Montana Employee Handbooks laws & HR compliance analysis

Montana Employee Handbooks: What you need to know

Employee handbooks should be drafted according to the particular needs of each individual workplace and according to the requirements of state and federal law. Employers should try to develop policies and procedures that reflect the company's size, employee needs, and company philosophy.
Employers should have an attorney familiar with state labor and employment laws review their handbooks for legal accuracy and timeliness. Outdated or erroneous policies can be as dangerous as having no policies at all.
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Employers should exercise caution when developing handbooks and related policy statements. To avoid implied contract claims, employers should issue only general statements of policy in employee handbooks and should always include an explicit statement reserving the right to alter, amend, or change any handbook policy at any time and for any reason.
Montana is unique among the 50 states in that it does not adopt the predominant theory of at-will employment. Rather, Montana has a comprehensive Wrongful Discharge from Employment Act (MT Stat. Sec. 39-2-901et seq.), which requires a good-cause basis for terminating all but probationary employees.
“Good cause” is defined as reasonable job-related grounds for dismissal based on a failure to satisfactorily perform job duties, disruption of the employer's operation, or other legitimate business reasons.
The Wrongful Discharge from Employment Act makes it illegal to fire a person if:
• The discharge was in retaliation for the employee's refusal to violate public policy or for reporting a violation of public policy;
• The discharge was not for good cause and the employee had completed the employer's probationary period of employment; or
• The ...

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