NYC apartment rentals company, Apartment Rentals, has filed a $15 million federal lawsuit against the city, the New York Police Department and other defendants for allegedly violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by denying them the right to refuse service to African Americans.
The suit was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which includes the Bronx and Queens boroughs.
It’s the first such federal lawsuit to be filed against a publicly traded corporation.
Apartment rental companies have faced lawsuits from the Trump administration before, and the lawsuit could be the first time they’ve faced a lawsuit of this scale, said a person familiar with the matter.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the suit is not public.
Apod rent a total of 4,000 apartments, about 100 of which are in New York.
It has a total revenue of about $100 million.
Apody is a privately held company with assets of about £40 million, according to a public company filing last month.
A company spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A spokeswoman for the city Department of Investigation declined to comment.
In January, Apod announced it would no longer rent apartments to African-Americans because of concerns about crime.
Apods founder and CEO David Kallman, a white man, said the company was made aware of the allegations by a former African-American employee, who said Apod refused to rent apartments because of “the presence of two black employees” at the company.
A spokesman for the police department did not respond to requests for comment on the suit.
Apoyas lawyers did not return phone calls for comment Friday.
Apos have also faced criticism for a discriminatory policy of refusing to rent to African American men and women, and in November, Apods CEO Kallmann was fired after a public outcry over the policy.