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Terry Goddard Announces Settlement of Sex Harassment Lawsuit

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Jan. 17, 2008) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced a settlement resolving a sexual harassment lawsuit against Drexel Diesel Service, L.L.C. and Drexel Service Center, L.L.C. The lawsuit alleged that owner, Jim Carrillo, Sr., sexually harassed Lizzie Brown and Marilyn Alvarez, two female employees, by subjecting them to unwelcome and offensive sexual comments, innuendos, touching and propositions for sex. It further alleged he retaliated against them for opposing the harassment.

Drexel Diesel Service and Drexel Service Center are Tucson-based companies owned by family members. Brown and Alvarez worked for Drexel Diesel Service as secretaries. In October 2006, they filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the company. The Attorney General’s Office filed a subsequent lawsuit following an investigation by the Civil Rights Division. The lawsuits were later consolidated into one action.

The lawsuits alleged that Carrillo, Sr. made frequent and numerous sexually offensive comments, touched both women inappropriately and propositioned them, resulting in a hostile work environment.

According to court documents, in October 2005 Brown complained to Jim Carrillo, Jr., another owner of the company, about his father’s offensive conduct in the workplace. When Carrillo, Jr. told his father about her complaints, Carrillo, Sr. allegedly retaliated by terminating Brown’s employment, failing to pay both women’s final wages and filing a police report alleging financial improprieties.

“Arizona offers a unique protection against sexual harassment for women who work for small employers because the Arizona Civil Rights Act prohibits sexual harassment by employers with one or more employees,” Goddard said. “This type of behavior is not acceptable, and the settlement today is a great result.”

The consent decree requires Drexel Diesel Service and Drexel Service Center to:

  • Pay a confidential settlement amount to Alvarez and Brown and agree not to pursue any civil or criminal claims against either woman for alleged financial improprieties.
  • Institute and carry out an anti-harassment and retaliation policy.
  • Provide a copy of the new policy to existing and new employees.
  • Undergo individualized training and/or counseling about maintaining a harassment-free workplace.
  • Inform employees about the right to file a complaint of sexual harassment with the Attorney General’s Office or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Refrain from engaging in unlawful harassment.

The settlement was approved by Pima County Superior Court Judge Paul Tang. Assistant Attorney General Rose Daly-Rooney handled this case for the Attorney General’s Office. Brown and Alvarez were represented by Adam Watters.

The Attorney General’s Office enforces the Arizona Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age or the results of genetic testing. If you believe you are a victim of employment discrimination or harassment, contact the Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General’s Office to file a charge of discrimination at 602-542-5263 in Phoenix or 520-628-6500 in Tucson. You may also visit one of more than 36 statewide satellite offices or file a complaint online. For more information about filing a complaint online or satellite offices, please visit www.azag.gov.