Certain laws in Montana exist to govern how much employees should make when they work and how much time they are permitted to spend working during a one-week period. These laws cover many employment-related topics, such as what is viewed as time worked and what employees are entitled to in terms of meal time and rest during their work day. Gaining an understanding of these laws is imperative for employers so that they are able to remain in compliance with them.
Minimum Wage in Montana
The minimum wage in Montana is $8.05 for every hour worked, a rate which is higher than the federally mandated minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
Minimum Wage of Tipped Workers: In some states, employers are permitted to pay their tipped workers a lower minimum wage. In Montana, however, tipped workers are still entitled to make the full minimum wage for every hour they work.
Does Minimum Wage Apply to Me: Although minimum wage laws apply to most employers in Montana, the state allows employers who produce annual sales of $110,000 or less to pay their employees a minimum of $4 per hour. Employers need to remember that this exception only applies to employees who are exempt from federal minimum wage laws.
When Are Raises Required: There are no laws in Montana that mandate how often employers are required to provide their workers with pay raises. In employment settings, raises are given out based on a mutual agreement between employers and workers that takes into account factors such as the quality and quantity of work performed.
Work Hours in Montana
Employers in Montana are allowed to have their employees work as many hours as needed in any given week. However, these hours must be deemed necessary for the job being performed.
Paying Overtime: In Montana, employers are required to pay their workers a rate of one and one-half times their regular rate when they exceed a seven-day period with over 40 hours worked. This means that the minimum overtime wage in the state is $12.07. These laws do not apply to agricultural workers and administrative, executive and other professionals who receive a salary.
Guaranteed Breaks and Meals: No laws exist in Montana or on a federal level pertaining to how often employers are required to give their employees rest and meal periods during the course of a work day. If employers do decide to give their workers break time, the time spent on break has to be paid. However, this standard does not apply to meal periods that last for longer than one half hour. Additionally, due to federal regulations, nursing mothers must be given adequate time when they are at work for expressing milk for up to one year after giving birth.
Paid Time Off and Sick Pay: Employers in Montana are not legally required to provide their employees with paid time off or paid sick leave. If employers decide to give their employees these benefits, they must outline them in their policies and abide by them.
Notice Period for Employee Termination: Montana is not an “at will” state. For this reason, once employees complete a probationary period following employment, employers must have a reason for termination. Under the Wrongful Discharge From Employment Act, employers are not allowed to terminate employees based on race, sex, age and other discriminatory factors.
Plant Closings & Layoffs: Under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, employers in Montana are required to give their employees 60 days of notice if they perform a mass layoff or when they close a plant. This federal law does not apply to projects or facilities that were only supposed to be temporary or in cases where a mass layoff or a plant closing is the result of an employee lockout or a union strike.
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