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Roth v. Life Time Fitness, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

May 1, 2017

JENNIFER ROTH, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
LIFE TIME FITNESS, INC., LTF CLUB OPERATIONS COMPANY, INC., LTF MANAGEMENT COMPANY, LLC, and LTF YOGA COMPANY, LLC, Defendants.

          Daniel R. Karon, KARON LLC, and Garrett D. Blanchfield, Jr., REINHARDTS WENDORF & BLANCHFIELD, for plaintiff.

          L. Dale Owens, JACKSON LEWIS LLP and Elizabeth S. Gerling, JACKSON LEWIS P.C. for defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN R. TUNHEIM Chief Judge United States District Court

         Plaintiff Jennifer Roth brings individual and class unjust enrichment claims against Life Time Fitness, Inc., LTF Club Operations Company, Inc., LTF Club Management Company, LLC, and LTF Yoga Company, LLC, (collectively, “Life Time”). Roth seeks to represent a class of Life Time spinning, aerobics, and yoga instructors seeking relief from Life Time for time spent preparing for and cleaning up after fitness classes.

         Roth refiled this action after the Court dismissed her claims without prejudice, finding that she failed to state a claim by not pleading whether she had an employment contract with Life Time. Life Time again moves to dismiss Roth's claims, arguing that she still fails to plead facts supporting an unjust enrichment claim and that her claim is barred because she has an adequate remedy at law. Life Time moves, in the alternative, to certify to the Minnesota Supreme Court the question of whether an adequate remedy at law bars an unjust enrichment claim under Minnesota law.

         Because both parties agree that an adequate remedy at law would bar an unjust enrichment claim, the Court will deny Life Time's motion to certify the question to the Minnesota Supreme Court. However, because the Court finds Roth has sufficiently pleaded an unjust enrichment claim and it is unclear if Roth has an adequate remedy at law, the Court will deny Life Time's motion to dismiss.

         BACKGROUND

         Roth worked as a group fitness instructor at a Life Time Fitness facility in Beachwood, Ohio. (Compl. ¶ 12, July 20, 2016, Docket No. 1.) Roth alleges that she and the other instructors “performed labor for Defendants in exchange for hourly wages.” (Id. ¶ 13.) Roth alleges that her “job as group fitness instructor required her to perform work that preceded and followed each of her spinning classes.” (Id. ¶ 14.) This included “unpaid and required pre- and post- class work, ” including preparing the room for class, cleaning the room after class, and participating in various Life Time events. (Id. ¶ 19.) Roth alleges that Life Time only paid group instructors for actual class time, and that therefore, Lifetime “underpaid - indeed, refused to pay - [Roth] and class members for actual time worked.” (Id. ¶ 20.)

         The Group Fitness Instructor Manual (the “Manual”) reflects this requirement.

         The Manual discusses pre-class activities:

Every Class, Every Time- You are expected to be in the studio, ready to teach, 15 minutes before your class with music playing. A 15-minute transition time between classes exists for you to connect with the members and set the stage and environment for your class.

(Id., Ex. A at 7.)[1] And the Manual discusses post-class activities:

The studio is your home and every day is “Open House”. You are responsible for leaving the studio in a condition of which you can be proud. All Life Time Fitness Team Members participate in the upkeep and presentation of our workplace; this includes the Group Fitness Team. Your department head will show you a cleaning checklist that may include re-stacking mats and weights, gathering towels, etc; ...

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