Montana Unions laws & HR compliance analysis

Montana Unions: What you need to know

The state has relatively little say in the regulation of labor unions. This is because most of the protections given to labor organizations are contained in the federal National Labor Relations Act. This law is “preemptive”; that is, it overrides state law in the areas that it covers, which include almost all types of private employment. But in the areas it does not cover, such as the rights of farmworkers and employees of businesses that do not engage in interstate commerce, the states are free to make their own provisions. Montana has not adopted a comprehensive law that provides for the unionization of employees not covered by federal law.
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The federal labor law leaves to the states all questions involving the unionization of public employees. The Montana Legislature promotes collective bargaining between public employers and public employees as a way to arrive at a friendly adjustment of a dispute. Public employees in Montana have the right to organize, join unions, bargain collectively, and engage in concerted activities for purposes of collective bargaining and other mutual aid or protection (MT Code Sec. 39-31-101et seq.). If a union represents public employees, an employee whose religious teachings or tenets oppose joining or financially supporting a labor organization is not required to pay union dues. Instead, the employee may contribute a sum equal to monthly union dues to a nonreligious, nonunion charity designated by the labor organization (MT Code Sec. 39-31-204).
Public employers. It is an unfair labor practice for public employers to engage in any of the following conduct:
• Interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in exercising their rights ...

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