Justice Department Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Owners and Managers of Rental Properties in Pennsylvania
WASHINGTON (STL.News) The Justice Department announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against Allen and Heidi Woodcock, owners and managers of rental properties in Oil City, alleging sexual harassment and retaliation in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, alleges that Allen Woodcock sexually harassed a female tenant in April 2019 after he entered her home to perform maintenance. According to the complaint, Allen Woodcock touched the tenant’s body without her consent and forcibly tried to kiss her, and the Woodcocks evicted the tenant after she reported the harassment to Heidi Woodcock.
“People should never have to endure sexual harassment in their home, where they should feel safe and secure,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will vigorously enforce the Fair Housing Act against landlords who engage in this kind of abusive and illegal behavior.”
“Combatting sexual harassment in housing is a high priority at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD),” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing Jeanine Worden.