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Fair Housing and Sexual Harassment Training Edgewood Audio Training 2011 Kathi Williams 770-840-7005

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Presentation on theme: "Fair Housing and Sexual Harassment Training Edgewood Audio Training 2011 Kathi Williams 770-840-7005"— Presentation transcript:

1 Fair Housing and Sexual Harassment Training Edgewood Audio Training 2011
Kathi Williams

2 Agenda Animal Issues Documenting Reasonable Accommodations Requests and Verifications How to Handle False Requests and Verifications VAWA Documenting Abuse Occurred Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

3 Unusual Assist Animals
Panda the Horse Sadie the Parrot

4 Case Study 1 Rosie is a blind applicant who has applied for an apartment at Happy Village. Rosie comes to the interview with her guide horse named Panda Rosie asks Lisa, the manager, for a two bedroom so she’ll have room for Panda What should Lisa do?

5 Case Study 1 Explain to Rosie that Panda is too large to live in a small unit. Ask for the training certification to prove that Panda is a trained service animal. Ask Rosie to obtain a note from her doctor that she is blind and needs a guide horse. Discuss with Rosie any special needs she has due to her disability including any special requirements that will be necessary for her guide horse, then place her on the waiting list for the appropriate sized bedroom

6 Animal Issues Pet policies
Assist animals may be reasonable accommodation to any and all policies regarding pets Pets vs. Service Animals vs. Companion Animals Costs associated with service animals should be included as disability related expense No related charges until actual damage occurs Size restrictions Types of animals – cats, dogs, birds, exotic(?) Difference in FHA and ADA requirements Assist animal agreement

7 What Constitutes a Request?
Should a resident say, “I would like an accommodation in your practices, policies, or procedures that is necessary to allow me full enjoyment of my housing because of my disability, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(B)”? Can’t insist resident use specific language to make a request or use your forms if adequate info is provided If staff is unclear, ask directly “are you asking this because of a disability?”

8 HUD / DOJ Guidance NO VERIFICATION REQUIRED when the disability and/or the need for the accommodation is “readily apparent” (visually obvious)

9 Verification Always for eligibility
For reasonable accommodation, if disability or need for accommodation is not “readily apparent” = visually obvious

10 Verification Form Is this person “disabled” (provide definition)?
Does this person need an accommodation BECAUSE OF the disability? What is the accommodation needed? What is the connection between the disability and the request? Do you know that if this matter is litigated you may be required to testify as to the accuracy of the information you are providing?

11 Verification (cont.) Verifier need not be MD
What about “self verification”? While should avoid questions about the nature or severity of the disability, can ask resident and verifier to explain the nexus/connection between the disability and the requested accommodation Can follow up if verification appears contrary to information visible to staff

12 Case Study 2 Burt sends a request to Lisa that he be permitted to transfer to a different/larger apartment mid lease He requests that Lisa pay for the transfer as a reasonable accommodation because he is depressed and claustrophobic and his current unit is causing his symptoms to worsen

13 Case Study 2 When Lisa verifies Burt’s request, his doctor says he’s depressed and phobic and the larger, sunnier apartment will improve the symptoms associated with his depression and fear of small spaces Lisa believes Burt just wants to be able to get his transfer paid for to a newly vacant, highly desirable apartment in his building What should Lisa do next? Does it matter whether the property is market rate or HUD subsidized?

14 Case Study 2 Answers Ignore Burt’s request because it is ridiculous
Ask Burt to provide another verification from a different doctor Permit the transfer, but require that Burt pay for associated costs Send the doctor a questionnaire requesting additional explanation of how a different apartment will ameliorate the symptoms of Burt’s disabilities

15 What to do if a Resident’s Accommodation Request and/or Verification Information Appear to be False
Follow up with both resident and verifier to clarify any confusing information To be able to follow up with verifier, the verification authorization should include statement that authorization covers the information on this form and any follow up information needed to make determination of request

16 Following Up on the Accuracy of the Verifier
Follow up can occur in telephone call or with additional forms or letters If there’s a conflict in the information known by staff, ask the verifier to explain the conflict Ask the verifier for more information of why this accommodation is necessary for the resident or how the accommodation is connected to the disability

17 VAWA Regs – Verifying the Abuse Occurred
Applicant/Resident chooses method of documenting that abuse occurred from the 3 methods 1.Applicant/Resident is allowed, but not required to self certify abuse using HUD forms (PIH) or (H) 2.Or can provide third party documentation with police or court records 3.Or documentation signed by employee, agent or volunteer of victim service provider, an attorney, or medical provider from whom victim has sought assistance Professional must attest under penalty of perjury under 28 U.S.C that incidents are bona fide incidents of abuse Recommend use of a form or attachment for letter


19 Infamous Claims of Sexual Harassment
1. Anita Hill vs. Justice Clarence Thomas 2. Paula Jones vs. President Bill Clinton 3. The Tailhook Convention 4. Mitsubishi Motors Manufacturing 5. University of Colorado Football Program

20 Laws Prohibiting Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees State laws also prohibit sexual harassment

21 Definition Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

22 When Does Sexual Harassment Occur?
Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following: The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex. The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee. The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct. Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim. The harasser's conduct must be unwelcome.

23 Facts that May Influence Outcome
It is helpful for the victim to inform the harasser directly that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop The victim should use any employer complaint mechanism or grievance system available It will be important for the victim to provide evidence that she told someone at the time the harassment was occurring

24 Examples of Actions That Are Considered Sexual Harassment
Sexual teasing, jokes, remarks, questions Sexual looks, gestures Deliberate touching, leaning, cornering Pressure for dates Letters, calls, sexual materials Stalking Pressure for sexual favors Actual/attempted rape, assault

25 Supreme Court Explains Sexual Harassment in Vinson
Voluntary sexual relationships in the work place Focus is on “unwelcomeness” rather than voluntariness Does not have to cause an economic or tangible injury Must prove only a hostile or abusive work environment Must be sufficiently severe or pervasive Employer liability if harassment is proved Always for supervisors For Coworkers, only if employer was notified

26 True or False Test 1.As an employee who believes she is being sexually harassed by a coworker, it will be important to your cause of action to discuss the matter with your therapist. 2.As a supervisor, if an employee from another division in the company complains of sexually harassing behavior by her supervisor, your best action would be to tell her to tell him to stop. 3. A male employee who is gay could file a charge of sexual harassment against his male supervisor if he continually makes rude comments and homosexually harassing jokes.

27 True or False (cont.) 4. A female maintenance employee should expect to work in an environment with sexually explicit language and teasing, and would not be able to file a claim about such behavior. 5. Only after an employer has fired an employee could the employee file a complaint of sexual harassment. 6.If an employee is overly sensitive to raunchy jokes, that’s her problem and she needs to be told to grow up.

Kathi Williams

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