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Lennar CEO’s fired housekeeper sues over alleged harassment by another household employee

Stuart Miller, a defendant in the suit, was unaware of the plaintiff's complaints until after she was fired, according to one of his attorneys
December 09, 2017 10:00AM

Lennar CEO Stuart Miller

A former housekeeper at the home of Lennar CEO Stuart Miller sued him after she reported sexual harassment by another household employee and was fired.

Viviana Santana, who worked at Miller’s estate on Star Island from November 2014 to April 2016, also named the employee, Jose Armando Rivera Martinez, as a defendant in the suit.

Santana’s suit doesn’t allege that Miller sexually harassed her. The counts against him include vicarious liability, retaliation, intentional infliction of emotion distress and negligence in retaining and supervising Rivera. The suit’s counts against Rivera include individual liability for sex discrimination, retaliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The suit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court alleges that Miller and Rivera have a “special relationship … understood by all house staff, who knew that if they disobeyed Rivera they could be fired.”

Santana alleges in her suit that Rivera started asking Santana daily for sexual favors about six months after she was hired. She also claims the harassment persisted for a year until April 2016, when she complained about it to Miller’s son David Miller, who allegedly told her that he would convey her complaint to his father.

Santana, a single mother of two, was fired 10 days later and was told her termination was unrelated to her job performance, according to her suit, which seeks back pay, front pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and attorney fees.

Bilzin Sumberg attorney Brian Bilzin, who represents Stuart Miller, said his client doesn’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment or discrimination and that household employees were told to report any concerns to their supervisor, Toni Chayeb, but Santana did not. Bilzin also said Rivera was not Santana’s supervisor and that the Lennar CEO became aware of her harassment complaints after she was fired. [Daily Business Review]Mike Seemuth