California Landlords Settle Claims That They Harassed Mexican Family

A California landlord and her son recently agreed to pay $16,000 to settle claims that they engaged in a campaign of harassment against a resident, her partner, and their two children based on their Mexican national origin. The landlords own and manage a four-unit apartment complex in Orange.

In her complaint filed with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the resident alleged a months-long pattern of harassing, discriminatory, and threatening behavior by the son towards the family. The harassment included spoken statements such as “I hate Mexicans,” discriminatory written notes containing insults about people of Mexican descent, and actions such as opening the family’s mail, destroying their household plants, and making threatening gestures.

In settling the case, the landlords will pay the residents $16,000, attend anti-discrimination trainings, and distribute fair housing brochures to their tenants.

“California law prohibits landlords from harassing tenants on any basis protected by law, including national origin,” DFEH Director Kevin Kish said in a statement. “Harassment can be verbal, visual, or physical in nature, and we encourage anyone experiencing harassment in their home to step forward.”