Ex-NAR employee sues for retaliation and cyberstalking

Alleges she was fired for reporting sexual harassment

Ex-NAR Employee Sues for Retaliation and Cyberstalking
Former NAR employee Roshani Sheth and NAR interim CEO Nykia Wright (Real Estate Legacy, NAR)

A former employee of the National Association of Realtors is accusing the Chicago-based trade association of retaliation and cyberstalking.

Roshani Sheth, who worked for the NAR from 2014 to 2019, sued the association, alleging a retaliatory campaign after she was fired for raising concerns about workplace discrimination and misconduct, Crain’s reported

Sheth claims that the organization cyberstalked her and sought to sabotage her career prospects post-termination.

According to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Sheth contends that her dismissal stemmed from her internal complaints of sexual harassment. She reported instances of male colleagues making inappropriate comments about her body and physically harassing her. 

Sheth further alleges that the NAR failed to verify her employment when prospective employers contacted it for references. 

The lawsuit also accuses the NAR of allowing or encouraging its employees to cyberstalk her. Sheth claims she received text messages containing shorthand for “kill yourself” and “rat.” Those actions were allegedly part of a broader effort by the NAR to damage her reputation and career.

Sheth, currently a principal at residential brokerage Real Estate Legacy, is representing herself in the lawsuit. 

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Her claims of inappropriate behavior at NAR were previously highlighted in a New York Times investigation, which exposed a culture of permissiveness toward sexual harassment within the organization.

In response to the lawsuit, the NAR issued a statement emphasizing its commitment to a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. The association, which boasts 1.5 million members and significant lobbying influence, stated that it does not comment on individual employment matters.

The NAR’s recent turmoil has led to the departure of two consecutive presidents, a CEO and other staff members since August. 

In addition, it was found guilty in a landmark verdict over commission-sharing standards in the real estate industry. The association has agreed to pay $418 million to settle antitrust lawsuits over broker commissions. 

Sheth’s lawsuit seeks a jury trial and demands more than $60,000 in damages and at least $1 million in punitive damages. She alleges that the NAR’s actions have caused her emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of income and prolonged unemployment in her field.

—Quinn Donoghue 

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