Skip to comments.$60,000 Fine for Small Talk
Posted on 01/29/2014 1:19:34 PM PST by massmike
In totalitarian regimes, it is best not to be too garrulous. Anything you say no matter how innocuous can and might be used against you. An example from the repressive dystopia known as Taxachusetts:
The seemingly innocent question posed by a Boston rental agent to Gladys Linder when they were searching for an apartment was Where are you from?
Venezuela, she answered.
Gladys and her husband went on to find an apartment a month later without further incident. But she found the question about her national origin insulting and upsetting.
This is Massachusetts, and you know what came next.
Stokel filed a complaint with the Boston Fair Housing Commission, claiming that rental agents question was discriminatory and caused her to suffer fear, anxiety and sleeplessness over a three-year period.
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 151B and the Boston Fair Housing Commission Regulations make it illegal for any licensed real estate broker to cause to be made any written or oral inquiry or record concerning . . . national origin.
Although this was the agents first discrimination complaint and there was no discriminatory impact on the tenants at all, the Commission found that the question itself was unlawful and issued one of the largest penalties I have seen in recent years $10,000 in emotional distress damages, plus $44,000 in attorneys fees and costs and a $7,500 civil penalty against the broker a whopping $61,500 in total liability for this single question, not to mention the tens of thousands the agent had to pay for defense legal fees.
The ruling can be found here: Linder v. Boston Fair Housing Commission, Mass. Appeals Court (Dec. 17, 2013).
Like Islam, Nazism, and Soviet communism, political correctness is a lunatic ideology that allows zero tolerance for what it defines as thought crimes. Given that we live in a society run by adherents to this malignant creed, it is best when talking to those you dont know well enough to trust to keep all communication down to single syllables, or if possible, noncommittal grunts.
Asking Where Are You From? Results In $60,000 Rental Discrimination Penalty
Another sh*tbag “immigrant”. This isn’t the days of Ellis Island anymore. We are importing our enemies.
I’ve had massachusetts real estate agents ask me what type of housing I was looking for and in what area of town. I found these questions insulting and upsetting and I suffered extreme emotional distress. Where is my money??
Geez... you can’t even be conversational anymore?
MAKE SURE THIS STAYS PUBLIC!
So everyone knows NOT TO talk to these ‘venezualans’ and risk $thousands to defend yourself for telling (ordering?) them to “have a nice day”
Now that I think of it, I remember ALL my real estate agenst asking me where I lived !
Prove you didn’t, sucka’s!
WHERE’S MY MONEY
Did they have any actual recorded proof that the agent asked them that question?
Does a Massachusetts statute override the agent’s first amendment rights to ask innocent questions of clients?
I guess I’ll add Massachusetts to the list of states that I refuse to ever visit.
At the last company where I worked, a Fortune 500 operation, they had a 10-15 page document that essentially told us what we could and could not discuss at work. No jokes, nothing about race, only work related topics. While it was the most professional-seeming place I’ve ever worked, it was cold. Almost nobody associated with anyone else after work. Very few conversations that were not work related. If somebody was going to say something personal they’d stand up, stretch and look around and then whisper it. (The wife and I are going fishing this weekend.)
What if you had a bumper sticker that reads: “Where are you from?”
and in subscript says “By the national associaition of geneology”
Probably fine worthy by the control freaks,...
“Gladys and her husband went on to find an apartment a month later without further incident. But she found the question about her national origin insulting and upsetting.”
Tea party Flash mobs in mall just walking around asking “Where are you from?” to the air....
Seems like an appropriate response.
...because there's no money in NOT being "offended"?
Unconstitutional. I know it is about what real estate agents can and can’t say because they are licensed, but you don’t give up your first amendment rights to get a license to simply sell homes.
I’d like to see the ACLU take up this case, all the way to the supreme court.
The problem isn’t the woman complaining. The problem is the Commission. There are all sorts of crazy and unreasonable people out there. The Commission should have protected the agent from such a person, rather than side with their lunacy.
Next it’ll be an offense to expect them to actually PAY FOR the house!
I don’t see anywere in that where the agent asked her nationality.
“Where are you from?” can mean “What US city are you from?”
But of course you have no defense in today’s PC mad world. If you are White or a business owner, you are wrong.
“Prove you didnt, suckas!”
Great point. What happens when it’s your word against theirs? Nevermind, I already know the answer.
Three years ago???? WTF?!!?
Unless it was in writing, the agent should just have denied any recollection of the incident, which he very likely DIDN’T remember.
