Montana Labor Laws 2024 | Wage and Hour Laws in Montana


Montana Labor Laws

Montana labor laws, including Montana labor laws 2024, impact the daily lives of employees and employers in Montana. Residents of Montana have many questions that affect them every day regarding Montana labor laws from minimum wage rates, overtime, wage payments, vacation and sick leave, child labor, meal and rest breaks, and more.

In addition to Montana labor laws, employer must also comply with federal labor laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and many other federal laws. And when federal laws are different from state Montana labor laws, usually companies must comply with the law that provides their workers the best protection.

Below we provide comprehensive information and resources regarding your more pressing Montana labor law questions to help you answer the question and help you make the right decision about you and your employment.



Minimum Wage

Montana’s current minimum wage is $9.20 for employers with gross annual receipts of more than $110,000. For employers with gross annual receipts of $10,000 or less, the minimum wage is $4.00. MT Dept. of Labor: Minimum Wage.

For more information on Montana’s minimum wage laws, visit our Montana Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.

Related topics covered on other pages include:


Overtime

Montana labor laws require employers to pay employees overtime at a rate of 1½ time their regular rate when they work more than 40 hours in a work week, unless otherwise exempt. MT Dept. of Labor: Overtime. See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.


Prevailing Wages

Under certain circumstances, employers in Montana may be required to pay residents wage rates established by the federal or state prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the state’s standard minimum wage rates. Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on federal or state government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain federal or state government services. See the Montana Prevailing Wages, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.


Meals and Breaks

Montana labor laws do not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees, thus the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal (lunch) period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than twenty (20) minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually thirty (30) minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period. MT Dept. of Labor and Industry FAQ


Nursing Mother Breaks

Montana labor laws do not require private employers to provide nursing mothers with breaks to express breast milk. However, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires certain employees to provide nonexempt nursing mothers for one (1) year following a child’s birth with reasonable rest breaks to express milk and private spaces, other than a bathroom, to express breast milk.

Montana labor laws require public employers to provide nursing mothers with breaks to express breast milk. MT Statute 39-2-217


Vacation Leave

Information about Montana vacation leave laws may now be found on our Montana Leave Laws page.


Sick Leave

Information about Montana sick leave laws may now be found on our Montana Leave Laws page.


Holiday Leave

Information about Montana holiday leave laws may now be found on our Montana Leave Laws page.


Jury Duty Leave

Information about Montana jury duty leave laws may now be found on our Montana Leave Laws page.


Voting Leave

Information about Montana voting leave laws may now be found on our Montana Leave Laws page.


Severance Pay

Montana labor laws do not require an employer to pay severance pay. MT. Dept. of Labor and Industry FAQ. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.


Unemployment

Under certain circumstances, Montana residents may be eligible for unemployment benefits while they search for another job. You are required to certify that you are unemployed on a weekly basis to receive these benefits. See Montana State Unemployment Benefits.


Other Montana Labor Laws Topics and Resources

There are several other Montana labor laws governing the employers and their workplaces. Below are those topics and resources:

  • Montana child labor laws for children 17 years of age and younger including topics including work during school hours and summer hours, school days and non-school days, summer days of employment (usually June 1 to Labor Day), hour restrictions, work permits, and hazardous occupations.
  • The Montana Human Rights Commission enforces and protects employees workplace civil rights and against discrimination and retaliation. Employees are also protected by federal discrimination laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The state and federal discrimination laws offer employees protections and violations based on the following:
Disability (a mental or physical impairment)Sex, including sexual harassmentGender expressionNational Origin
RaceSexual orientationReligionAncestry
CreedGender identityAge (40+)Pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions
ColorGenetic informationMarital status
  • Montana labor laws regarding wage payment laws including covering frequency and manner of wage payments, regular paydays, payday, pay periods, deductions, direct deposit and payroll cards, wage statement, record keeping, final paychecks, and notice requirements.
  • Montana labor laws regarding minimum wage and overtime exemptions covering non-exempt employees and exempt employees.
  • Montana labor law regarding hours worked including rest breaks, meal breaks, on-call, waiting, travel, sleeping, and meeting times.
  • The Montana Safety & Health Bureau helps employer comply with laws and regulations regarding workplace safety and health. Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) which covers federal workplace safety and health requirements.
  • Active duty employees, including those in the national guard, and veterans may also be eligible for military leave under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
  • In Montana, the Workers’ Compensation Management Bureau (WCMB) manages workers’ compensation in Montana and worker compensation insurance claims and enforcement. Employees who are injured on the job may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that minimizes the financial impact on the employee.
  • Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, employers in Montana are required to provide 60-day advanced notice to any employees that may be impacted by a business closing or mass layoff if 50 or more employees will be impacted.
  • If Montana employers provide employees health insurance benefits, they must comply with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) that provides health coverage protections to employees under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events.
  • Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, employers must provide applicants and employees prior notice before conducting background checks involving credit reports. Other rules and limitation may also apply.

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