Losing your job can feel overwhelming. But Montana employees have certain rights when it comes to losing their jobs and may have a claim for what is called “wrongful discharge.”
Montana employers cannot fire anyone for illegal reasons under state or federal law. This sounds simple enough; however, it is the cornerstone of discrimination laws. Montana employers cannot terminate employees based on race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, religion, age, disability, or marital status. Illegal discrimination can also create additional claims through the Montana Human Rights Bureau or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
These laws against discrimination can also protect an employee by making it illegal for the employer to retaliate against the employee for insisting the employer respect their rights.
Montana and federal law also provide for employees’ right to take time off work in some instances without being fired or disciplined. These include cases of military leave, family and medical leave, and pregnancy leave (maternity or paternity).
It’s also illegal for an employer to terminate an employee if it contradicts the terms of the agreement in the employee’s contract or, in most cases, to pay the employee less than minimum wage. There are also issues of overtime, federal minimum wage, meal breaks, and tip-pooling that can come into play.
For example, by law, Montana employers are not required to provide meal or rest breaks. Federal law states that employees must be paid for breaks of 20 minutes or less.
The attorneys at Terrazas Henkel P.C. know how overwhelming this process can be and how important it is to have someone knowledgeable on your team if you feel your employer has not respected your rights. We are interested in answering any questions you might have to determine if your termination violated any of these laws and to help navigate you to solutions that may be fitting for your situation. Give us a call at 406-541-2550 or contact us online.