In a recent ruling, New Jersey’s Appellate Division recognized that the same basic legal principles that apply to sexual harassment claims in employment under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) also apply to sexual harassment claims involving housing discrimination under the LAD. The LAD is a law that prohibits discrimination in the context of both employment and housing.
In November 2019, Sira Traore attempted to lease an apartment for her family and financial assistance from Fairview Homes Preservation, L.P. (“Fairview). She met with Ricardo Mendoza, who was an employee of Related Management Company, L.P. (“Related”), a company that manages and leases apartments on behalf of Fairview.
Ms. Traore claims that when she met with Mr. Mendoza he touched her and pressured her to go to his hotel room to have sex with him in exchange for him providing her a lease for an apartment lease and the housing assistance she was seeking. Ms. Traore did not agree to have sex with Mr. Mendoza, and claims that as a result she did not receive a lease or housing assistance. Ms. Traore recorded her conversation with Mr. Mendoza using her cell phone.