Tucson, Arizona - Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced the Attorney General’s Office Civil Rights Division (Division) has settled an employment discrimination charge based on race on behalf of a victim against Tucson Recovery Villa Maria, formerly known as Unhooked Recovery, Inc. d/b/a Unhooked Recovery Villa Maria (Unhooked Recovery), which operates residential alcohol and substance abuse programs at its locations in Mesa and Tucson.
On January 7, 2020, a woman filed a charge of discrimination with the Division alleging that her employer, Unhooked Recovery, discriminated against her by creating a hostile work environment because of her race and retaliated against her for engaging in protected activity, all in violation of the Arizona Civil Rights Act.
“It is unconscionable and illegal for Arizonans to be subjected to different terms or conditions of employment based solely on their race,” said Attorney General Brnovich. "Our office is dedicated to investigating and confronting claims of racial discrimination to see that justice is served.”
Unhooked Recovery agreed to pay the victim $75,000. Unhooked Recovery also agreed to create policies that clearly prohibit discrimination and harassment based on an individual’s race, disability, national origin, color, sex, religion, genetic testing, and age, along with policies that clearly prohibit retaliation against any employee or applicant for engaging in protected activity. These policies will be included in Unhooked Recovery’s employment handbook and will be made available to all new employees within thirty (30) days of hire.
Unhooked Recovery is also required to provide its employees with the Attorney General's Civil Rights Division’s anti-discrimination pamphlet, as well as provide ways to lodge a complaint about workplace discrimination. Additionally, Unhooked Recovery must provide training on Arizona and federal civil rights laws, which will include Unhooked Recovery’s anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, and anti-retaliation policies and procedures.
This case was overseen by AGO Civil Litigation Division Chief Counsel Joseph Sciarrotta and Civil Rights Division Chief Counsel Rebekah Browder, and handled by CRD Assistant Attorney General Kristi Mehes and Senior Litigation Counsel Chris Carlsen.
AGO Civil Rights Division
The mission of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office Civil Rights Division is to enforce civil rights laws, increase public awareness of civil rights, provide dispute resolution services, and offer community services throughout Arizona.
In FY2020, the Division investigated 2,271 charges alleging discrimination. In order to effectuate an expeditious and just result, the Division seeks to resolve disputes through various forms of conflict resolution. Additionally, the Division resolved 106 charges of discrimination through mediation, conciliation, or litigation settlements. As a result of these efforts, the Division obtained a total of $1,020,628.46 in monetary relief for Charging Parties, future monitoring and enforcement activities, and a wide variety of injunctive relief to prevent future civil rights violations.
Recently, the Arizona Attorney General's Office worked with the state legislature to introduce legislation that added pregnancy discrimination protections to Arizona's Civil Rights laws. The bill was recently signed by the Governor and will take effect later this year.