Hello Nadeen, Short-time reader of your Fair Housing Blog on ForRent.com, and I must say I’ve learned a lot from you! The most important, I think, is “check with your local attorney/local laws.” That being said, is advertising a Preferred Employer Program a potential violation of Fair housing Laws? We market this program toward particular large employers in our area, like a certain computer mega-corporation, or a well-known aerospace manufacturer, or even a little coffee chain you might have heard of popping up on every block. We also have military specials, honoring our men and women in uniform (and their families). Are we (or anyone else with a similar program) opening ourselves up for a venti-sized lawsuit by offering concessions to people who work for these employers? Sincerely, Confused in the Emerald City Jay Koster Leasing Agent
Dear Confused: “Certain large employers”?  Seems to me those would likely be “certain humongous employers”.  But, I digress and actually in this context size does not matter.  What matters is the reality or perception of that company in the eyes of the public.  For example, If the company is a restaurant chain in the news because they are being sued for not waiting on African Americans in their restaurants, you would not advertise a special for their corporate employees. My general rule of thumb (i.e. the rule of Fair Housing Lady) if a company, organization, entity, whatever, hires (as they should) notwithstanding a person’s race, color, religion, etc., then a special targeted to their employees should be fine.   The same concept of “what is really the message” can be applied to referring to “landmarks” in the area as well, such as particular schools, a golf club, etc.  Don’t use “landmarks” that are affiliated with only certain groups or with issues involving their students, their members, etc.  (If “everyone knows” that the golf club only accepts white members, “what is really the message” for choosing that reference in promoting an apartment community?) Well, that was the long answer, and hopefully I have not confused you more, dear Confused. The short answer is that based on my astute analysis and deductions drawn from your non-identifying descriptions below, I believe offering specials to those employers would be fine.     As always, FHL c

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