DFEH Settles Three Disability Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuits against Cudahy Landlords and Downey Property Management Company
October 17, 2018
For Immediate Release
Defendants to pay $225,000 for harassment and eviction of a family associated with a man with a disability
Sacramento – The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has settled three lawsuits against Beverly and Robert Sanchez (owners), Jervis Property Services (managing agent), and Lydia Delgadillo and Lily Ortega (onsite managers) (collectively, “Defendants”) alleging that Defendants harassed and evicted a family due to a family member’s mental health condition.
A family of three filed an administrative complaint with DFEH in February 2015. DFEH filed a civil complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court in 2016 alleging that Defendants harassed the family due to a family member’s mental health condition, including by displacing him from the common areas, calling the police for noncriminal activities, telling new tenants he was a homeless person loitering on the property, asking the family to keep him inside, and threatening to evict the family. After DFEH sued Defendants, they served the family with a retaliatory eviction notice.
A related family filed two administrative complaints with DFEH against the same Defendants, and DFEH and Housing Rights Center (HRC) filed civil complaints in Los Angeles Superior Court in 2018 alleging that Defendants discriminated and retaliated against the second family because of their association with the first family, including by threatening to evict them, raising their rent, taking away a parking spot, and scrutinizing their actions.
As part of the settlement agreement, Defendants will pay a total sum of $225,000.
“Under the FEHA, families associated with a person with a disability are protected from discrimination and retaliation,” said DFEH Director Kevin Kish. “It is illegal for a landlord to harass or evict a family because one of its members has a disability.”
In addition to a monetary settlement, the Defendants have agreed to develop a written policy prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and retaliation for employees and tenants; provide training for its all managers and supervisors; and post fair housing posters in all rental properties owned by Defendants.
Martha L. Gomez, Staff Counsel, Jeanette Hawn, Staff Counsel, and Paula Pearlman, Assistant Chief Counsel, represented DFEH.
CRD is the state agency charged with enforcing California’s civil rights laws. Formerly known as the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the mission of CRD is to protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and state-fund programs and activities, and from hate violence and human trafficking. For more information, visit calcivilrights.ca.gov.