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Court Cases in the News

A state-by-state review of court cases pertaining to workplace rights.

Select your state from the map below or from this list. (If your state does not have any court cases, then the page will not scroll down when you click on the state.)


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Montana

Tire dealer to pay $185,000 in harassment case

Source: Associated Press, Forbes.com
Date: July 2, 2008

Les Schwab Tire Centers has agreed to pay $185,000 to settle a racial harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a former company employee in Kalispell, Mont. The case, filed in 2006, charged that Les Schwab failed to stop Earle Nevins' co-workers from calling him derogatory names and making insulting jokes about Native Americans.

Federal appeals court rules against workplace PC privacy

Source: Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle
Date: August 8, 2006

If you think the Web sites you access on your workplace computer are nobody else's business, think again. That was the message today from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which upheld a Montana man's conviction for receiving obscene material that his employer found on his computer during a late-night raid. Other courts have consistently ruled that employers are entitled to monitor their workers' use of computers as long as they had disclosed that policy to their workforce.

Court upholds discrimination claim in prostitution case

Source: Bob Anez, Billings Gazette
Date: March 9, 2005

The Montana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a woman who filed a discrimination complaint against operators of a Great Falls motel for allegedly offering her a maid's job if she also agreed to work as a prostitute. In a 4-1 ruling, the court said a district judge and Montana Human Rights Commission were wrong to throw out the claim of Nina Schmidt on the basis that the proposition made by the motel manager did not occur during an actual job interview. Schmidt's accusations against Elvin Cook were never disputed and she presented plenty of evidence to support a finding that he discriminated against her on the basis of sex by making her job contingent on her willingness to have sex for money, the court said.

Conoco ordered to pay in bias case

Source: Associated Press, Billings Gazette
Date: November 23, 2004

ConocoPhillips Inc. must pay a Billings [Montana] man more than $800,000 in damages for illegal discrimination by refusing to hire him 13 years ago at its Billings refinery, a judge has ordered. The decision last week comes more than three years after a court found ConocoPhillips guilty of discriminating against Gregg Hafner based on his disability, a knee injury that occurred in 1981. "This wasn't about money," Hafner said. "I filed suit because of the way they treated me." Hafner earned a master's degree in rehabilitative counseling and now works for [a company that] trains workers with disabilities.

State Supreme Court says crude behavior is not discrimination

Source: Bob Anez, Associated Press, Billings Gazette
Date: August 27, 2004

A divided Montana Supreme Court has thrown out a sexual discrimination claim filed by a man who claimed he was subjected to a barrage of sexual comments from male co-workers in a Missoula plumbing business. While the four-member majority concluded Travis Campbell failed to prove the vulgar and crude treatment was based on his sex, the three dissenting justices said they saw evidence the "base and degrading" conduct was heaped on Campbell because he was a male. The decision released Tuesday upholds rulings by the Montana Human Rights Commission and a lower court that the sexual remarks made to Campbell didn't cross the line from "male-on-male horseplay" at work to discriminatory conditions.

State Supreme Court says crude behavior is not discrimination

Source: Bob Anez, Associated Press, Billings Gazette
Date: August 27, 2004

A divided Montana Supreme Court has thrown out a sexual discrimination claim filed by a man who claimed he was subjected to a barrage of sexual comments from male co-workers in a Missoula plumbing business. While the four-member majority concluded Travis Campbell failed to prove the vulgar and crude treatment was based on his sex, the three dissenting justices said they saw evidence the "base and degrading" conduct was heaped on Campbell because he was a male. The decision released Tuesday upholds rulings by the Montana Human Rights Commission and a lower court that the sexual remarks made to Campbell didn't cross the line from "male-on-male horseplay" at work to discriminatory conditions.

Montana SBA Ordered to Repay Ousted Worker

Source: Associated Press, News19
Date: February 19, 2004

A federal judge has ordered the U-S Small Business Administration to pay more than half a million dollars in compensation to a Montana worker -- who claimed she was forced to quit because she wouldn't participate in a discrimination scheme. Mary Conway-Jepson alleges she was asked to help rid the S-B-A office of some of its male supervisors, because the district director thought there were too many men. The judge says there was a pattern of retaliation when Conway-Jepson refused, and she was eventually forced out in 1997.




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