Friday, August 31, 2012

Down-And-Out Woman Seeking Refuge At Hotel For Homeless Scores $50K Settlement Of Suit Accusing Now Ex-Manager Of Sexual Harassment

From the U.S. Department of Justice (Washington, D.C.):

  • The Justice Department announced [] that the owner and former manager of the Lowrey Hotel and Café in New Richmond, Wis., has agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging they had sexually harassed a homeless woman who sought shelter at the hotel [go here for Consent Decree].

    The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Madison, Wis., on Nov. 23, 2011, involved the Lowrey Hotel & Café, a residential hotel that often provides housing to homeless people, who have been referred by local social services agencies.

    According to the complaint, Gerald Hoglund, of McClusky, N.D., formerly one of the hotel’s managers, sexually harassed a female tenant, who had been referred to the hotel by a social service agency, by making unwelcome requests to her for sexual favors.

    The complaint also alleged that Stacy Wright, co-manager and owner of the Lowrey Hotel & Café LLC, warned the tenant that Hoglund might ask for sexual favors but failed to take reasonable steps to prevent it.

    It is unacceptable that a woman looking for shelter should be subject to sexual harassment at the very place where she has sought refuge,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.
  • A person’s home should be a place of complete safety and security – no one should be subjected to unwanted sexual advances from any landlord,” said John W. Vaudreuil, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin.
  • The federal lawsuit arose when the tenant filed a complaint with the Chicago Regional Office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which conducted an investigation and, after issuing a charge of discrimination, referred the matter to the Department of Justice.

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