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Employment and Labor FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:

What is the minimum wage?

A:

Montana’s minimum wage is $8.30 per hour. 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. However, if an individual employee of such a business is producing or moving goods between states or is otherwise covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, that employee must be paid the greater of either the federal minimum wage $7.25 or Montana’s minimum wage.

Although there are some exemptions, most workers must be paid the minimum wage for all “hours worked” as required by state law. “Hours worked” includes preparation time, opening and closing the business, company travel, and required meetings and training. Any time spent by an employee in the performance of these duties must be recorded and paid.

Employers may not use tips as credit toward wage rates, including minimum wage, to an employee.

Q:

I didn’t get my final paycheck. What can I do?

A:

The first thing to do is ask the employer why you haven’t received your final check. If the employer refuses to give you your final check, you may choose one of the three options to obtain your wages:

  • Obtain the services of a private attorney

  • File a claim in court

  • File a wage claim with the Investigations Section

Q:

Are pay raises mandated by law?

A:

The law does not require an employer to provide pay raises. If provided they become a part of the employment contract. If a raise is due and not received, the discrepancy should be addressed immediately as acceptance of the wage paid may be seen as an alteration of the original agreement.

An employer must pay the agreed wage until such time that a new rate is agreed upon. Once you and the employer have specifically discussed and agreed upon a new rate, it is considered the “agreed wage.” Wage and Hour does not have jurisdiction over promised raises. A raise is at the discretion of the employer.

Q:

When is overtime pay required?

A:

Blacklisting is prohibited in the state of Montana. If any company or corporation in this state authorizes or allows any of its agents to blacklist or any person does blacklist any discharged employee or attempts by word or writing or any other means whatever to prevent any discharged employee or any employee who may have voluntarily left the company’s service from obtaining employment with another person, except as provided in 39-2-802 M.C.A., such company or corporation is liable in punitive damages to such employee so prevented from obtaining employment, to be recovered by him in a civil action, and may also be punishable as provided in 39-2-804 M.C.A.