The city of Minneapolis may pull a $460,400-per-year fitness contract from Life Time Fitness, Chanhassen, MN, because the health club chain does not offer benefits to its employees’ domestic partners. The city council will vote on Friday whether to renew the contract, which expires Wednesday.
The city’s 2004 equal benefits ordinance 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 does not offer benefits to domestic partners of employees, citing the expense, according to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The city of Minneapolis also does not offer benefits to its employees’ domestic partners, but the city’s attempt to offer these benefits was struck down in court in 1995.
The contract between Life Time and the city of Minneapolis has been in effect since 2005. It offers Life Time memberships to the city’s police officers and firefighters.
Last week, a city council panel forwarded a request for a temporary waiver onto the city’s Ways and Means/Budget Committee without a recommendation. On Monday, the Ways and Means/Budget Committee voted 5-1 in favor of the waiver, sending its recommendation onto the full council for a vote. The committee also recommended that the city discuss club memberships for police officers and firefighters during the next round of talks with their respective unions. The memberships are part of the two groups’ union contracts.
Despite the committee’s recommendation, the city council will have the final say on Friday.