Articles Posted in Employment Law

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In 2002, Elizabeth “Betsy” Baumgart was appointed to be the administrator of the Montana Tourism and Promotion Division of the Department of Commerce (DOC). In 2010, after Dore Schwinden was appointed as DOC director, Schwinden terminated Baumgart’s employment, citing a lack of management competencies and sufficient understanding of the Division’s budgeting process. Baumgart sued the DOC and Schwinden, individually and as DOC’s agent, alleging that DOC wrongfully discharged her and discriminated against her on political grounds because she was a Republican and Schwinden was a Democrat. The district court granted DOC’s motion for summary judgment as it pertained to Baumgart’s political affiliation discrimination claims and all claims against Schwinden. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) because Baumgart failed to establish a prima facie case for political discrimination, the district court did not err in granting DOC’s motion for summary judgment on this issue; (2) the district court correctly dismissed the individual claims against Schwinden, as Schwinden was entitled to statutory immunity under the circumstances of this case; and (3) the district court correctly concluded that the DOC had good cause to terminate Baumgart.View "Baumgart v. Dep’t of Commerce" on Justia Law

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Appellant was an officer with the Glacier County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) from 1995 to 2010 and occasionally investigated the deaths of people he knew. In 2010, Appellant pled guilty to two misdemeanors and resigned from the GCSO. In 2011, Appellant applied for disability retirement benefits from the Sheriffs’ Retirement Systems, alleging that he was permanently disabled due the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) he developed while working at the GCSO. The Montana Public Employees’ Retirement Board (PERB) denied Appellant’s disability claim, concluding that Appellant’s PTSD was not permanently disabling. The district court affirmed PERB’s decision to deny benefits. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not misapprehend the effect of the evidence presented and properly determined that the findings of PERB were not clearly erroneous.View "Fauque v. Mont. Pub. Employees Ret. Bd." on Justia Law