The Justice Section nowadays introduced that it has obtained a consent decree with Reese Pfeiffer and numerous other defendants to take care of allegations that Pfeiffer violated the Reasonable Housing Act (FHA) by subjecting 23 gals to intense and recurring sexual harassment and retaliation at household properties defendants individual or regulate in and all around Minneapolis.
Beneath the consent decree, the defendants ought to pay a complete of $736,000 in payment to 23 victims of the alleged sexual harassment and retaliation, and a $14,000 civil penalty to the United States. On top of that, the consent decree forever bars Reese Pfeiffer from assets management and needs the retention of an independent home manager authorized by the Section of Justice at specified Twin Metropolitan areas qualities. The defendants will have to also endure education and coaching on the FHA, with unique emphasis on discrimination on the basis of sexual intercourse and sexual harassment.
The defendants are house supervisors/house owners Reese Pfeiffer, Jeanne Pfeiffer, Michael Fruen and Jeremy Martineau and enterprise entities Fruen & Pfeiffer LLP (F&P) and M. Fruen Homes (MFP).
The consent decree, entered currently by the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, resolves a lawsuit that the division filed in Sept. 2020, as perfectly as a linked private lawsuit introduced by Mid-Minnesota Legal Help on behalf of a few women who had been subjected to Pfeiffer’s alleged sexual harassment.
“All people today should have to experience harmless in their residences,” mentioned Assistant Legal professional Typical Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Legal rights Division. “Sexual harassment in housing deprives folks of that protection. The Justice Department will not tolerate landlords who abuse their power by sexually harassing their tenants and will keep on to work resolutely to keep this kind of folks accountable and get hold of aid for their victims.”
“The sexual harassment and discrimination of woman tenants is unacceptable and a violation of federal regulation,” explained Acting U.S. Lawyer W. Anders People for the District of Minnesota. “This resolution allows restore the community protection of these woman tenants. No one particular need to be subjected to an atmosphere of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, particularly in their possess properties.”
The United States’ lawsuit alleged that Reese Pfeiffer, house manager for quite a few rental attributes in Minneapolis and bordering suburbs, subjected a number of feminine tenants and prospective tenants to sexual harassment. The grievance alleged that Reese Pfeiffer commented on woman tenants’ appears to be like and human body elements, engaged in unwelcome touching, requested individual questions about their marriage status, manufactured unwelcome sexual improvements, discussed sexual subject areas without consent, entered their homes beneath the pretense of amassing rent to solicit sexual favors, and provided them rental positive aspects, this kind of as excusing late or unpaid rent, in trade for sexual favors. The grievance additional alleged that Reese Pfeiffer’s co-defendants are vicariously liable for Pfeiffer’s discriminatory perform for the reason that he acted as their agent when he sexually harassed tenants at houses in which they experienced an ownership desire.
This case is handled by the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Business office for the District of Minnesota with the support of the Justice Department’s Civil Legal rights Division and the U.S. Division of Housing and City Advancement (HUD), Office of Inspector Common.
The Justice Department’s Sexual Harassment in Housing Initiative is led by the Civil Rights Division, in coordination with U.S. Attorney’s Places of work across the nation. The objective of the initiative is to tackle and raise consciousness about sexual harassment by landlords, home administrators, upkeep employees, financial loan officers or other folks who have command around housing. Considering the fact that launching the initiative in October 2017, the Division of Justice has submitted 23 lawsuits alleging sexual harassment in housing and recovered more than $4.8 million for victims of this sort of harassment.
If you feel you are a sufferer of sexual harassment by a landlord, or other varieties of housing discrimination, you may get in touch with the Justice Department by submitting a report on the internet or make contact with the U.S. Attorney’s Place of work for the District of Minnesota at (612) 664-5600.
Stories also may perhaps be manufactured by getting in contact with the U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Improvement at 1-800-669-9777 or by submitting a grievance on the web.