On May 7, 2020, the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, the New York Civil Liberties Union, the National Women’s Law Center, and Jenner & Block LLP, filed an amicus brief in support of Plaintiff-Appellant Donahue Francis, a tenant in a New York apartment complex who brought a Fair Housing Act (FHA) claim against his landlord for failing to respond to a racially discriminatory harassment by another tenant, where the landlord was aware of the conduct.
The Second Circuit is rehearing this appeal en banc after issuing a decision in favor of the Plaintiff-Appellant in December, 2019.
The ACLU’s amicus brief discussed the pervasiveness of sexual harassment in housing and its harmful impacts, particularly for women of color and women with other marginalized identities. The amicus brief argued that the Second Circuit should recognize that the FHA requires landlords to take reasonable steps to address discriminatory tenant-on-tenant harassment when they knew or should have known of the conduct and had the power to correct it. A favorable decision will advance access to a safe and stable home for all protected classes, including women experiencing sexual harassment in their homes.