contracts valued at more than $100,000 offer their employees with domestic partners benefits equal to those provided to employees who are married. Life Time offers health benefits to spouses of employees but not to employees’ domestic partners.

The city of Minneapolis also does not offer benefits to its employees’ domestic partners, but the city did attempt to offer these benefits before it was struck down in court in 1995.

The city council voted to approve the request for an exception to this rule for the duration of Life Time’s contract with the city. The old contract expired on March 31. The new contract began April 1 and runs through Dec. 31, 2014.

Some city council members who voted for the exemption noted they did so because Life Time has many facilities with many amenities in the area, making it easier for city employees to join.