Two women living at a Philadelphia apartment complex have filed a suit in the US District Court of Pennsylvania claiming that the owners of the property violated the Fair Housing Act by failing to take action against one of its employees who sexually harassed them.

Tenant complain of sexual harassment

The lives of two women living at a Philadelphia apartment complex were made difficult by a maintenance employee who is said to have allegedly continued to sexually harass them over a period of five months.

Andrea and Francesca Cross were residing at the complex in the summer of 2012, when one of the employees began making crude advances and gestures towards them. As per their court filings, they iterate that the employee on several occasions suggested having sexual relations with Francesca and made vulgar gestures.

He harassed them continually for five months both inside their apartment when he was sent by the complex to perform some work and outside when the plaintiffs were with the other residents.

In October 2012, the couple decided to report the employee to the assistant property. However, their complaint was ignored and no disciplinary action was taken. The unwelcome behavior of the employee continued, which prompted the couple to report him once again in January 2013. The property manager said she did not believe in the allegations and refused to take further action against the employee.

At this point it would best to move out to another location according to many people who have lived in apartments before. This manager is either selfish or lazy for not looking into these complaints.

Upon failing to get a positive response from the apartment complex manager they went ahead and filed a police report and then called the property’s manager, Berkshire Property Advisors’ regional manager to set up a meeting to discuss the matter, as advised by their sexual harassment attorney.

 

Apartment complex management support the claims

At the meeting held a few weeks later, Berkshire Property’s manager supported their claims. He informed the Crosses that an investigation conducted by the company found the employee responsible for the wrongdoings and was subsequently fired from his job. However, the management lied to the plaintiffs that the employee would be fired for his bad behavior as he was allowed to submit his resignation in order to be able to claim unemployment benefits.

How would the residents even find out this person was receiving unemployment payments?

Lawsuit filed with Eastern District Court of Philadelphia

In a lawsuit filed by Andrea and Francesca Cross with the US district court the couple has claimed compensatory and punitive damages from the defendants Berkshire Property Advisors and Henry on the Park Associates for two violations of the FHA and the Pennsylvania Human Rights Act.

As per the petition filed with the court, the Crosses describe in detail the problem of sexual harassment faced by them from the maintenance staff during their stay at the Henry on the Park apartment complex. The lawsuit details how their reports and complaints were ignored by the staff, forcing them to call the police to get them to listen.

Terrible behavior should be punished

Finally they had to resort to the Courts to receive justice as they felt that the erring employee was not punished by being fired as promised. The plaintiffs are represented by their sexual harassment attorney, Michael Bowman of Bowman & Partners, Philadelphia.