NAR ignores sexual harassment, instills “tradition of concern,” dozens of ladies inform NYT

The Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors (NAR) has ignored quite a few sexual harassment complaints, together with in opposition to its president Kenny Parcell, in response to over two dozen ladies who spoke to the New York Instances in a bombshell exposé in regards to the commerce group.

In all, 29 ladies described to the Instances a tradition of concern, intimidation and harassment on the 1.56 million-member nonprofit group and its subsidiaries. Nineteen ladies informed the Instances they skilled sexual harassment.

“There may be the sexual harassment, after which woven into it, this tradition of concern,” Stephanie Quinn, the group’s former director of enterprise conferences and occasions, who labored at NAR for greater than a decade, informed the Instances.

Sixteen complaints reviewed by the Instances concerned Parcell, a Utah Realtor who started climbing the management ranks in 2020. Three ladies went public with what was described as a sample of inappropriate conduct by Parcell, who runs the Kenny Parcell Workforce at Fairness Realty in Spanish Forks, Utah.

Kenny Parcell, NAR President

One lady reported that Parcell positioned his palms down his pants in entrance of her, whereas one other lady acquired unsolicited lewd photographs and texts from him, together with an image of his crotch. Parcell denied he had finished something inappropriate. He stated the image in query was of a promotional belt buckle and he was asking for enter on the design.

A 3rd lady, Janelle Brevard, who filed a lawsuit in the summertime, disclosed a consensual relationship with Parcell that lasted months and ended with the NAR president allegedly retaliating in opposition to her. (Brevard settled a lawsuit with NAR that included a $107,000 severance cost and signed a nondisclosure settlement, the Instances reported.)

One other lady, Amy Swida, a director of enterprise conferences and occasions on the group, filed an inside grievance of sexual harassment or gender discrimination by Parcell. Swida alleged that he was merciless and condescending to her after she grew to become pregnant. She apprehensive about being minimize out of future alternatives.

“I’m scared each day coming to work,” she informed the Instances. The NAR stated Swida’s grievance was documented and she or he was promoted a number of months later. Parcell additionally denied any wrongdoing.

Quinn, who left the group in 2022, informed the Instances that Parcell tried to rearrange conferences with youthful colleagues at evening and that she was consistently anticipated to hug the president. After she put out a palm to dam a hug, Parcell started elevating points together with her work. NAR stated it by no means acquired a grievance from Quinn.

“His conduct is predatory,” Quinn, 52, stated of Parcell. “I really feel like I used to be consistently screaming, ‘That is so inappropriate.’”

In a written assertion to the Instances in regards to the allegations, Parcell stated: “I’m a pleasant and outgoing particular person in a world that’s rising ever extra cynical, conflicted, and chilly. Properly-intended actions on my half are being twisted and distorted.”

Suzi Dunkel-Soto, a Realtor primarily based in California, stated the commerce group’s chief authorized officer by no means responded to her a number of complaints after a male colleague took a photograph below her skirt at a NAR Management Academy commencement ceremony in 2018. NAR informed The Instances it “addressed this incident appropriately with the male Realtor concerned.”

Regardless of a historical past of complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination, and retribution by Parcell and different leaders, 29 ladies informed the Instances that NAR hasn’t addressed sexual harassment points.

“All the pieces will get brushed below the rug,” Dunkel-Soto informed the Instances.

The commerce group informed the Instances it has acted responsibly and responded to complaints correctly.

“We observe clear reporting procedures to research any difficulty of concern dropped at our consideration and take corrective motion as wanted, as much as and together with employees termination and member suspension,” the assertion stated.

Bob Goldberg, the group’s longtime CEO, informed the Instances he wouldn’t characterize sexual harassment at NAR “as an issue,” although he later stated by means of a spokesperson that, like all group, “we’re not immune to those challenges, and any single allegation issues me.”

The NAR, which has greater than $1 billion in property that controls entry to almost each American dwelling itemizing, is dealing with different threats – two explosive multibillion-dollar lawsuits threaten to upend your entire system propped up by NAR.

The plaintiffs, representing dwelling sellers across the nation, accuse the commerce group and several other of the nation’s largest brokerages of utilizing MLS guidelines to cost extreme charges and unfairly prop up agent commissions. Ought to they lose, a decide may rewrite the foundations of how agents get paid and it may lead to as much as $30 billion per yr in financial savings for American customers. Damages for the circumstances might be north of $40 billion.

James Kleimann is the managing editor of HW Media’s newsroom.