The recently fired Peloton instructor Daniel McKenna has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit. (credit: The Daily Beast)
What we’ve learned so far from the document is below. Note that all of this alleged, and is from the lawsuit document uploaded. Also note that Peloton has not responded so these notes are from Daniel McKenna’s lawsuit, and not necessarily unbiased.
- First part of lawsuit documents Daniel McKenna’s quick rise in popularity in class following and on social media since his announcement at Peloton in August of 2021.
- Daniel requested a medical exemption from the Covid-19 vaccine mandate in October 2021 after unexpected surgery. Per p7-9 of legal complaint, Daniel was concerned that “the vaccine could impede his recovery from surgery or have an adverse effect on his health given …post-surgery state allowing for …to qualify for the legitimate medical exception to the vaccine mandate”
- Lawsuit alleges that around that time, the Plaintiff ( Peloton and or a Peloton employee) started to make “disparaging remarks to and indirectly to and about Daniel McKenna”
- Options for the medical exemption were dismissed by Peloton, and Daniel McKenna got the vaccine in “fear of disrupting his career and/or employment with Peloton”
- Once he got his vaccination, the Peloton employee forced McKenna to observe a 14 day quarantine period
- McKenna hired a mental wellness professional to help him after the “hostility” he faced from the Peloton employee/Defendant.
- McKenna also says that Cotter/Peloton would ask him to take down social media posts that had “nothing to do with Peloton or irrelevant to Peloton” (We at B&C are wondering what those posts were – tell us if you know about those in the comments)
- McKenna says that the Peloton employee made comments saying things like, “I hope you are not drunk, Daniel” at staff meetings and “nobody understands what you are saying, Daniel”, referring to his Irish accent, and that McKenna complained on the phone to her about this. It says that “many of the instructors were/are afraid of the Defendant because she has the power to reduce their classes, played favorites, [with] advertising spots and placements with reputed sports gear and apparel companies, and created a pervasive atmosphere of hostility”
- In Spring of 2022, McKenna injured himself and needed immediate surgery, and asked for leave while recovering from his surgery which was on April 25, 2022. He told the company in May 2022 he was ready to come back on July 1.
- Peloton scheduled a meeting with him on June 23, telling him he could be fired for taking short term disability, but that they would let him resume employment. At that meeting, they said “it was not looking good” and he should be fired because in “corporate America” it was not acceptable to take disability leave for injuries and surgeries. But, after sending an email saying he was looking forward to moving forward with a fresh start in July, Daniel got an email saying “onward and upward” from the Defendant in response. He taught his classes until September 11.
- On September 12, Peloton called a meeting with him and fired him over Zoom. At the meeting, Peloton did not give any “description or basis for any violations that indicated that [McKenna] did not perform his duties ably.
- The Severance offered was “significantly lower and in breach of the Peloton Employment Agreements that provide for higher compensation for termination without cause”. McKenna repeatedly requested that Peloton provide a written reason for termination, and no “detailed, descriptive or factual explanation” was given.
- Peloton’s Employment Agreements impose a non-compete clause that encompasses the U.S. (non-competes are very common, and it spanning the US is not surprising given Peloton’s reach in the US)