Employment discrimination suit aimed at NAR includes allegations of sexual harassment

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) cannot escape allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination.

In a lawsuit filed on Monday in a U.S. District Court in Illinois, former NAR employee Roshani Sheth claims that she was wrongly terminated from her role at the trade organization, and that employees of NAR engaged in discrimination and sexual harassment toward her.

According to the complaint, Sheth began working for NAR in May 2014 and was terminated from her role at the trade group in October 2019. Sheth stated in her complaint that her termination was due to discrimination and “in retaliation for filing an internal complaint of discrimination with senior vice president Donna Gland & talent director Linda Russell of Human Resources and separately, chief legal counsel Katie Johnson.”

While in her position at NAR, Sheth claims that she “met or exceeded” NAR’s performance expectations.

Sheth stated that she first complained of discrimination in June 2019. The legal filing noted that she reached a settlement agreement with NAR related to her formal complaints of unlawful discrimination and retaliation in December 2019.

According to the complaint, NAR engaged in “various acts of discrimination based on [Sheth’s] sex and national origin during her employment. These acts included but were not limited to sexual harassment, unequal terms and conditions employment and failure to promote.”

Sheth alleges that NAR engaged in “several acts of retaliation” after executing the settlement agreement. These alleged acts included a refusal to provide a neutral reference to prospective employers, and allowing or encouraging its employees to cyberstalk Sheth.

In the complaint, Sheth states that some of these employees sent her harassing and threatening texts, “including a text that included shorthand for ‘kill yourself’ and ‘rat.’’

Sheth is demanding a jury trial.

“The National Association of Realtors is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. We don’t comment on matters of employment,” a NAR spokesperson wrote in an email to HousingWire.

In late August 2023, a New York Times exposé brought to light several allegations of sexual harassment and a “culture of fear” at NAR. Many of these allegations were aimed at then-NAR president Kenny Parcell, who shortly thereafter chose to step down from the role.

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