Montana

Labor Compliance Guide

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

The workweek is defined as a period of 168 hours during seven consecutive 24-hour periods. The workweek can begin any day of the week or at any hour established by the employer. Employment for two or more workweeks cannot be averaged for overtime or minimum wages. Any changes at the beginning of the work week must be made in accordance with regulations governing such a change. Worker coverage, compliance with the wage payment requirements and application of most exemptions are determined on an individual workweek basis.

 

Any employee subject to the Montana Minimum Wage Law must be paid in accordance with its provisions for all hours worked during the workweek. In general, ‘hours worked’ includes the time an employee must be on duty or on the employer’s premises or at other designated places of work as well as the additional time they are required or permitted to work for the employer. In general, an employee’s regular rate includes all payments made by the employer to, or on behalf of, the employee.

Overtime

Employees covered by Montana’s overtime law must be paid 1.5 times their regular rates for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. Students who are employed by a seasonal amusement or recreational area and furnished with board, lodging or other facilities are entitled to overtime after a 48-hour workweek.

Breaks

There is no state or federal law that requires an employer to give a break (rest periods or coffee breaks) or a meal period. This is a benefit that the employer may choose to provide. However, if a break is offered, the break time is considered as paid time. In the case of meal periods, they are not considered paid time if the meal period is half an hour or longer and the employee is completely relieved from duty.

 

Breast Feeding Break

Employers must not discriminate against breastfeeding mothers and must encourage and accommodate breastfeeding. Requires employers to provide daily unpaid break time for a mother to express breast milk for her infant child and facilities for storage of the expressed milk. Employers are also required to make a reasonable effort to provide a private location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the workplace for this activity. Mont. Code Ann. § 39-2-215 et seq.

Public Holidays

Overtime or premium pay is not required for working on holidays or weekends unless those hours are in excess of 40 for the workweek. Holiday pay is a benefit that may be paid at the employer’s discretion.

Annual Leave

Private sector employers are not required to provide Annual Leave with or without pay. These are considered benefits and may be paid based on the employer’s policies. There is no requirement in state law to provide these benefits.

Minimum Wage

Effective January 1, 2018, Montana’s hourly minimum wage is $8.30, an increase from the $8.15 hourly minimum wage in effect in 2017.

Montana’s Department of Labor and Industry typically annually adjusts the hourly minimum wage rate for inflation by September 30.

A business not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act whose gross annual sales are $110,000 or less may pay $4.00 per hour. If an individual employee is producing or moving goods between states or otherwise covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, that employee must be paid the greater of either the federal minimum wage or Montana’s minimum wage. The state’s hourly minimum wage is reviewed annually for inflation-related adjustments.

Tips & Gratuities

Tips may not be credited against an employer’s minimum wage obligation.

Meal Breaks

There is no state or federal law that requires an employer to give a break (rest periods or coffee breaks) or a meal period. This is a benefit that the employer may choose to provide. However, if a break is offered, the break time is considered as paid time. In the case of meal periods, they are not considered paid time if the meal period is half an hour or longer and the employee is completely relieved from duty.

Special Leave

Unpaid Leave
Employees may be eligible to take unpaid, job-protected, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Please refer to main United States page for further details on this Federal law.
Military Leave

Employers must grant employees leave to participate in National Guard and military reserve training and must re-employ workers called up for military duty.

Pregnancy Disability Leave

A mother may take leave under Federal law for incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal care, or for her own serious health condition. The absence does not need to last three consecutive days, and medical treatment is not required. A husband may take under Federal law leave to care for an incapacitated pregnant spouse or to care for her during prenatal care. An employee must obtain the approval pf the employer to take intermittent or reduced schedule leave to be with a healthy newborn child.

Last updated on: September 20th, 2018