Fitness center employees say they haven't been paid in weeks

Posted at 8:04 AM, Mar 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-28 08:04:03-04

Employees at an East Naples fitness center say they're at their wit's end after not seeing any paychecks for about a month.

Sylvester Williams said that he's been a fitness trainer at Retro Fitness, in the King's Lake Square Plaza on Davis Boulevard, for about a month. While he's put in many hours with clients, he told Fox 4 that he hasn't seen a dime from the gym's owner.

"Just about all of here live check-to-check," Williams said. "Our money is really tight right now, and we're just in dire straits."

He said that the gym's owners and management have given several reasons for the delay in paying their workers.

"We've been told several different stories," he said. "None of those stories add up."

Retro Fitness is in the space formerly occupied by Royal Fitness, until its owners were evicted in 2015. Avienne Gardner said she works for Retro Fitness now maintaining their exercise machines, but was a client when deputies showed up two years ago and shut Royal Fitness down.

"That's what left a bad taste in everyone's mouth, and a lot of members had a problem coming back because of that," Gardner said.

Now she and Williams wonder if the Retro Fitness location on Davis Boulevard could be closing, too.

"We don't know if we're getting paid, that's the worst," Gardner said. "Because you're told that you are, and then you're not."

When the gym's owner, Bill Ludwig, came out of the gym to his car Monday, he told several employees, who were waiting outside and had questions about their pay, that he would be back within an hour.

Fox 4 asked Ludwig if the employees would be paid by Monday afternoon.

"Absolutely," he said.

When contacted in late afternoon, Williams said he had still not been paid.