Montana Minimum Wage
In 2009 the United States raised its federal minimum wage to seven
dollars and twenty-five cents. This change required each state to raise
its minimum wage to meet this minimum or to be higher. The Montana
minimum wage mirrors that of the federal requirement. Some states raise
their minimum wages each year to compensate for higher food prices and
higher energy prices. However not all states raise their wages, as it
is not a requirement. Under the federal law employers are not allowed
to pay employees less than the minimum requirement.
In some states employees who are tipped on a regular basis may be paid
less than the minimum wage. Supplying a different minimum wage for
tipped employees is legal because acquired tips make up for the
lowering of wages. In Montana tipped employees are not given a
different wage. At times companies who make less than one hundred ten
thousand dollars in annual sales are allowed to pay employees as little
as four dollars per hour.
Sick Leave Payment
There is currently no federal law or Montana state law that requires
employees to be paid for sick leave. However an employer may choose to
provide paid sick leave for employees, at his or her own discretion.
When an employer states in written policy that paid sick leave is
available, he or she is required by law to provide this benefit.
Certain unions may also mandate that sick leave be provided, despite
company policy. Employers have the right under federal law to change
sick leave or terminate sick leave whenever they desire. They are under
no obligation to inform employees of this change, however many
employees are notified prior to policy termination.
Often times employees do not use their provided sick leave for illness
but rather for mental health days or vacation. Because of this many
companies and businesses have chosen to provide paid time off instead
of sick leave. Under paid time off employees are allotted a certain
number of days each year they may take for whatever reason they desire,
including for mental health days or vacation. Sick leave is included in
paid time off. And once paid time off has been used for the year, an
employee cannot take any more time. This paid time off policy allows
for honesty in the workplace.
Family and Medical Leave
Instead of creating its own state law for medical and family leave,
Montana uses the federal law that was established in 1993 as the Family
and Medical Leave Act. The Family and Medical Leave Act allows
employees to take necessary time off for family or medical purposes
while their jobs will not be placed in jeopardy. Each employee is
allowed twelve weeks each year to be used consecutively.
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act an employee cannot be terminated
due to leave necessity or due to pregnancy. Upon return an employee is
entitled to his or her former occupation or an occupation of the same
salary and benefit. Maternity leave falls under the Family and Medical
Leave Act as well as hospitalization, child illness, and other
psychological or medical purposes.