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Cresa Settles With Broker Who Claimed Sexual Harassment And Discrimination


Tenant representation brokerage Cresa has settled with a former broker who sued the firm, claiming that she had been discriminated against, harassed and denied the ability to advance her career because of her gender and sexuality.

The terms of the settlement were not made public, The Real Deal reports, but at least one of the principals named in the lawsuit will remain at the firm’s New York City office.

Office leasing broker Jamie Addeo, a bisexual woman, last year filed a lawsuit against the company naming three managing principals: James Pirot, Matthew Feeney and Eric Thomas. She alleged that “the work environment within Cresa is openly hostile toward women and geared toward promoting and advancing only male employees,” according to TRD.

Addeo said she had not been given equal pay and was not allowed to advance to the position of principal. Addeo — who is now running her own office leasing brokerage in Long Island City — also said Pirot made denigrating comments about gay women.

In March, Bisnow examined the systemic gender pay gap in commercial real estate and the complex reasons why it is so difficult to fix. Women earn a median wage of $115K, compared to $150K for men, according to Commercial Real Estate Women Network’s most recent benchmark study, released in 2015.

Commercial real estate remains male-dominated, and men and women across industry spoke to Bisnow earlier this year about the continuing “boys' club” culture, and the ways the #MeToo movement has and has not changed people’s behaviors and attitudes.

In New York City, there have been a number of recent allegations of sexual harassment in the industry’s upper echelons. A former creative director at The Lightstone Group filed a lawsuit claiming, among other things, the firm’s president, Mitchell Hochberg, called her “sexy."