Sexual harassment, retribution is a part of the “tradition of concern” at NAR, 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 accordance with over two dozen girls who spoke to the New York Instances in a bombshell exposé concerning the commerce group.

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

“There’s 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, advised the Instances.

Sixteen complaints reviewed by the Instances concerned Parcell, a Utah Realtor who started climbing the management ranks in 2020. Three girls 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 girl reported that Parcell positioned his arms down his pants in entrance of her, whereas one other girl obtained unsolicited lewd images and texts from him, together with an image of his crotch. Parcell denied he had carried out 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 girl, 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 fee and signed a nondisclosure settlement, the Instances reported.)

One other girl, Amy Swida, a director of enterprise conferences and occasions on the group, filed an inner 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 nervous about being minimize off from future alternatives.

“I’m scared daily coming to work,” she advised 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 towards Swida.

Quinn, who left NAR in 2022, advised 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 along with her work. NAR stated it by no means obtained 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 rebutting the allegations, Parcell stated: “I’m a pleasant and outgoing individual in a world that’s rising ever extra cynical, conflicted, and chilly. Properly-intended actions on my half are being twisted and distorted.”

Parcell was paid $164,569 by NAR for the 2021 tax yr when he was first vp, in accordance with the nonprofit’s tax records. Charlie Oppler, the NAR president in 2021, was paid $294,798 that yr.

Girls comprise a majority of the commerce group’s membership, however NAR has been led by males for years. A number of girls interviewed by the Instances described different alleged incidents they are saying weren’t addressed by NAR.

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 beneath her skirt at a NAR Management Academy commencement ceremony in 2018. NAR advised 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 girls advised the Instances that NAR hasn’t addressed sexual harassment points.

“Every part will get brushed beneath the rug,” Dunkel-Soto advised the Instances.

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

“We comply with clear reporting procedures to analyze any subject 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 CEO since 2017, advised the Instances he wouldn’t characterize sexual harassment at NAR “as an issue,” although he later stated by a spokesperson that, like several 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 just about each American dwelling itemizing, is going through different threats – two explosive multibillion-dollar lawsuits threaten to upend the complete 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 choose may rewrite the foundations of how agents get paid and it may end in as much as $30 billion per yr in financial savings for American customers. Damages for the circumstances may very well be north of $40 billion.

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