Iowa Property Manager Accused of Sexually Harassing Resident

The Justice Department recently filed a lawsuit alleging that the manager of multiple residential rental units in Iowa sexually harassed a female resident from March 2018 until August 2018.

According to the complaint, the manager made repeated and unwelcome sexual comments, touched the resident’s body without her consent on multiple occasions, and retaliated against the resident for filing a fair housing complaint. The Justice Department also named the corporate owner of the rental property where the harassment allegedly occurred as a defendant in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit arose from a complaint about the manager’s conduct that the former resident filed with the Davenport Commission on Civil Rights (DCRC) and HUD. After DCRC and HUD investigated the complaints, HUD issued a charge of discrimination and the matter was referred to the Department of Justice.

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages to compensate the alleged victim and a court order barring future discrimination. The complaint contains allegations of unlawful conduct; the allegations must be proven in court.

“No woman should have to endure sexual harassment to keep her home,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division said in a statement. “The Fair Housing Act protects tenants from sexual harassment and retaliation by their landlords, and the Justice Department will vigorously pursue those who engage in such reprehensible and illegal conduct.”

“Women have a hard enough time finding a decent affordable place to live without having to be subjected to unwanted sexual advances,” said Assistant Secretary Anna Maria Farias of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Office. “HUD applauds the action the Justice Department is taking in this matter and remains committed to working together to protect the housing rights of women when those rights are violated.”