About 2-3 years ago, a lawsuit was filed by residents of a country place. A country place has 376 units and is a 55+ community. Marie Curto, who wanted to swim together with her family, and Diana and Steve Lusardi, a couple who wished to swim together because Diana Lusardi suffered disabilities after a stroke. They both filed suit under the FHA demanding the association change their rules.
A country place pool hours were scheduled to allow Men to have most of the evening time and Women most of the morning hours. But working Women who got home in the evening had a tough time.
(It seems a bit strange however that numbers weren’t taken into account. Meaning, if 80% of Women there don’t work and Morning swim hours work perfect for them, perhaps the HOA can determine the best hours for the community at large.)
The suit was originally filed in state court in 2016 but was later removed to federal court.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled against ‘a county place’ Condominium association. The court ruled their swimming schedule, which had separate swimming, is discriminating against women in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA).
The swimming schedule provided 31.75 hours per week designated as “men’s swim,” 34.25 hours for “women’s swim,” and 25 hours for people of all genders.
However, the Court found the Women’s hours to be at less favorable times to working Women thus rendering it discriminatory.
(It sounds a bit strange – if 80% of Women wanted these hours, how is it discriminatory! At least ask what most Women wanted…)
Previously a U.S. District Court judge ruled that having separate swim hours for was not discriminatory because it applied to both genders equally. It’s really simple! But this panel overturned that ruling and apparently feels this is discrimination.
The appeals court determined that the condominium association for A Country Place violated the FHA because the schedule was “plainly unequal in its allotment of favorable swimming times, Women with regular-hour jobs thus have little access to the pool during the work week, and the schedule appears to reflect particular assumptions about the roles of men and women,” Judge Thomas Ambro wrote.
“Religion was not brought up and was not a topic of discussion in this case. It was all about giving men better hours than women – for working women. Of course, many fake news outlets make this about separate swimming ‘segregated,’ and consider it a ruling against Orthodox Jews, which of course it wasn’t. It was simply about not giving working women good swimming hours, which the court found to be discriminatory against Women”GL analysis
A country place condominium association will likely have to pay the legal fees incurred by this case.