Gallatin County hit by lawsuit from former worker


BOZEMAN, Mont. - A former Gallatin County worker is suing after he says the county violated health privacy laws and wrongfully fired him.

According to the lawsuit, longtime Road and Bridge Superintendent Lee Walter Provance believes his rights under the American Disabilities Act (ADA) were violated.

The lawsuit alleges that Gallatin County began requiring employees to undergo blood testing in 2010 as part of a wellness program- and anyone who didn't volunteer to give blood would be fined $50 per month.

Provance said this was a violation of the ADA, and when he refused to cooperate, he said the county retaliated by criticizing him during a performance review.

He goes on to say that the county again overstepped their legal boundaries when he had surgery on his shoulder in August of 2012. The lawsuit documents state that a county worker  illegally contacted a physician about the details of Provance's surgery and recovery.

Provance said when he got upset at the county worker, Gallatin County again retaliated against him, this time suspending him for three days before firing him.

The suit goes on to say that Provance asked to return, which the county was going to allow, under certain conditions. Provance said he was going to be forced to take mental and physical evaluations that he felt violated his rights under the ADA.

Instead, Provance states in the lawsuit that he announced his retirement in October of 2012. He said a few days later, the county fired him.

Provance is suing for back pay, front pay, lost fringe benefits and compensation for emotional distress.

Click here to read the full lawsuit Lee Walter Provance filed against Gallatin County.

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