All Montana employees have a number of rights as workers – protection from discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination, among others. No employer can break these rights – not even the government.
This was proven recently when Missoula County announced that it would pay $60,000 as part of a settlement with a local sheriff’s deputy. The deputy had filed a lawsuit against the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, alleging she had been discriminated against when she was repeatedly questioned about a kiss she shared with another deputy.
The other deputy was married, and the kiss occurred at a time when he failed to respond to an emergency call. According to the woman, department officials questioned her at length about the incident, even after it was clear that her testimony could provide no further proof that she violated department policy. She filed a lawsuit against the office, claiming humiliation and breach of privacy rights.
Last month, the local sheriff announced that the county would pay $60,000 to settle the case with the deputy. According to the sheriff, this is not just about compensating the deputy for the injustice that had been leveled against her. It was about fostering a more compassionate work environment.
“My job as sheriff is not just to provide leadership and a new direction, but also lay out the expectations of how we are going to treat each other,” he said in a public statement.
This case is an example of the positive effects that an employment law case can have in a workplace. In addition to compensating the victim for his or her losses, a lawsuit will often compel employers to take swift action to reform negative behavior and policies in their organizations.
If you have an employment concern, the experienced attorneys at Tipp & Buley are here to help. To schedule a one-on-one consultation at our Missoula law office, contact us online or call 406-389-4215. We look forward to protecting your rights.
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