Program Participation and Gym Memberships
- Can I apply to the Health & Fitness Program? How?
USITC employees that are eligible under the program's policy may apply during an Open Season (see below), at which time the program participation application form will be made available.
- I am already a participant, do I need to reapply?
Yes. It is required that all employees wishing to continue participating in the program submit a new application form during the first Open Season (see below) each year.
- When are "Open Seasons" held?
Open Seasons will be held if it is determined there is sufficient funding for the program as part of the USITC's annual budget cycle. The start date and duration of Open Seasons will be announced by email to ALL_ITC@usitc.gov with the application form attached. There will typically be two Open Seasons held during a one-year period. The first Open Season will be held during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year (July-September) and will be open to all eligible USITC employees interested in joining or continuing participation in the program. The second Open Season will be held during the second quarter of the following fiscal year (January-March) and will be open only to employees that came onboard after the first Open Season and before the end date of the second Open Season or employees that could not participate in the program for documented health reasons or were on remote work/special circumstances telework at the time of the first Open Season.
- What are the gym options?
The USITC currently has purchase agreements for memberships with three vendors operating fitness facilities in the area: HUD Fitness Center, Gold's Gym (corporate locations only), and Washington Sports Club. Participants may chose only one vendor.
- Is it free?
The cost to the employee is determined by the total cost of an annual individual membership at the participating vendors. At this time, the cost of an individual annual membership at Gold's Gym and HUD Fitness Center is beneath the USITC's contribution limit set forth in the program policy ($480.00/year or $40/month) and requires no payment from participants. Currently, the cost of a membership at Washington Sports Clubs exceeds this threshold, so participants are required to pay the difference between the membership cost and the maximum USITC contribution directly to the vendor on a monthly basis. The Program Administrator will provide this amount to participants that select Washington Sports Clubs after the close of the open season and after the USITC receives current year pricing from the vendor.
- Which Gold's Gym and Washington Sports Club locations are included in the program?
Use the "Gold's Gym Corporate Location Finder" and "WSC Location Finder" links on the left-hand side of the site to see participating gyms in the area.
- What happens if I am already a member of (Gold's Gym, HUD Fitness Center, or Washington Sports Clubs) before I join the program?
As part of the USITC's agreement with each vendor, any preexisting personal memberships of program participants will be converted to memberships in the name of the USITC.
- I have a family membership or other special or group membership at Gold's Gym/Washington Sports Clubs; can I add the family package to the agency membership?
No. Only USITC employees are eligible to participate in the program, therefore the USITC will only purchase individual memberships from each vendor in the name of the agency, which participating employees may then use. You will need to contact the vendor to discuss further details regarding memberships for members of your family or additional services not provided as part of the USITC's membership. The USITC has no knowledge of, is not involved with, and cannot/will not collect or provide any information regarding supplemental arrangements made separately between participants and vendors.
- May I get a membership at a different gym?
No. Expenditures made toward promoting health and fitness in the USITC's workforce must demonstrate best value to the government. This "best value" determination is made as part of a procurement action, which solicits vendors that operate fitness facilities to respond with an offer demonstrating they can meet the requirements of the program and provide convenient access to USITC staff members at the best price. The USITC issued two such solicitations in 2017 and has established multi-year purchase agreements with vendors that demonstrated the best value as required: HUD Fitness Center, Gold's Gym, and Washington Sports Club. The USITC will not issue further solicitations until such time as the multi-year purchase agreements end.
- Can I change my membership to another vendor?
Generally, No. Once the Commission has purchased a membership with a vendor for your use, you must stick with that vendor for the period of the annual membership.
Information for Applicants and Program Rules for Participants
- Why didn't I receive a confirmation my application was received?
All applications sent using the form's "Submit by Email" button will be received. Due to the volume of applications received during the open season window, the program administrator cannot individually confirm each submission was received. If you applied and your application was approved, you will be notified about the next steps about 2-3 weeks after the end date of the open season. If your application was not approved, the program administrator will reach out to you individually.
- How do I gain initial access to my gym?
If you are a new participant to the program, you will receive a notification from the Program Administrator with instructions regarding how and when to register for access to your gym as soon as possible after the close of the open season. If you are already a participant and did not change your gym from the prior year, continue using your membership as normal unless contacted by the Program Administrator.
- How often do I have to use the gym?
An average of once per week.
- What if I cannot go to the gym for an extended period of time?
If you cannot attend your selected facility due to (1) an injury, illness, or other health-related event or (2) being on official travel as part of your USITC duties or for training, you may request an excused absence from the program from the Program Administrator. Such requests must be made either prior to the time period you cannot attend your gym or as soon as possible after a health-related event. A participant may only be provided a total of three months of excused absence from the program. If the participating employee requires more, the membership will be cancelled and the employee may reapply to the program again during the next Open Season held after the issue preventing participation has been resolved. If you cannot attend the gym due to an issue related to your membership (i.e. you try to go to the gym but there is no record of your membership), contact the Program Administrator immediately for assistance in resolving the issue. The time you cannot attend the gym due to membership issues will not be considered as part of determining your usage.
- What if I do not go to the gym as often as required?
The USITC receives regular usage reports form each gym vendor. Participants found to have used their gym less than an average of one time per week and who have not received an excused absence from the program will be given a warning in the first instance and barred from participation for at least one year in the second instance. Gym attendance is determined by reports provided by each vendor on a regular basis to the Program Administrator.
- I received a warning as described above, but I believe my gym attendance is being undercounted. What do I do?
Contact Fitness@usitc.gov immediately. *Please note* that the USITC must rely on the reports provided by vendors and cannot independently verify gym usage. It is a best practice for participants to ask their chosen vendor if the vendor provides any tools the participant may use to track attendance (e.g. a website or an app).
- Can I leave the program?
Yes. You may leave the program at any time by making a request via email to the Program Administrator. There is no penalty for leaving the program so long as you do so by request before you stop attending your gym.
Issues and Problems
- I went to my gym for the first time and was told they do not have a record of my membership, what do I do?
It is possible that, even after being accepted into the program and registering with the vendor, the vendor's system will not reflect your membership immediately. If this occurs, inform the Program Administrator via email. The Program Administrator will work with the Office of Procurement and the vendor to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
- I went to a different Gold's/WSC location than I normally do and was denied access, what do I do?
If the vendor is Gold's Gym, first use the location finder in the left hand navigation on this site to ensure the location is a corporate location. If it is, please contact Gold's Gym using the Gold's Gym Member Center and inform them of the issue. If the vendor is WSC, use their contact form to report the issue. If you cannot resolve the issue directly with the vendor, then contact the Program Administrator.
- My gym has broken equipment, unsanitary facilities, or other issues, what do I do?
Unfortunately, the USITC has no control over the condition of the vendor's facilities. If you encounter unsatisfactory conditions at a vendor's facility, first take the issue up with the staff at the facility or, if your vendor maintains multiple locations, try using another location. If neither of those actions rectify the issue, notify the Program Administrator.
- I have moved and my residence is no longer convenient to any of my vendor's locations. May I change vendors?
No. All participating vendors have a location that is either within a brief walking distance or a short Metro or bus ride from the USITC premises.