My building’s super keeps sexually harassing me! What can I do?
When most people think of “sexual harassment”, they tend to think of it as happening in the workplace. While workplace sexual harassment is an issue (see our previous posts here, sexual harassment in housing is every bit as real and problematic. It can cause great stress for residents, and the consequences for all involved can be great.
It is important to know what your rights are, what sexual harassment means, and what steps you can take. Our Award Winning New York Fair Housing Attorney generally discusses a housing case that resulted in the largest recovery ever in a sexual harassment suit brought by the Federal government under the Fair Housing Act.
In its lawsuit against the landlord, superintendent, and building manager of several New York City apartment buildings, the Federal government alleged that the defendants violated the Federal Fair Housing Act by discriminating on the basis of sex and subjecting numerous tenants to severe, unwelcome, or pervasive sexual harassment.
Building owner Stanley Katz had hired Baranson, a Level 3 registered sex offender, as the superintendent for the properties in question. Between 2004 and 2010, multiple female tenants complained to Katz about Baranson, complaining that he repeatedly attempted to enter their apartments while inebriated and demanded sex; groped and fondled them; subjected them to unwanted verbal sexual advances; demanded sexual favors in return for tangible housing benefits and rent reductions; and took adverse action against any tenant that refused his demands.
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