Montana Minimum Wage Laws
For employers who have gross annual sales of $110,000 or less, the minimum wage rate is $4.00. MT Code 39-3-409(3)
Montana law requires an annual review of its minimum wage and the minimum wage must be increased by the percentage the cost of living has changed from the prior August to the August in the year the review is conducted. The cost of living change is based on the consumer price index. Any change to the minimum wage takes effect on January 1 of the following year. MT Code 39-3-409(2)
Montana employers must also comply with federal minimum wage laws, which currently sets the federal minimum wage at $7.25. See FLSA: Minimum Wage.
If an employer chooses to pay employees minimum wage, the employer must pay those employees in accordance with the minimum wage law, either federal or state, that results in the employees being paid the higher wage. In most instances in Montana, the Montana minimum wage will apply as it generally guarantees a higher wage rate for employees than federal law.
Tip minimum wage
Montana does not have a minimum wage for tipped employees that is lower than the standard minimum wage. Instead, those employees must be paid the standard minimum wage. MT Admin. Rule 24.16.1508.
Tips are the property of the employee(s) who receive them and may not be used by the employer as part of the employee’s wages. Montana defines a tip as a sum of money given by a customer to an employee in recognition of services performed. The amount of money paid as a tip is determined solely by the customer. Tips are distinguished from service charges which are fixed amounts added to a customer’s bill in lieu of a tip. MT Code 39-3-402; MT Admin. Rule 24.16.1508 Service charges must be distributed to nonmanagement employees who participated in preparing and serving the food or beverage pursuant to a tip pool agreement. MT Code 39-3-402
Tip pooling and sharing
Montana minimum wage laws do not address whether an employer may require employees to participate in a tip pooling or tip sharing arrangement.
Employees with disabilities
Montana law allows employers to pay employees with disabilities a subminimum wage if they are engaged in work that is incidental to training or evaluation programs or their earning capacity is so severely impaired that they are unable to engage in competitive employment. MT Code 39-3-406(1)(f).
Montana minimum wage laws do not allow an employer to pay trainees a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage.
Montana minimum wage laws allow the Department of Labor and Industry to exempt apprentices from its minimum wage and overtime requirements for no more than the first the 30 days of the apprentices”™ employment. MT Code 39-3-406(1)(g).
Montana minimum wage laws allow employers to pay learners a subminimum wage rate that is less not less than 85 percent of the standard minimum wage for the first 30 days of the learner’s employment. In order to pay the learner subminimum wage, an employer must obtain a license from the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. A learner is an employee whose total experience in an authorized learner occupation in the industry within the past three years is less than the period of time allowed as a learning period for that occupation pursuant a learner a certificate issued by the Department of Labor and Industry. The Department of Labor and Industry will only grant an employer a license to pay a learner the subminimum wage if the employer can establish that there is not an adequate supply of qualified experienced workers to fill its employment needs, that it made reasonable efforts to recruit an experienced worker (including placing an order with the local State Employment Security Office not more than fifteen days prior to the application for a learner license), and that its current experienced workers will not be denied the opportunity for full-time employment. MT Code 39-3-46(g); MT Admin. Rule 24.16.2301
Montana minimum wage laws allow employers to pay learners who are under the age of 18 and who work as farm workers a subminimum wage that is not less than 50 percent of the standard minimum wage for the first 180 days of employment. MT Code 39-3-406(h)
Montana minimum wage laws allow employers to pay student learners a subminimum wage rate that is less not less than 85 percent of the standard minimum wage. In order to pay the student learner subminimum wage, an employer must obtain a certificate from the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. A student learner is an individual who attends an accredited school, college, or university and is employed on a part-time basis in a bona fide vocational program. Employers may only pay student learners the subminimum wage for up to 5 hours per day and 20 hours per week unless otherwise permitted by the Department of Labor and Industry. MT Code 39-3-46(g); MT Admin. Rule 24.16.6701
Montana minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay student workers a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage.