On September 11, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the settlement of a sexual harassment case brought against a California landlord accused of sexually harassing over 25 tenants. As part of the settlement, landlord Rawland Leon Sorensen will pay $2.13 million in monetary damages and civil penalties.
According to the Justice Department’s press release announcing the settlement:
The department’s complaint alleges that Sorensen sexually harassed the women by making unwelcome sexual comments and advances, exposing his genitals to women tenants, touching women without their consent, granting and denying housing benefits based on sex and taking adverse actions against women who refused his sexual advances. Sorensen has operated his rental business for more than 30 years. This represents the largest monetary settlement ever agreed to in a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the Justice Department under the Fair Housing Act.
In addition to paying damages and penalties, Mr. Sorensen will be required to hire an independent manager to manage his rental properties and will have strict limits on his ability to have contact with current and future tenants.
To read the Justice Department’s press release regarding the case, click here.