Montana Leave Laws
In Montana, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. MT Dept. of Labor and Industry FAQ; See Langager v. Crazy Creek Products, Inc., 287 Mont. 445; 954 P.2d 1169 (Mt. Sup. Ct. 1998). If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its employment contract or established policy. MT Dept. of Labor and Industry FAQ.
The rollover policy
- Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay
Accrued and earned vacation time is similar to wages (see Langager v. Crazy Creek Products, Inc., 954 P.2d 1169, 1173-1177 (1998)).
- Use-It-or-Lose-It Policy
Prohibited. However, employers may have a policy that limits the employee’s ability to earn vacation pay at a designated level of hours (a maximum cap). Once the employee’s earned vacation hours drop below that limit, the employee’s ability to earn vacation pay restarts. (Montana Department of Labor & Industry: FAQs.)
- Payment of Accrued Vacation on Termination
Employer’s policy determines if vacation pay is due on termination (Montana Department of Labor & Industries: Employment Laws, Question 14).
No federal or state law in Montana requires employers to pay out an employee’s accrued vacation, sick leave, or other paid time off (PTO) at the termination of employment.
Maternity, Paternity, FMLA
In addition to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Montana requires all employers to provide employees with the following benefits regarding Maternity leave:
- Job protection and reinstatement after returning from maternity leave, including previous position or the similar with equal pay, insurance, status, seniority and other service credits.
- Reasonable Maternity Leave due to temporary childbirth or pregnancy-related disabilities. Pregnancy-related disabilities must be treated the same as any other disability. All benefits provided to temporarily disabled employees must be provided to pregnant employees.
- An employer may not require an employee to take mandatory maternity leave for an unreasonable length of time.
- A pregnant employee is entitled to use any disability benefits, sick leave, vacation time, PTO or compensatory time accrued for maternity leave.
Jury Duty Leave
The employer is required to provide employees with unpaid leave to perform their duties.
No federal or state law require an employer to provide the employee with paid or unpaid bereavement leave or with any time off to organize or attend a close family member’s funeral.
The state of Montana has no statute governing voting leave.
In addition to USERRA, Montana provides the following rights for military service members: job protection, reinstatement rights including the previous position or similar position with equal pay, health insurance, status, seniority, and other employment benefits and protection against discrimination for members of the national guard of any state.
Employees called to state military duty must be provided with leave for the period of state military duty. Employers may not require employees to use any vacation, sick, military, or any other accrued leave.