Montana Wage Payment Laws




Frequency of Wage Payments

Montana law does not specify the frequency with which an employer must pay employees. If an employer has not established a time period or time when wages are due and payable, the pay period is presumed to be semimonthly in length. An employer must pay wages within 10 days after the end of the pay period in which they are earned. If an employee fails to submit a time sheet by the time designated by the employer, the employer may pay the employee the wages at the time it pays wages for the next pay period. Montana Stat. 39-3-201; Montana Stat. 39-3-204




Manner of Wage Payments

An employer may pay wages by:

  • cash
  • check redeemable at face value without deduction or fee
  • direct deposit, if agreed to voluntarily by the employee in writing or electronically, if the electronic record is retained.

Montana Stat. 39-3-204



Direct Deposit

An employer can pay employees by direct deposit, so long as the employee has agreed in writing. Montana Stat. 39-3-204 An employer may not require an employee to be paid by direct deposit.



Payment upon Separation from Employment

Employees who are fired, discharged, terminated, or laid off

When an employer discharges or lays off an employee, the employer must pay the employee all wages due immediately upon separation, unless the employer has a written personnel policy that extents the time for payment of final wages to the employee’s next regular payday or within 15 days, whichever occurs first. Montana Stat. 39-3-205

Employees who quit or resign

When an employee quits, the employer must pay the employee all wages due by the next regular payday or within 15 days, whichever occurs first. Montana Stat. 39-3-205

Employees who are suspended or resigns due to a labor dispute (strike)

Montana does not have a law specifically addressing the payment of wages to an employee who leaves employment due to a labor dispute, however, to ensure compliance with known laws, an employer should pay employee all wages due by the next regular payday or within 15 days, whichever occurs first. Montana Stat. 39-3-205



Wages in Dispute

Montana does not have any laws requiring an employer to pay an employee wages conceded to be due when involved in a wage dispute with the employee.



Deductions from Wages

An employer may not deduct or withhold any part of an employee’s wages for the following reasons:

  • cash shortages,
  • lost or stolen property,
  • damage to property,
  • any other claimed indebtedness running from employee to employer.

Montana Attorney General Opinion No. 17, Volume 36; MT Dept. of Labor & Ind. FAQ

If an employee is discharged by reason of an allegation of theft of the employer’s property connected to the employee’s work, the employer may withhold from the employee’s final paycheck an amount sufficient to cover the value of the theft if:

  • the employee consents in writing, or
  • the employer files a report of the theft with a local law enforcement agency within seven (7) day of the discharge. If no charges are filed against the employee for theft within fifteen (15) days of the filing of the report with a local law enforcement agency, the employer must pay the employee all wages due upon expiration of the 15-day period.

Montana Stat. 39-3-205



Uniforms, Tools, and Other Equipment Necessary for Employment

Montana does not have any laws prohibiting an employer from requiring an employee to purchase a uniform, tools, or other items necessary for employment.



Pre-hire Medical, Physical, or Drug Tests

An employer may not require an employee or applicant for employment to pay the cost of a medical examination or the cost of furnishing any records of such examination as a condition of employment. Montana Stat. 39-2-301



Notice of Wage Reduction

An employer must, on written demand, prior to the commencing of work, notify each employee as to the rate of wages to be paid. Such notification must be in writing to each employee or by posting of notice in a conspicuous place. Montana Stat. 39-3-203



Statement of Wages (Pay Stub)

An employer must, when paying wages, give to employees an itemized statement setting forth moneys deducted because of state and federal income taxes, social security, or any other deductions together with the amount of each deduction. If the employees wages do not have any deductions, the employer must provide a statement that there were no deductions. Montana Stat. 39-3-101



Record Keeping Requirements

An employer must maintain and preserve for at least three years payroll or other records containing the following information and data with respect to each and every employee to whom the minimum wage law applies:

  • Name in full, and on the same record, the employee’s identifying symbol or number if such is used in place of name on any time, work, or payroll records. This shall be the same name as that used for Social Security record purposes,
  • Home address, including zip code,
  • Date of birth,
  • Sex and occupation in which employed (sex may be indicated by use of the prefixes Mr., Mrs., or Miss),
  • Time of day and day of week on which the employee’s workweek begins. If the employee is part of a work force or employed in or by an establishment all of whose workers have a workweek beginning at the same time on the same day, a single notation of the time of the day and beginning day of the workweek for the whole workforce or establishment will suffice. If, however, any employee or group of employees has a workweek beginning and ending at a different time, a separate notation shall then be kept for that employee or group of employees.
  • Regular hourly rate of pay, and length of pay period, or for bona fide executive, administrative or professional employees, the basis on which wages are paid,
  • Hours worked each workday and total hours worked each workweek (for purposes of this section, a “workday” shall be any consecutive 24 hours), except for bona fide executive, administrative or professional employees,
  • total daily or weekly straight-time earnings or wages, except for bona fide executive, administrative or professional employees,
  • Total weekly overtime compensation, except for bona fide executive, administrative or professional employees,
  • Total additions to or deductions from wages paid each pay period. Every employer making additions to or deductions from wages shall also maintain, in individual employee accounts, a record of the dates, amounts, and nature of the items which make up the total additions and deductions, except for bona fide executive, administrative or professional employees,
  • Total wages paid each pay period,
  • Date of payment and the pay period covered by payment.

Montana Administrative Rules 24.16.6102



Notice Requirements

An employer must, on written demand, prior to the commencing of work, notify each employee as to the rate of wages to be paid, whether by the hour, day, week, month, or year, and date of paydays. Such notification must be in writing to each employee or by posting of notice in a conspicuous place. Montana Stat. 39-3-203