US Attorney Nick Hanna, the top federal prosecutor in Southern California, has called upon people who have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment by a property manager, landlord, maintenance worker, or others with control over housing to report the incident to the US Department of Justice.
Exploitation during Covid-19 Crisis
Many tenants have been unable to pay their rent in recent months because the Covid-19 crisis impacted their financial position. This has led to a rise in housing insecurity among many people. The Department of Justice has received numerous reports of housing providers who are attempting to misuse the situation and sexually harass vulnerable tenants.
Sexual harassment in housing is against the law, and the Department says that it is committed to vigorously investigate all such allegations and take appropriate legal action against the perpetrators.
Attorney Hanna said that sexual harassment in housing is condemnable and illegal. His office is closely working with the local and state partners to identify sexual harassment incidents in housing and deploy all enforcement tools to bring wrongdoers to justice.
What Constitutes Sexual Harassment in Housing?
Sexual harassment in housing includes any demand for sex or sexual acts in exchange for buying, renting, or continuing to rent a home. Other unwelcome acts of sexual conduct that may make it difficult for a tenant to continue living in or feel secure in their residence would also constitute sexual harassment.
The Sexual Harassment in Housing Initiative of the Department of Justice was launched in 2017. It has led to the filing of a number of lawsuits nationwide, revealing a pattern of sexual harassment in housing. As part of this initiative, in January the prosecutors filed a lawsuit alleging that a property manager of two LA apartment buildings had violated the FHA by sexually harassing female tenants for over 10 years. The lawsuit also said that the property owner was also responsible for the manager’s conduct.
Fair Housing Act (FHA)
The Department of Justice enforces the FHA, which prohibits sexual discrimination in housing, as well as discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, familial status, and disability. The DOJ encourages victims of sexual harassment in housing to report the incident or other civil rights violations to the office of the US Attorney.
Speak to an Experienced California Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Dedicated sexual harassment lawyers at Makarem & Associates in California are best placed to handle your claim and help you obtain maximum damages, if you are a victim of sexual harassment at your workplace or at your residence as a tenant. Get in touch with Makarem & Associates over the phone at 310-312-0299 or email at [email protected] to receive the right legal counsel.
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