A former part-time employee at Glenwood Management claims she was denied a full-time position and then fired from the company because she rejected her boss’ sexual advances.
Karla Guzman Pinales filed a lawsuit against Glenwood and her former supervisor, Juan Montero, alleging that she was eventually fired after reporting instances of sexual harassment and after refusing Montero’s advances. Pinales worked at several Glenwood buildings, including the Tribeca Bridge Tower, Paramount Tower, the Lucerne and the Stratford, according to the complaint.
Pinales initially filed a complaint in 2018 with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which closed the case and issued a right to sue letter on April 30.
Glenwood is one of the largest multifamily owners in New York City, with nearly 9,000 units and a net operating income of about $250 million, according to city data analyzed by The Real Deal in July 2016. In a statement, a spokesperson for the firm said that “Glenwood takes any allegation of sexual harassment or discrimination in the utmost of serious terms. Glenwood thoroughly investigated this allegation internally for the EEOC and found it to be unmerited and unsubstantiated. If necessary, we look forward to proving that in federal court.”
Pinales alleges that while she was working as a pool porter at the Stratford in May 2017, a full-time garbage removal job became available, and she applied. According to the lawsuit, Montero told her that it’s “difficult for women to get hired full-time” and that “it looks like women have to sleep with the super to secure a full-time position.” Pinales alleges that when she rejected Montero’s proposition, he told her, “you will never be full-time then.”
Montero could not immediately be reached for comment.
The lawsuit details other instances of Glenwood employees making inappropriate comments about Pinales’ body. Another employee also touched her buttocks, according to the lawsuit. When she reported this and other incidents, no action was taken, the suit claims. At one point, another supervisor, whose full name isn’t included in the lawsuit asked Pinales “How much would you charge me and how long can I be with you?” while biting his lips, the complaint alleges. When Pinales recounted the incident to Montero, he laughed and called the supervisor a “fresh old man,” according to the suit.
Pinales alleges that Glenwood “lacks a meaningful and responsive procedure” for investigating and educating employees — as well as independent contractors — about discriminatory behavior.
“They probably didn’t care about a part-time employee,” said Mark Shirian, an attorney for Pinales. Last year, New York state passed a law requiring employers to adopt sexual-harassment prevention policies as well as provide annual training to their employees. City law requires companies to provide such training to employees and independent contractors. Shirian noted that other real estate companies likely struggle with similar issues laid out in the lawsuit, since “it’s a lot of powerful men in powerful positions.”
Several other major real estate companies have faced allegations of sexual harassment in the wake of the #MeToo movement, including top construction lender Bank OZK, WeWork, Cushman & Wakefield and Newmark Knight Frank.