VICTORY: On July 16, 2021, the Eleventh Circuit unanimously overturned the district court decision, holding that sexual harassment is indeed actionable sex discrimination under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). The court based its decision on Title VII case law, a federal workplace civil rights law analogous to the FHA’s sex discrimination prohibition and joined other circuit courts in holding that sexual harassment (including quid pro quo sexual harassment) is against the law under the FHA.
On September 30, 2020, NWLC joined the National Fair Housing Alliance, ACLU Women’s Rights Project, and other civil rights groups in submitting a proposed amicus brief to the 11th Circuit in Fox v. Gaines in support of Rita Fox, a tenant who faced ongoing sexual harassment by her landlord, including retaliation when she opposed his advances. The district court held that quid-pro-quo sexual harassment is not actionable sex discrimination under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Our amicus brief requests the appellate court to reverse the decision below, specifically explaining that sexual harassment, including as here, quid-pro-quo sex harassment, is sex discrimination under the FHA just as it is actionable sex discrimination under Title VII. The ACLU breaks down the case here.