As of January 1, 2017, the minimum wage in Montana is $8.15 per hour. Montana allows small employers, with gross annual sales of $110,000 or less, to pay employees $4 per hour. However, small employers may only pay this rate if their employees are exempt from federal wage laws. Otherwise, small employers must pay their employees at least $7.25 an hour, which is the current federal minimum wage.
Although the FLSA and the laws of some states allow employers to pay tipped employees a lower minimum wage, Montana law does not. In Montana, tipped employees are entitled to the full minimum wage for every hour worked.
(For more information, see Nolo’s article Tips, Tip Pooling, and Tip Credits.)
In Montana, eligible employees must receive overtime if they work more than 40 in a week or more than 48 hours in a week for students working seasonal jobs at amusement or recreational areas. Not every type of job is eligible for overtime, however. To learn more, see Nolo’s article Overtime Pay: Your Rights as an Employee and contact the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.
Montana does not require employers to provide lunch or rest breaks. However, you are entitled to be paid if you have to do any work during a break (for example, if you have to cover the phones while you eat lunch). And, generally, you are entitled to be paid for any short breaks (five to 20 minutes) your employer provides; this time is considered part of your work day.
To learn more about wage and hour laws in Montana, contact the state Department of Labor and Industry.
Wage and hour laws set the basic standards for pay and time worked—covering issues like minimum wage, tips, overtime, meal and rest breaks, what counts as time worked, when you must be paid, things your employer must pay for, and so on.
The federal wage and hour law is called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Most states also have their own wage and hour laws, and some local governments (like cities and counties) do, too. An employer who is subject to more than one law must follow the law that is most generous to the employee. For example, the federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour, but employers in states that have set a higher minimum wage must pay the higher amount.
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