Employees File Class Action Lawsuit Against Missoula Community Medical Center |

Employees of Community Medical Center in Missoula have filed a class action lawsuit against the for-profit health care company for not paying them properly for about two months.

The lawsuit, filed by attorneys Nate McConnell and Raph Graybill, claims CMC knew about the situation, and it resulted in incorrect salaries amounting to more than $100,000.

Calls made to the community medical center were not returned Thursday morning.

The problem took shape in early December when software maker Kronos was the target of a ransomware attack that blocked customers from accessing payroll information and data. Many healthcare and government organizations, as well as private industry, use the software. Different Montana health systems reported a similar outage, but also said they were making arrangements to calculate payroll differently.

The community medical center informed employees of the situation, asked them to keep a paper attendance sheet, but also said that complete and correct pay checks would not be available until the end of January.

The issue with Kronos has been resolved, but the lawsuit claims that many Community employees were not and were not paid properly.

The lawsuit alleges that even though CMC told employees to complete and keep paper timecards, the organization did not use them when the system was restored to calculate paychecks, which likely resulted in an accounting inaccurate and underestimated time.

“Community Medical Center had reason to believe that since December 12, 2021, many of its employees’ paychecks were inaccurate and did not comply with state law,” the suit states. “CMC had the means to accurately calculate plaintiffs’ and all other employees’ paychecks and pay them in a timely manner as required by state law.”

Lawyers representing the employees say Montana is demanding full payment within 10 working days and are asking the court to impose penalties for violating the wage law.

Initially, nurses at the hospital were among the first to worry about the issue. The Montana Nurses Association stepped in and threatened legal action. Ultimately, community medical center leaders agreed to hire a third-party auditor to verify the accuracy of nurses’ salaries, which can often have variable pay rates depending on overtime hours, days of the week and tasks.

However, this lawsuit would make more than 1,000 people employed at Community Medical Center eligible if certified as a class action. Cheyanne Hamilton-Stuart, a surgical technician, is one of the plaintiffs suing. another is Natalie Scott, a nurse.

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