HUD Settles Sexual Harassment Over Maintenance Worker

HUD settled with a California apartment and property management firm on a sexual harassment complaint involving maintenance worker

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has settled a complaint with a California apartment and property management firm for $21,000 over a sexual harassment complaint involving a maintenance worker, according to a release.

The HUD complaint states that a female tenant was subjected to sexual harassment and complained that a male maintenance worker at the apartments “offered to provide maintenance services on her unit in exchange for sexual favors.”

HUD approved a conciliation agreement with Indio, California, property owners Perris Family Apartments, LLC., Perris Family Apartments L.P., and The Coachella Valley Housing Coalition, as well as their property manager, Hyder & Company dba Hyder Property Management Professionals, Perris Family Apartments employee Terry Valdespino, and maintenance person Kenneth Parker, resolving allegations of housing discrimination because of sex.

Under the agreement, Perris Family Apartments will pay the tenant $21,000 and take other actions to prevent sexual harassment, including providing training for employees. The respondents denied the allegations but voluntarily agreed to settle the matter.

The settlement agreement “resolves allegations that a female tenant was subjected to sexual harassment by Parker and that the owners and manager failed to prevent further incidents of sexual harassment. This Conciliation Agreement does not constitute an admission by Respondents or evidence of a determination by HUD of any violation of the Fair Housing Act or any other law. Read the Conciliation Agreement here.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits sexual harassment of tenants and other forms of housing discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and familial status.

“Tenants should not have to endure sexual harassment in their homes,” said Demetria L. McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, in the release.

The conciliation agreement “should send a clear message that HUD is committed to ensuring housing providers meet their obligations under the Fair Housing Act.”

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