Fired Peloton Instructor Alleges Anti-Irish Discrimination in $1.8 Million Lawsuit

The instructor made $260,000 a year at a company with "a pervasive atmosphere of hostility."

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Fired Peloton Instructor Alleges Anti-Irish Discrimination in $1.8 Million Lawsuit
Screenshot:Peloton

What’s up, Peloton? Are you ready to dig into some dirt on the company and its allegedly hostile work environment? A $1.8 million lawsuit filed Wednesday by Daniel “Irish Yank” McKenna claims his employment was terminated “abruptly” on September 11 “for cause,” though said cause remains elusive. “McKenna repeatedly requested that Peloton provide a written basis for his termination and no detailed, descriptive, and/or factual explanation was provided,” reads his suit.

The Daily Beast reported on and uploaded a copy of McKenna’s complaint. The allegations contained are vast and wide-ranging. McKenna, who was hired by the company in December 2020, alleges Peloton Chief Content Officer Jennifer Cotter (named as a defendant alongside the company) “made continuous references to Plaintiff’s Irish ethnicity and stereotypes and, nonchalantly asked Plaintiff at the meeting whether he was drunk at work.” The suit claims Cotter said things to McKenna like, “Behave yourself,” “Don’t be foolish,” and, “Nobody understands what you are saying, Daniel,” referring to his Irish accent. During a meeting attended by Peloton CEO Barry McCarthy, McKenna alleges that Cotter said, “I hope you’re not drunk, Daniel” and, “That’s Daniel our Irish instructor, he’s rough round the edges and hard to understand but the members love him.” This, allegedly, wreaked havoc on McKenna’s psyche:

After the meeting, unsurprisingly, Plaintiff’s extreme anxiety, humiliation, and embarrassment spiraled. His mental and emotional health was adversely affected due to the demeaning statements and passive-aggressive attitude directed towards him.

He also alleges that after an unexpected surgery in October 2021, he requested a “legally available medical exemption” for the company’s covid vaccine mandate, which was dismissed. “Mr. McKenna became distraught and fraught, causing him to succumb to taking the vaccine (despite the option for a valid medical exemption) in fear of disrupting his career and/or employment with Peloton,” says the suit of this poor, vaxxed man. Additionally, a fitness-related pectoral injury earlier this year caused him to take medical leave, which his suit says Cotter claimed could be used as cause for his termination. “They said to Plaintiff that it was ‘not looking good’ for Plaintiff and he should be fired because in ‘corporate America’ it was not acceptable to take disability leave for injuries and surgeries.”

Cotter, says McKenna’s suit, strikes fear in the hearts of Peloton instructors because “she had/has the power to reduce their classes, played favorites, advertising spots and placements with reputed sports gear and apparel companies, and created a pervasive atmosphere of hostility.”

As a result of her “disparaging and derogatory comments,” McKenna “hired a mental wellness professional to facilitate reducing his stress, humiliation, anxiety, and insomnia.” He rejected the offered six months of severance upon his termination, which was $130,000, which means his yearly salary was $260,000! Instead, he wants $500,000 for “back pay, front pay, and all benefits along with pre and post-judgment interest,” $300,000 for pain and suffering, and $1,000,000 for “injuries he has suffered and to signal to other employers that discrimination is repulsive.” Peloton has yet to comment.


Speaking of anti-vax sentiments, musician M.I.A. tweeted a conspiratorial one-two punch by effectively defending Alex Jones—who, per a judge’s Wednesday ruling, owes nearly $1 billion to the Sandy Hook victims’ families he defamed—and disparaging vaccines.

And then she doubled down.

Is she planning on running for public office or something?


  • Speaking of doubling down, Kanye “Ye” West reflected on his recent antisemitic comment thusly: “I feel happy to have crossed the line of that idea so we can speak openly about things like getting canceled by a bank.” He is planning on running for public office. [Page Six]
  • Anne Hathaway totally didn’t mean to reference The Devil Wears Prada during Fashion Week, where she was photographed (whoops!) next to Anna Wintour. [Twitter]
  • Brandy is fine! Just some dehydration and malnutrition that led her to be hospitalized! Nothing to see here! [Variety]
  • Anna “Delvey” Sorokin on her bad reputation: “Part of it was the prosecution, the way they portrayed me, and just the media, they kind of just created this idea of me, and I’m just being left to deal with it.” Take it from the scammer, it’s all the media’s fault! [CNN]
  • John Stamos’s son calls him “Poopy.” [E! Online]
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