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HOFFMAN & LAZEAR: LEADING MORTGAGE LENDER NAMED IN SEXUAL HARASSMENT SUIT

 OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Courtesy Funding Corp., a division of a leading California mortgage lending institution, has been named in a federal civil suit alleging sexual harassment and sex discrimination, according to the law firm of Hoffman & Lazear. The complain was filed on Jan. 5, 1994, in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
 According to the complaint, the plaintiff, a longtime female resident of Walnut Creek, claims that Dean Kanat, assistant vice president and branch manager at Courtesy Funding, repeatedly made inappropriate sexual remarks and unwanted sexual advances. The plaintiff also claims that Kanat, her direct supervisor, told potential clients that she would provide sexual favors in exchange for new business. Kanat retaliated when the plaintiff refused his advances.
 The plaintiff was employed as a highly paid wholesale loan account executive with Courtesy Funding from September 1990 through March of 1993. The suit alleges that when she refused to participate in sexual activity with Kanat, he reduced her sales territory, directly and significantly reducing her income. The plaintiff resigned from Courtesy Funding in March of 1993.
 "We have material witnesses who will show that Kanat's behavior was so outrageous that the jury will have no choice but to find in favor of my client," said H. Tim Hoffman, the plaintiff's attorney. Hoffman added, "Kanat told plaintiff's clients that she would engage in sexual favors for business. This is outrageous conduct which we believe will result in a punitive damages award which will send a signal to employers that sexual harassment will not be tolerated. The conditions under which she was forced to work were such that her only option was to leave."
 According to the suit, Courtesy Funding maintained no express or implied policy to deal with issues of sexual harassment or discrimination, contrary to state and federal law. The plaintiff is seeking an unspecified amount of damages.
 Courtesy Funding is a subsidiary of Directors Mortgage, a leading mortgage lending institution, which employs hundreds of people and holds assets of more than 14 billion dollars.
 Hoffman & Lazear, the law firm representing the plaintiff, is an Oakland firm specializing in employment law and plaintiffs' litigation.
 -0- 1/5/94
 /CONTACT: H. Tim Hoffman of Hoffman & Lazear, 510-763-5700/


CO: Courtesy Funding Corp.; Directors Mortgage ST: California IN: INS SU:

LW-TM -- SF017 -- 9482 01/05/94 16:46 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 5, 1994
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