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Last updated on: December 28th, 2023

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.


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.


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 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.

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

In addition to USERRA, Montana law prohibits discrimination against members of the national guard (of any state) and provides the following job protections: • Members ordered to federally-funded military duty are entitled to the same reemployment rights and benefits as provided under USERRA. • Members ordered to state military duty are entitled to a leave of absence for the period of state military duty. The leave may not be deducted from any sick, vacation, military, or other accrued leave unless employees desire it. • Reemployment rights apply after leaving for state military duty, with the same seniority, status, pay, health insurance, pension, and other benefits as the member would have accrued if not on leave for state military duty. Members must request reemployment within a timely manner after state active duty, based on length of state military service

Maternity Leave

All employers must grant employees reasonable leave due to pregnancy. An employee returning from maternity leave must be reinstated to her original position or an equivalent position with equal pay, seniority, retirement, fringe benefits and other service credits unless the employer’s circumstances have changed so as to make reemployment impossible or unreasonable. An employer may not terminate an employee because of pregnancy and may not deny an employee who is disabled due to pregnancy any compensation the employee is entitled to under disability or leave benefits. An employer may not require an employee to take mandatory maternity leave for an unreasonable length of time.

Leave for Holding Public Offices

An employer who employs 10 or more employees must grant employees who are elected or appointed to a public office up to 180 days of unpaid leave per year in order to perform public services. An employee who returns to work within 10 days following his or her public service must be restored to his or her position with the same seniority, status, compensation, hours, locality, and benefits as existed prior to the leave.

Jury Duty Leave

Montana law does not have a leave provision for private employers. However, an employer must allow an employee time off to serve as a juror. Leave is not required to be paid.

Disclaimer: The material provided above is for informational purposes only and is subject to change. We endeavor to keep all material up-to-date and correct but make no representations about the information's completeness, accuracy, or reliability. Laws vary by jurisdiction and are subject to change and interpretation based on individual factors that may differ between organizations. The material is not meant to constitute legal advice and we suggest you seek the advice of legal counsel in connection with any of the information presented.