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Missoula County May be Involved in Lawsuit Over Employee Complaints at Partnership Health Center

Missoula coutny Courthouse
Photo courtesy of SheldonPhotography/Flickr

A bevy of lawsuits have been filed against Missoula’s Partnership Health Clinic. The lawsuits represent a series of complaints including that Partnership has not paid employees for work they were required to do, and that employees were wrongfully terminated.

Now, it appears that Missoula County may be involved in the lawsuit.

“Partnership Health Center is a division of the Missoula City-County Health Department, and as such, all employees are Missoula county employees,” said Missoula City-County Health Department director Ellen Leahy.

Partnership Health Center Executive Director Kim Mansch has been accused of fostering a hostile work environment. Even though she is an employee of Missoula County, she was given her position by an independent board and was not appointed by the county itself. Because Partnership Health Center is part of a federal program it abides by federal rules, one of which is that staffing must be handled by an independent board composed by a majority of individuals that use the services of Partnership Health Center.

When asked if she had heard any complaints about Partnership Health, Leahy said she could not comment.

“What I am required to do is not speak about the complaints, even if the complainants themselves do that, that doesn’t give me the legal license to speak about them” Leahy said. “I have to hold them in confidence. I will say, however, that the lawsuits were filed in district court, there were six, and currently there are only two grievances in process.”

Lawyer Elizabeth Best, who is representing the plaintiffs, also refused to comment on the case other than to say that “the complaints of my clients speak for themselves.”

So far, Leahy says Missoula County has not been served with a lawsuit.

Ellen Leahy

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