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Supreme Court rejects ex-spokeswoman's lawsuit against state Disaster and Emergency Services

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HELENA, Montana — The Montana Supreme Court says a former Disaster and Emergency Services spokeswoman waited too long to sue over claims that her job was eliminated because she spoke against sexual favoritism at work.

Monique Lay was fired in 2012 in a DES restructuring. She filed complaints with the state and then in District Court alleging the termination was actually in retaliation for objecting to another DES employee receiving special treatment because she was having sex with the chief of staff.

Lay claimed her lawsuit was about violations of her constitutional right to due process. The Supreme Court disagreed Wednesday, ruling the case boiled down to allegations of retaliation and unlawful discrimination.

Those allegations fall under the Montana Human Rights Act, and Lay did not file her claim within the 90 days required by the act.

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