COVID-19 Fines Dismissed Against Anytime Fitness
A local business is no longer facing state fines for COVID-19 violations.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to close some businesses tried to stay open and were fined by the state. In fact 4 Anytime Fitness gyms in the Yakima area were fined a total of $40,000 by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. The business was fined for violating state COVID-19 guidelines but the owner appealed the fines. Yakima attorney Michael Scott Brumback who represents the gym owner says a state industrial appeals judge has dismissed and vacated the fines. He says an appeal hearing was held before the board of Industrial Insurance. A decision in the case was reached this week.
The state could appeal the decision. L&I has 20 days from to request a written review from the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals.
Brumback says the fine against Anytime Fitness was one of the largest in the state. He says the state simply failed to prove that employees at the gym were exposed to COVID-19 when the businesses remained open despite restrictions.
He says the decision doesn't set a precedent allowing other businesses to operate out of compliance with the current regulations. But he says it does mean that business owners should continue to fight against the regulations imposed by the Governor without the say of the Washington State Legislature.
No word on an appeal planned by Doug Betterall, owner of Yakima's Betterall Auto Sales. He was fined earlier this year for holding an event at the Yakima Speedway.