If the tenant had said something like, “I’m new to the area” or “I’m new to the country,” “Where are you from?” would have been a very ordinary question to ask.
The Venezualen douchebag is exactly that....the
REAL problem would be the assclowns at the housing
commission who, upon hearing of the complaint, did
not IMMEDIATELY tell the bitch to STFU and drop dead
as being offended by someone’s statement is HER PROBLEM,
NOT THE STATE’S PROBLEM. It’s the liberal brain donors
infesting government agencies that enable and perpeuate
He needs a better lawyer. The prohibition is about origin. Where are you from doesn’t necessarily mean origin. I was born in the Midwest. If someone asks here I’m from, I say Connecticut.
Only a fool does business in such a place.
Oy vey. Genug shoyn!
“While it was the most professional-seeming place Ive ever worked, it was cold. Almost nobody associated with anyone else after work. Very few conversations that were not work related. “
Actually, as an employer, that is what you want. As a labor relations manager, most of the problems I had to deal with (EEO, grievances, arbitrations, NLRB complaints, etc.) started as gossip, personal conflicts, socializing, evangelizing and jokes. Sad to say, but true in my experience.
LOL, you really don’t even hear yourself anymore, do you.
“Actually, as an employer, that is what you want. As a labor relations manager, most of the problems I had to deal with (EEO, grievances, arbitrations, NLRB complaints, etc.) started as gossip, personal conflicts, socializing, evangelizing and jokes. Sad to say, but true in my experience.”
I remember seeing an interview with a German about his experience in the Hitler Youth. He said that most conversations were tense and went something like, “My, aren’t we having a great time here at youth camp.” People were terrified to say anything that could get them in trouble. A guy told me a joke, you would have thought it was a drug deal. “A man has Tom Jones disease. Doc, is that serous? Well, it’s not unusual.” He was actually sweating by the time he was done. The experience reminded me of stories told by somebody I knew who escaped from Soviet Russia.
This was the place where I was almost written up for an overheard conversation in the cafeteria at lunch about concealed carry. I got an embarrassing talk from a VP that the HR lady considered it unacceptable “offensive” talk.
Yeah, I’m old and senile. However, given the legal and regulatory environment we find ourselves in, as a representative of management with the businesses interest in mind, what would you recommend the workplace environment be like?
Also understand the real estate agent was expected to be knowledgeable of the regulatory and evolving litigation environment.
Kid comes home from school and says “Mommy, where do I come from”?
Mom goes on to explain how Mommy and Daddy, met, fell in love and went through the whole process.
Kid: “OK, just wondering because the new kid in class said he was from Brooklyn”.
You may have run across an officious HR type, there are a lot of them (power corrupts). I taught new supervisor training at a mine where I had worked as a laborer, miner and line supervisor. I taught that, particularly in a union environment, someone was listening to everything they said all the time. Things have only gotten worse since then with progressives sticking their regulative nose in everything. Closing you down would be the ultimate feather in their cap.
One of the problems with changing immigration laws to favor foreign wealthy folks and their slaves instead of immigration that favors husbands and wives of Americans.
I was referring to 1st Amendment issues.
Sadly, most people don’t consider that “reality” anymore. As a result, it’s not.
“A Republic, Madam, if you can keep it. “
The problem is the existance of the commission in the first place. The right to associate is also the right not to associate and that means *gasp* discriminate. The idea that the government should use force to keep people from discriminating is what has led to the proliferation of committees such as these. It is also the driving force behind “human rights” commissions like the one in Colorado that would enslave a baker and force him to provide his labor for a homosexual ceremony, an act that his conscience prohibits.
Racism is bad. Sexism is bad. Bigotry is bad. But none compare in damage to laws that punish people for having these views, becuase the logical conclusion of putting the power to punish discrimination in the hands of government is exactly what we see in this article.
My wife has an Antique Store. We have a guest book asking people to sign in with information about where they are from.
If someone is in the store with a strange accent we always ask them to sign the book. We do this because we want to know our clients and others that come in the store are intrigued by the many nationalities and States of our customers.
I guess this makes me a discriminatory racist homophobic or worse.
Oddly enough some of our best customers are gay. They are treated with absolute respect and courtesy and without exception they are polite and respectful. A few are our friends. When it comes to business their is only one color and sexuality. The color is the green of dollar bills and I have always found dollars very sexual.
I find the term “master bedroom” distressing. Even worse is to shorten it to “master”, as in “Do you like the Master?”.
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