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Crow Tribe of Montana

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Nearly 60 former employees of the Crow Tribe are asking the U.S. District Court for severance pay and damages on grounds they were wrongfully fired when a new administration took over in July 2000. The employees argue in a new lawsuit that the tribe failed to follow its own policies in terminating them, and that promises of severance pay were not kept. According to the lawsuit by the 55 former workers, the tribe adopted a Crow Tribal Personnel Practices and Policy manual as part of the requirements for approval of expenditures by the Secretary of Interior. Among other things, the manual stated that the tribe must provide 15 days notice in advance of a layoff; layoffs were to be

based on seniority ranking, which would also allow senior employees to bump junior employees from their positions; and re-employment notices were to be sent to qualified former employees when positions were to be filled. The employees assert they were given no notice of the layoffs; that people with less seniority have been retained or hired; and that they were not notified through the tribe when jobs were available. Individuals are asking for severance packages ranging from $824 to $10,000 and damages to be set by a jury for wrongful discharge and violation of their employment rights.