Montana National Origin Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

Montana National Origin Discrimination: What you need to know

The Montana Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment based on national origin, including ancestry (MT Code Sec. 49-2-101 et seq.). The law applies to all employers in the state regardless of size. Under the state law, it is unlawful to:
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• Refuse to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate with respect to an individual's compensation or terms of employment.
• Retaliate against an individual who exercises his or her rights under the law or an individual assisting in the investigation or enforcement of the state law.
• Publish an advertisement for employment specifying a limitation or discrimination as to national origin, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification.
Bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception. Although state law allows an employer to make a distinction based on age, disability, marital status, or sex when the reasonable demands of the position require the distinction (i.e., a BFOQ applies), there is no BFOQ exception for national origin.
Citizenship requirements that are made a condition of employment discriminate based on national origin in violation of the state law. Soliciting information that is not relevant to a person's ability to do a job--such as an applicant's country of origin--is discriminatory and unlawful. The rules of the Montana Human Rights Commission provide for an exception when the inquiry is required for the implementation of a bona fide affirmative action plan, or is court ordered for recordkeeping requirements (MT Admin. Rules 24.9.1406).
State law prohibits employers from knowingly employing individuals who are not legally authorized to work in the United States (MT Code Sec. 39-2-305). The Immigration ...

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