The state says a Selah gym owner was warned several times before the business was fined almost $10,000 for being open in defiance of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start phased reopening plan.
Anytime Fitness Selah was the first employer cited in the state for violating Inslee’s COVID-19 restrictions.
The State Department of Labor and Industries cited Bradshaw Development Inc., owner of the Anytime Fitness, this week after receiving multiple complaints from the public and a referral from the Yakima Health District, L&I said in a press release.
“When L&I inspectors went to the facility they saw several employees working, as well as customers entering and using the facility,” the press release said.
Yakima County remains in Phase 1 of Inslee’s reopening plan after seeing a surge in positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in June.
“Our primary focus is making sure employers do everything possible to prevent their workers from being exposed to the coronavirus,” said L&I Director Joel Sacks. “In this case, Anytime Fitness Selah was clearly aware it was operating in defiance of the governor’s order and putting employees at risk. They chose to stay open even after multiple contacts with L&I. And it’s just not fair to businesses that are following the rules when others don’t.”
The state began receiving complaints about the gym in May, L&I said.
“People submitting complaints said the gym allows customers to work out without requiring social distancing, is selling new memberships, and is posting on social media that it’s open,” according to the state.
After being cited being fined, business owner Wes Bradshaw started a GoFundMe page, saying he intends to fight the state.
“Any donations will be used towards legal fees as we appeal this unlawful fine (mandate is not a law) as well as any other costs that may be associated,” Bradshaw said on the page. “Again our goal is not to simply remain in business for money, but for the community we serve. Without providing a safe and healthy atmosphere for our customers, we would not be here to begin with.”
As of Thursday afternoon, 115 people had donated a total of $7,670.