Complaints from two different clients led to two very different results for two Brown Harris Stevens agents in the Hamptons.

Shancey Crowder, a Black woman, soon faced firing after a homeowner’s daughter called a senior executive to report being “rudely treated” on the phone with her agent. Crowder claimed in a subsequent wrongful termination lawsuit that she was treated differently because of her race, and the judge agreed, Nearly $800,000 in damages awarded.

“Shauncy is someone who, after being fired, could easily try to break in and cause damage,” Aspasia “Cia” Comnas wrote in a 2017 email, explaining why the company should have waited a few days before firing Claud.

Crowder, who joined the Southampton office in November 2016 and is the only black agent in all six of the branch’s offices, claims her manager treats her differently than her white colleagues. Throughout her time at the agency, she described in the lawsuit, senior executive director Robert Nelson would make comments about her race and refused to mentor her despite her repeated requests.

Her alleged experience at the company and being fired after a stressful phone call contrasted sharply with that of Christopher Burnside, a man often identified as white. people. top performer For the brokerage, despite multiple allegations of wrongdoing.

Burnside, who has been with BHS since 1999 and is the company’s third best-selling agent, remains employed after the homeowner sued him over an issue. Having “sex” with agent who is still working on his teamin their homes instead of holding open houses.

The discrepancy between the two cases raises questions about how the company, and the industry at large, treats surrogates, especially people of color, as the company continues to struggle with inclusion.

BHS declined to comment for this story.

tri state trouble

Allegations of racism have plagued brokerages in the tri-state area over the way they treat people of color both in and out of the office.

a three year Newsday’s investigation In 2019, brokers at several Long Island firms, including Douglas Elliman and Century 21, found they routinely steered black buyers away from predominantly white neighborhoods.

In the Hamptons, founder of luxury agency custom made facing allegations of racial discrimination.

A former attorney and executive of the company claimed in a March lawsuit Cody and Zachary Wiczynski Make overtly racist remarks and allow other employees to use racial slurs against black agent Jarrett Willis.Screenshots submitted last week new york supreme court The case details multiple incidents of such language, which the agency denies.

Industry membership and pay equality have become a national focus. Only 6% of realtors According to 2020 data from the National Association of Realtors, blacks are black compared to 14 percent of Americans. A poll The group found that white realtors earned about three times as much as their black colleagues.

In public, BHS was quick to emphasize equality.

“If you run a real estate business, you have to insist that your professionals treat everyone fairly,” CEO Beth Friedman told real deal exist reply Reports of racial discrimination against buyers by Long Island brokers. “You can’t tolerate anything else.”

Internally, the company’s behavior has been more ambiguous.

Crowder was fired after one complaint, while the agency stood by Burnside despite receiving multiple complaints from clients about his conduct, according to documents obtained. TRD.

Friedman sent an internal letter after a client lawsuit surfaced alleging Burnside had sex with his colleague Aubrey Peel at a client’s home in Southampton in May 2021. email from TRD Commit to investigate the situation.

real deal Brown Harris Stevens will not condone an incident of alleged misconduct involving our agents that was recently reported,” the email read, promising “an appropriate resolution will be reached as soon as possible.”

“BHS takes these allegations seriously and continues to investigate this matter internally,” the email continued.

It’s unclear whether Peel or Burnside were punished in any way, and the clients said in the lawsuit that they admitted the claims when confronted with surveillance footage. More than a year after the case was solved in secret, the two continued to work together.

The lawsuit follows Burnside’s mention in a 2019 complaint filed with the New York Department of Licensing Services involving another BHS broker. In the complaint, a client claims that BHS agent Jane Holden transferred her mother’s estate to Burnside’s wife, Rebecca Fenimore, at a substantial discount. Fenimore). After the customer complained, the contract was declared a failure.

New York’s Department of Licensing Services did not impose penalties on Holden for the complaint.

Burnside displayed similar dubious behavior in Crowder’s 2018 lawsuit when he stepped in, in violation of company policy, to list an exclusive property. Crowder asked her manager to fix the problem, but he only did so after the homeowner called to complain.

The nature of the brokerage business is also an obstacle to enforcing such lawsuits: Crowder tells New York Times She contacted more than 50 attorneys until her attorney, Dan Schreck, and former New York Attorney General Oliver Koppell agreed to take her case. Those who denied Crowder initially told her she probably wouldn’t win because so few discrimination cases involve independent contractors.

This is my first time in almost 20 years. ’” Schreck told The Times.

BHS rejected the allegations of wrongdoing and said it would appeal the court’s decision in Crowder’s case.

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