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Court awards former Senate Dem staffer $1M

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By Julia Shumway Arizona Capitol Times

The Arizona Senate fired a former Democratic policy advisor because she complained that she was being paid less because of her race and gender, a federal court ruled Friday evening. 

Court awards former Senate Dem staffer $1M

Talonya Adams

A U.S. District Court jury awarded Talonya Adams $1 million, according to court documents filed Monday. The jury found that Adams, a black attorney who was fired in 2015 after asking about a raise, had been discriminated against because of her race and gender.

According to court documents, Adams worked for the Senate from December 2012 until February 2015 as a Democratic policy advisor, earning $60,000 per year during her whole tenure. Adams also ran for a seat in the House in 2018, finishing last in a four-way primary in Legislative District 27. 

A few weeks before she was fired, she emailed Minority Chief of Staff Jeff Winkler and then-Minority Leader Katie Hobbs with concerns about her committee workload and whether she was being paid accurately because her timesheets only reflected eight hours of work per day. Adams then met with Senate Chief of Staff Wendy Baldo, who oversees all employees, to discuss those concerns in early February.


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  • Published: 12 months ago on July 15, 2019
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  • Last Modified: July 15, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
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