Lifetime Fitness is in hot water with the City of Minneapolis because it doesn’t offer domestic partner benefits to its employees, the Star Tribune reports. The city has a contract with the chain of fitness centers to the tune of $460,000. The problem is that all contractors with the city of Minneapolis over $100,000 are required to offer their employees domestic partner benefits.

The city buys gym memberships for its police and firefighters. Lifetime does offer domestic partner packages for members, even if its employees don’t get health and other benefits for their same-sex partners.

Fire union President Mark Lakosky said firefighters, including those with partners, are happy with Life Time. The firm makes memberships available to domestic partners of city employees on the same terms offered spouses, he said. The additional membership is paid by the employee. Lakosky, who heads Minneapolis Firefighters Local 82, said Life Time offers “the most facilities, the best facilities, the best day care.”

Lifetime told the Star Tribune that they had considered the benefits but found them to be too costly.

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Andy Birkey
Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

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