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Attorney General's Office Settles Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit with Tucson Holiday Inn Express Hotel

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Oct. 18, 2005)  Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced a settlement with Tucson Holiday Inn Express hotel located on West Grant Road. The consent decree settles a September 2005 lawsuit alleging the hotel violated the civil rights of a former front desk clerk who was fired after notifying her general manager she was pregnant.

In April 2004, the employee informed her supervisor she was pregnant, and was terminated days later.  The Attorney General’s investigation found insufficient evidence to substantiate the reason the hotel gave for firing the employee, and in September 2005 the Attorney General’s Office issued a “Reasonable Cause Determination” notice allowing the lawsuit to be filed.

“This case represents one of the more insidious forms of sex discrimination,” Goddard said.  “The Arizona Civil Rights Act is intended to prohibit this kind of practice.”

The settlement also includes an injunction against the hotel prohibiting any further discrimination against any employee on the basis of sex. If the hotel violates this injunction any time over the next three years, the hotel will be fined $20,000 for the first offense, and $25,000 for any additional violations.

The consent decree also requires the hotel to:

  • Pay the former employee back pay of $9,500.
  • Adopt a sex discrimination policy within the next 30 days.  The policy must prohibit sex discrimination and should clarify that women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated equally for all employment related purposes.  The Arizona Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division must approve the policy.
  • Train current managers and supervisors on the new sex discrimination policy within the next 45 days.
  • Pay the Attorney General’s Office Civil Rights Division $1,500 to monitor compliance.

The Arizona Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age and physical and mental disability. Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against may file a charge with the Attorney General’s Office. For more information, visit the Attorney General’s Web site at www.azag.gov.