Justice Department Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against California Landlords
The Justice Department has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against California rental property manager and its owners. The lawsuit alleges that the landlords subjected female tenants to sexual harassment and discrimination. The Garza Firm has extensive legal experience working with victims of sexual harassment and discrimination in California. As a statewide and nationwide leader in the toughest harassment cases, we are here to break down the case and how it may apply to your current situation.
What is Sexual Harassment?
California has Fair Housing Laws to protect you from living in an environment with sexual harassment. A housing provider cannot subject their tenants to sexual harassment or retaliate against you for objecting to that harassment. The law defines the following as sexual harassment:
- Unwanted sexual advances or propositions;
- Offering housing rights or privileges in exchange for sexual favors;
- Making offensive gestures;
- Displaying offensive or suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons or posters;
- Comments, epithets, slurs or jokes of a sexual nature;
- Graphic statements about an individual’s body;
- Suggestive or obscene letters, notes, or invitations;
- Threatening to take adverse action (i.e. eviction) in retaliation for a negative response to sexual advances;
- Impeding or blocking movements; or
- Physical touching or assault.
These Fair Housing Laws also prohibit housing providers from harassment or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, familial status, disability, medical condition, or age.
How Did Sexual Harassment Occur in This Case?
According to the complaint, the defendant property managers engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment in discrimination against their female tenants. They allegedly made unwanted sexual advances, comments, and gestures towards these tenants, and even subjected them to unwelcome touching and groping. The lawsuit argues that this misconduct created a hostile living environment, causing the female tenants to feel intimidated, embarrassed, and unsafe in their own homes. The defendants retaliated against the tenants complaints by threatening to evict them or actually evicting them.
The Justice Department filed this lawsuit to hold these landlords accountable and ensure California residents feel safe in their own homes. The basis for their arguments is the California Fair Housing Act. The lawsuit seeks a court order barring future discrimination by the defendants, civil penalties, and monetary compensation for the female tenants harmed by this harassment. The Fair Housing Act provides for civil remedies such as making available previously denied housing, compensation for losses and emotional distress, training and policy changes to prevent discrimination in the future, and other actions such as fines.
Garza Firm Can Help.
If you have experienced anything resembling the harassment explained above, we can help. The Garza Firm not only levels the playing field between individuals who have experienced this type of harassment, but we go beyond to give our clients an edge in their case. We understand sexual harassment happens everyday and are here to support you and recover compensation for your injuries. Our experienced California sexual harassment lawyers are passionate about our work in Newport Beach and across the state. Call us today for a consultation at 949-570-8350.