First Washington Employer Cited for Ignoring Governor’s Safe Start Order

July 1, 2020

A fitness center near Yakima, Wash. is facing nearly $10,000 in fines for operating in violation of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start order.

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries cited company owner Bradshaw Development, Inc. this week after L&I inspectors found Anytime Fitness Selah open for business on June 15 when it should’ve been closed under the governor’s order.

L&I inspected the Selah facility after receiving multiple complaints from the public and a referral from the Yakima Health District that Anytime Fitness was operating in violation of the governor’s proclamation. When L&I inspectors went to the facility, they reported saw several employees working, as well as customers entering and using the facility.

Before L&I conducted the inspection, state workers contacted the business multiple times, they informed the business about the order and directed it to close, according to L&I.

The governor’s Safe Start proclamation prohibits most businesses from operating unless their county is in the appropriate phase of the statewide plan to reopen their economy and other aspects of daily living.

Anytime Fitness Selah is in Yakima County, one of the state’s most active areas for COVID-19 infections. The county remains in Phase 1, the most restrictive tier of the four-phase state plan.

Along with being cited for the violation, the business faces a $9,639 fine.

The state has reportedly received 13 complaints since May about Anytime Fitness. 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.

In an email to the governor’s office, a Yakima Health District official said numerous community members were reporting that the fitness center was open and that a staff member drove by and saw the building was packed with customers.

The business has until July 5 to close or 15 working days to appeal.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.