Honest Housing Act Prohibits Sexual Harassment: Court docket of Enchantment – Enterprise Insurance

The Fair Housing Act prohibits sexual harassment, ruled an appeals court and overturned a subordinate court order in a case allegedly forcing a tenant out of her home for breaking up a sexual relationship with the property manager.

The US 11th Court of Appeals in Atlanta said in Friday's Rita Fox v Lucille F. Gaines judgment that it joined other circles in concluding that the Fair Housing Act is comparable to Title VII and should be interpreted in a similar manner the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that sexual harassment can be a form of sex discrimination.

Ms. Fox, a single mother, is said to have received a rent reduction in exchange for a sexual relationship with the property manager.

The manager also installed surveillance cameras across from her unit, interviewed her about her whereabouts, and told her not to invite male visitors to her home.

After she ended the relationship, the manager had her evacuated from the apartment.

Ms. Fox filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, alleging violations of the federal FHA and the Florida FHA's prohibition against sex discrimination. The district court dismissed the case, but was overturned by a unanimous appeals court with three judges.

"The district court found no guidance from this court on this issue and dismissed Ms. Fox's complaint on the grounds that her sexual harassment claims were not actionable under the FHA," the ruling said.

"Today we offer this guide and we believe that sexual harassment may be a form of gender discrimination prohibited by the FHA, provided the plaintiff can demonstrate that she would not have been harassed without her gender," it said Judgment.

"When interpreting the FTA, we – like our sister groups – look to cases in which Title VII is interpreted using a language that is practically identical to the FTA," says the judgment in which the decision of the lower court is overturned and the case is referred back for further proceedings.

One of Ms. Fox's attorneys, Eneami Bestman, program manager bar attorney for the Legal Aid Society of the Fair Housing Department of Palm Beach County in West Palm Beach, Fla., Said the other federal appeals courts that ruled similarly said the 6th Cincinnati; 7th in Chicago; 8. in St. Louis; 9th in San Francisco and 10th in Denver.

"We have to make good laws so this was exciting for both of us," Ms. Bestman said, referring to Ms. Fox.

The defendant's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.

In 2019, a federal appeals court ruled in divided opinion that the FHA is analogous to Title VII, stating that a landlord can be held liable if they do not respond promptly to a racially hostile living environment.

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