Is this women-only co-working club violating the city’s human rights law?

Commission is investigating the Wing

New York /
Mar.March 27, 2018 02:01 PM

From left: The Wing Flatiron, SoHo and co-founders Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan (Credit: The Wing)

Officials are investigating whether or not a women-only co-working club, the Wing, has violated the city’s Human Rights Law.

The New York City Commission on Human Rights has opened a “commission-initiated investigation,” into whether the Wing has violated the law, Jezebel reported. The city bars “businesses that furnish public accommodation, including most private clubs” from discriminating against customers based on gender.

“All that’s happened is that the Wing and the commission have agreed, mutually, to sit down and have a conversation,” said Karen Dunn of Boies Schiller Flexner, who is representing the Wing.

The probe is a setback for the company, which has enjoyed positive media coverage and investment interest in recent months. In November, the company raised $32 million in Series B funding, the bulk of which came from co-working competitor, WeWork. The infusion brought total investment in the Wing to more than $42 million. The company has three locations in New York.

Melissa Murray, a professor of law at University of California at Berkeley who is teaching at New York University, criticized the investigation.

“I think it’s patently absurd for New York’s human rights commission to be focusing on the Wing when we’ve had, over the last six months, numerous complaints about workplaces being absolutely hostile to women in terms of pervasive and endemic sexual harassment,” she told Jezebel. “Leaving aside the fact that so many workplaces seem to be rife with incidents of sexual harassment, now, after #MeToo, I think there are a lot of men in positions of authority who are going to be really skeptical and afraid to mentor women and that might make a space like this even more necessary.” [Jezebel] — Kathryn Brenzel


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Wendy Silverstein (Credit: Getty Images)
Wendy Silverstein, co-head of WeWork’s real-estate fund, is out
Wendy Silverstein, co-head of WeWork’s real-estate fund, is out
WeWork CEO Adam Neumann (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)
WeWork’s side businesses are fizzling
WeWork’s side businesses are fizzling
Sarah Pontius (Credit: Union College)
Another head rolls at WeWork
Another head rolls at WeWork
A photo illustration of Related Companies' Jeff Blau (Getty)
Related proposes 1,500-room resort in Hudson Yards casino bid
Related proposes 1,500-room resort in Hudson Yards casino bid
Jared Kushner and 666 Fifth Avenue (Getty, David Shankbone, CC BY 2.5 - via Wikimedia Commons)
Congress probes Jared Kushner’s dealings amid 666 Fifth Avenue sale
Congress probes Jared Kushner’s dealings amid 666 Fifth Avenue sale
Council member Pierina Ana Sanchez and RSA’s Joseph Strasburg (Getty; Twitter)
Citing Bronx fire, Council pushes building violation crackdown
Citing Bronx fire, Council pushes building violation crackdown
SB Development’s Joseph Stern and Northwind’s Ran Eliasaf with rendering of Nova (LinkedIn, NOVA)
SB Development, Hazelton Capital score $62M loan for LIC condo tower
SB Development, Hazelton Capital score $62M loan for LIC condo tower
Illustration of Mayor Eric Adams (Getty; Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Oh, rats! Eric Adams contests summons for infestation
Oh, rats! Eric Adams contests summons for infestation
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...