Unpaid Wages for Montana Employees

Wage and hour claims seem to be often overlooked by Montana lawyers. Not with the McGrady Law Firm. Philip McGrady has pursued wage and hour claims with the Montana Wage and Hour Division, as well as in court. There are laws that an employer must follow when an employee is terminated. For instance, bonuses and commissions are considered wages under Montana law. If the bonus has been earned when you are terminated, then your employer should pay you that bonus. This does not always happen. You do not have to be terminated to pursue a wage and hour claim. Employers sometimes wrongfully withhold overtime pay and you can pursue a claim even though you are still employed. These are just some of the wage and hour issues. Contact the McGrady Law Firm if you believe that you are not being paid all money that you earned.

Montana law protects employee bonuses and commissions

Philip McGrady has experience dealing with Montana’s laws when an employee has been denied payment of wages.  One area that is repeatedly in dispute involves bonuses and commissions.  “Wages” are defined under Montana law to include bonuses:   “Wages” includes any money due an employee from the employer or employers, whether to be paid by the hour, day, week, semimonthly, monthly, or yearly, and includes bonus, piecework, and all tips and gratuities…”  Mont. Code Ann. § 39-3-201(6)(a).

Montana employees should be paid immediately upon termination

Montana law also provides that “when an employee is separated for cause…all the unpaid wages of the employee are due and payable immediately upon separation unless the employer has a written personnel policy governing the employment that extends the time for payment of final wages to the employee’s next regular payday for the pay period or to within 15 days from the separation, whichever occurs first.”  Mont. Code Ann. § 39-3-205(1) (emphasis added).

Your rights regarding On-Call Time

If you are an on-call employee, and you believe that you are not being fairly compensated, you may be entitled to unpaid wages.  Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), on-call employees may be entitled to the payment of wages for all the time that an employee is on call.  Factors Montana courts will consider in determining whether on-call time is compensable include: (1) the extent to which there was an on-premises living requirement; (2) the extent to which there were excessive geographical restrictions on employee movements; (3) the extent to which the frequency of calls was unduly restrictive; (4) the extent to which a fixed time limit for on-call response was unduly restrictive; (5) the extent to which employees could easily trade on-call responsibilities; (6) the extent to which the use of a pager or cell phone could ease restrictions; (7) the duration and danger of calls; (8) the extent to which employees benefitted financially from the on-call policy; (9) the extent to which the policy was based upon an agreement between the parties; and (10) the extent to which on-call employees engaged in personal activities during on-call time.

The Montana Wage and Hour Unit has information relating to these laws as well.  If you need help navigating Montana’s wage and hour laws, do not hesitate to get in touch with the McGrady Law Firm.