Montana Leave Laws




Vacation Leave

In Montana, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. MT Dept. of Labor and Industry FAQ; See Langager v. Crazy Creek Products, Inc., 287 Mont. 445; 954 P.2d 1169 (Mt. Sup. Ct. 1998). If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its employment contract or established policy. MT Dept. of Labor and Industry FAQ.



Once an employee earns vacation leave, it cannot be forfeited for any reason. MT Dept. of Labor and Industry FAQ; See Langager v. Crazy Creek Products, Inc., 287 Mont. 445; 954 P.2d 1169 (Mt. Sup. Ct. 1998). This means an employee must be paid for all accrued vacation pay upon separation from employment, regardless of the reason. MT Dept. of Labor and Industry FAQ; See Langager v. Crazy Creek Products, Inc., 287 Mont. 445; 954 P.2d 1169 (Mt. Sup. Ct. 1998).

An employer cannot require an employee to comply with specific requirements in order to receive accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment, such as giving timely notice or not being terminated. MT Dept. of Labor and Industry FAQ; See Langager v. Crazy Creek Products, Inc., 287 Mont. 445; 954 P.2d 1169 (Mt. Sup. Ct. 1998).

An employer may place a reasonable cap on the vacation leave an employee can accrue. MT Dept. of Labor and Industry FAQ.

An employer cannot implement a “˜use it or lose it’ vacation policy requiring employees to use their vacation leave by a set date or lose it. MT Dept. of Labor and Industry FAQ; See Langager v. Crazy Creek Products, Inc., 287 Mont. 445; 954 P.2d 1169 (Mt. Sup. Ct. 1998).



Sick Leave

Montana law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. MT Dept. of Labor and Industry FAQ. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in Montana may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.



Holiday Leave

Montana law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. MT Dept. of Labor and Industry FAQ In Montana, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays. A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

State holidays

Visit our Montana State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of Montana as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.



Jury Duty Leave

An employer is not required to pay an employee any wages for time spent complying with a jury summons or serving on a jury.

An employer shall not terminate or take any adverse action against an employee on account of that employee’s receipt of and/or response to a jury summons or for serving on a jury. Montana Stat. 39-2-904



Voting Leave

Montana does not have a law that requires an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.



Bereavement Leave

Montana law does not require employers to provide employees bereavement leave or leave to attend funerals. Bereavement leave is leave that is taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative. Employers may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice they maintain.