Human Rights Commission

The Montana Human Rights Commission is composed of five members of the public appointed by the governor. The purpose of the Human Rights Commission is to sit in independent judgment of complaints of alleged discrimination. It is the role of the Commission to maintain the highest standards of objectivity and impartiality in fulfilling this duty.

The Department of Labor and Industry has an administrative process with several different levels. The Human Rights Commission is the last level in the administrative process. In the most general terms, the Human Rights Commission sits in independent judgment and offers an objective perspective on the work of the Department of Labor and Industry, Human Rights Bureau and the Hearings Bureau.

Commission hearings are generally held every other month in Helena, Montana. Typically, the Commission convenes in January, March, May, July, September, and November. The January 2024 agenda is now available.

The primary function of Commission meetings are to conduct hearings on: (1) objections by a Charging Party to a determination of the Human Rights Bureau to dismiss an action and/or (2) appeals from “Final Agency Decisions” issued by the Office of Administrative Hearings.

How to File an Objection and Brief to Appeal a No Cause Finding

Sample of Objection and Certificate of Service

Flow Chart for the Objection to a No Cause Finding

Flow Chart for the Appeal of a Hearing Officer Decision

Administrative Rules of the Human Rights Bureau

Current HRC Members

  • PETER M. DAMROW, Billings - is corporate counsel for SCL Health, a nonprofit healthcare system with a variety of hospitals, clinics, and outpatient facilities throughout Montana, Colorado, and Kansas. In this position, Peter supports SCL Health's operational functioning and provides regulatory, transactional, and other legal services in support of other system attorneys, care sites, and SCL Health care providers. Prior to SCL Health, Peter was an experienced litigator and practiced with the law firm of Hall & Evans LLC, a regional boutique insurance defense firm. Peter’s practice focused primarily on medical malpractice, professional and municipal liability, employment disputes, and commercial litigation. He represented healthcare providers, companies, municipalities, and other professionals through all phases of litigation in state and federal court, as well as through administrative hearings and has tried multiple cases before a jury. Peter has also successfully briefed numerous cases on appeal before the Montana Supreme Court. Peter grew up in Helena, Montana and obtained his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana. He attended law school at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle. While earning his law degree, Peter served as a Managing Editor of the Washington Law Review and graduated in the top-third of his class. Upon graduation, Peter was inducted into the Order of Barristers, a national honor society committed to encouraging and developing successful trial advocates. (Appointed January 2021.)
  • CURTIS T. ALMY, Miles City - owns and operates Sunrise Financial in Miles City, MT. He has served as a financial advisor since 1988 and is licensed to sell securities, life, and health insurance in multiple states. Curt also serves as a Court-appointed special advocate for children in the foster care system. He has served on various boards and councils, including the former Soil Conservation Service (SCS), the Miles City city council, Ismay Community church, and the Trails End Ranch Bible Camp. Curt also volunteers extensively at the Miles City Sacred Heart Parish School as the unicycle coach, having taught approximately 100 students to ride on one wheel. Curt grew up on his family’s ranch, Keystone Ranches, in Ismay, MT. He earned a BS in Agricultural Science from Montana State University and went on to build and own a successful 300-head hog finishing facility. He also organized the trucking and delivery of hogs from Eastern Montana to multiple national processing facilities. Curt holds a patent on his one-of-a-kind fencing staple called the Cat’s Claw Fastener. He partners with his daughter, Toby-Jeanne, in Cat’s Claw Fasteners LLC, co-managing the business and market expansion in the U.S. and Canada. Curt assisted his wife Patsy with her mother’s long-term health care needs, also helping to manage and maintain his mother-in-law’s Knowlton ranch property up until her death in 2018, after which the couple took up ownership. Curt also assists his father with business aspects of Keystone Ranches. Curt brings to the Human Rights Commission his life experience as a rancher, family man, business man, entrepreneur, inventor, laborer, marketer, land lord, employer, employee, and community volunteer. (Appointed January 2021.)

    BRIAN T. MOLINA, JR., Havre – Brian currently serves as a member of the executive leadership team for the Rocky Boy Health Center as Human Resources Director. Prior to joining the health center, Brian worked in executive leadership at the Chippewa Cree Tribe’s Human Services departments. Brian is a certified Human Resources professional with certifications from SHRM and RightPath Resources. In addition to holding a Master of Business Administration degree, he has also earned a Master of Science degree in Management and Leadership. Brian also holds undergraduate degrees from Montana State University-Northern in community leadership and criminal justice. Service to community and giving back has been an integral part of Brian’s life. Since 2018, Brian has served on the board of directors for the Chippewa Cree Community Development Corporation, the tribe’s economic development arm. Previously, Brian served as a commissioner and eventually chairman of the Chippewa Cree Tribal Judicial Commission which oversees the tribal court system on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation. Prior to his service on the Judicial Commission, Brian was admitted to practice as a lay advocate in the tribal court system, primarily representing and defending the Chippewa Cree Tribe’s interest in ensuring financial support for tribal children. Brian is an enrolled member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe and resides in Havre, Montana with his wife Jamie and children Zayn, Evan, and Helen. (Appointed January 2023.)

    RICHARD (RICK) BARTOS, Helena - Rick is a native of Montana.  He is the son of Polish immigrants who survived the Nazi Holocaust in World War II.  His mother was imprisoned in the Soldau Nazi Concentration Camp and survived the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.  His father survived forced labor camps. Rick graduated from Carroll College, Helena, Montana (magna cum laude).  He obtained his law degree from the University of Montana School of Law, with Honors.  He completed coursework for a Master’s Degree in education administration from both University of Montana and Montana State University.  Rick is admitted to all state and federal courts, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.  Rick served as Law Clerk for Justice John Harrison, Montana Supreme Court. Later, Rick served as Chief Legal Counsel for Montana’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction and as Special Assistant Attorney General for Montana.  He defended the first constitutional challenge on funding the state’s public elementary and secondary school system on issues of equality of educational opportunity. Rick represented Montana in gender equality cases including Ridgeway, et al.  v. Montana High School Association, et al.  a constitutional challenge on denial of equality of educational opportunity based on gender in extracurricular activities.  The litigation culminated in the Ridgeway Settlement Agreement defining how extracurricular sporting activities are conducted. Rick helped implement federal legislation protecting children with disabilities in Special Education. He drafted many of the original implementing administrative rules, created the special education due process hearings and trained administrative hearing officers. Rick taught graduate level school law classes to countless school teachers and administrators. He was guest lecturer for special education administrative judges at Seattle University School of Law. Rick served as Chief Legal Counsel for Governor Stan Stephens and was involved in a broad range of issues. Rick was appointed the first Bureau Chief of the Montana Adult Protective Services and was tasked with protecting the vulnerable aged and disabled, against mental and physical abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. Rick enjoys private practice. He volunteers countless pro bono hours.  His work with students and law and equal access to justice was recognized by receiving two Distinguished Service Awards from the State Bar of Montana. (Appointed January 2023.)

    Individual Commission members can be contacted by email at hrcappeals@mt.gov. In your message please specify which Commission member you would like to contact. For additional contact information on member terms, visit Office of the Governor - Boards, Councils and Commissions.

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