A reckoning, we hope, at the National Association of Realtors

There is a shake-up in leadership at the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors, and we’d say it’s way overdue.

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The National Association of Realtors building, located at 430 N. Michigan Ave, Monday, Aug. 28, 2023. | Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

The National Association of Realtors building, located at 430 N. Michigan Ave.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

There is a shake-up in leadership at the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors, and we’d say it’s way overdue.

The group’s president, Kenny Parcell, resigned Monday, two days after the New York Times reported that more than two dozen employees and company officials had for years complained of sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation by Parcell and others. He denied all allegations.

The sheer number of complaints reeks of toxicity at the NAR.

Parcell allegedly put his hands down his pants and simulated masturbation in front of a female colleague, engaged in unsolicited physical contact and sent two employees a lewd photo. After former NAR employee Janelle Brevard broke off a sexual relationship with Parcell, he retaliated against her, she said in a lawsuit.

Editorial

Editorial

The NAR “does not tolerate discrimination, harassment or retaliation,” the nonprofit said in a statement following Parcell’s resignation.

“Any incident is one too many.”

If that really were the case, Parcell’s accusers would argue that he would have been shown the door much earlier.

We’d like to think sexual harassment claims in the workplace are taken much more seriously since the #MeToo movement began holding people in power accountable for harassment.

Then a case like this comes along and makes you wonder.

Last year a Pew Research Center survey found that seven in 10 adults believe that those who sexually harass or assault people in the workplace are more likely to be held responsible than before #MeToo took hold in 2017.

Slighter fewer — six in 10 — said that people who report harassment or assault at work are now more likely to be believed.

Just last month, Northwestern University’s longtime football coach Pat Fitzgerald was fired following the student newspaper’s report detailing hazing allegations, including sexualized hazing. The perception is that Northwestern wanted to move on fast rather than address a world of hurt for victims.

It looks to us as though the NAR had wanted to do the same.

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