Now is the time for busy employers to update their 2008 Montana labor law posters. The past year was a hectic one in the field of Human Resources, with a number of important changes to labor law. These include a new I-9 form to be used by all employers effective December 26, 2008. Employers who fail to use the new I-9 form, or display the updated posters, face hefty fines and penalties.
The updated list of 2008 Montana labor law posters is:
- OSHA—Health and Safety on the Job
- Minimum Wage
- Discrimination Notice
- Unemployment Insurance
- Workers’ Compensation
Every employer in the state is required by law to display these posters where applicants and employees can see them.
In addition, each employer in Montana must display the following federal labor law posters:
- USERRA – Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
- Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law
- Federal Minimum Wage
- Employee Polygraph Protection Act
- Family and Medical Leave Act
- OSHA-Job Safety & Health Protection
Under both federal and state law, these posters must be updated each time there is a change in legislation.
A change in the federal minimum wage on July 24, 2007 required that the Federal Minimum Wage posters be updated. On that date, the federal minimum wage increased for the first time in more than a decade. The rate went from $5.15 per hour to $5.85 per hour, an increase of 70 cents.
Labor law poster serve as a handy reminder for supervisors and employees alike.
They provide important information on the minimum wage, worker safety, medical leave and child labor laws.
It seems as if no two states in the U.S. are alike when it comes to overtime laws or the minimum wage for tipped employees. That’s why the states require different state labor law posters, in addition to the federal posters.
In both cases, some have no laws, and follow federal law. Some are more generous. On rare occasions, they are less so.
Under federal overtime law, workers get 1.5 times their normal pay for any hour over 40. Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Arizona, and Georgia are among states with no laws of their own. They’re covered by federal law, which does not guarantee minimum wage for every kind of worker, regardless of number of hours worked.
Some states just reflect federal law requiring overtime pay after 40 hours, like Michigan and Massachusetts. Nebraska mirrors the federal law, then extends it to any business with 4 or more workers. Kansas overtime doesn’t activate until after 46 hours in a week, while Minnesota’s overtime is triggered at 48 hours.
California offers the best overtime laws. Workers are entitled to overtime after 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. Working 7 consecutive days guarantees an employee overtime on the 7th day. Double-time (twice the normal hourly rate) kicks in after an employee works 12 hours in a single day, or 8 hours on the 7th consecutive workday.
Colorado workers get overtime after either a 40-hour week or a 12-hour day. In Kentucky, overtime pay activates after 40 hours and on the 7th consecutive workday regardless of how many hours the employee works in that day.
The federal rate for tipped employees is $2.13 an hour. Kentucky, Nebraska, and Indiana follow that rate. Kansas is only $1.59. Massachusetts is $2.63 and Michigan is $2.65. Wisconsin is at $2.33 and North Carolina at $2.43. Connecticut hotel and restaurant workers get overtime on the 7th consecutive workday.
Tipped workers get the normal minimum wage in Washington State – $8.07 per hour on January 1. In Hawaii, tipped workers get $7 an hour compared to the normal rate of $7.25. Colorado’s rate for tipped workers is going to $4.02 in 2008.
Returning veterans: you’re still entitled to your place on the escalator.
What does that mean? Think of the career you left when you began serving in the military as an escalator ride. You, as a returning veteran, you have not lost your place on that escalator. You are entitled to all the seniority and pay hikes you would have received if you had never left.
It’s called the “escalator clause.”
Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, you as a returning veteran, must be reinstated to your former civilian job if you had served 5 years or less, whether consecutively nor not. If you were injured, in some cases you have another 2 years. You’re entitled to all the benefits and other rights you would have received through seniority. That includes promotions.
The Department of Labor has just issued the final USERRA regulations. They specifically cover pension plans for veterans returning to their former civilian jobs after they’ve served in the military.
That means it’s a good time for employers to update their Montana USERRA posters. It insures that the correct information is available for all workers. Those USERRA regulations must be posted whether or not there are any employees in the workplace who have served or are serving in the military.
Your time away is considered essentially a leave of absence. It means that under USERRA, you are entitled to the same benefits other employees received through non-military leaves of absence. In other words, all the benefits received by workers who were on temporary disability or maternity leave are also yours by right if you were on military leave.
You as a veteran have another right under USERRA. Assume times have changed in your absence. New skills are now required in your old job. Your employer is required by USERRA to bring your skills up to date to insure that you remain qualified for that job. Even if you don’t qualify for the original “escalator” position now, your employer must reemploy you in a different job slot.
We have received several messages with questions about USERRA, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. These regulations concern the job status of returning military workers. The Department of Labor made the final USERRA laws public recently. The regulations outline the employment rights of veterans, members of the National Guard and the Federal Reserve. USERRA was passed to protect veterans and military members, as well as clarify the law and improve the enforcement of the law.
There is no time like the present to check your Montana USERRA poster to make sure you have the latest information. All employers should have their posters on display for workers to see. It is the law to have the poster displayed, and it does not matter if you don’t have employees that serve in the military.
The updates to USERRA include details about returning veteran pension plans. Veterans need to be reemployed at their civilian jobs within five cumulative years of military service. A soldier’s injury may entitle them to an additional two years of leave from work to recover, allowing a total of seven cumulative years.
When a military worker is reinstated to their job, they are entitled to the same salary, seniority and status that they would be if they had not left for service. Benefits and other rights that they would have, including promotions should not be denied them. This is called the “escalator principle.” As people in a company move up the escalator, so to speak, everyone is in the same order as when they got on. A person who leaves for military service does not lose their place in line, as far as promotion goes, assuming that promotions are made based on seniority.
Any returning service member should be trained or given refresher training if needed. As outlined in USERRA, it is a requirement that the employer offer the necessary training to help qualify the returning worker. If things in the company have changed so much that a returning worker just can’t qualify for their old position, or the position no longer exists, regulations provide for alternative positions within the business.
OK folks, I know I keep blogging ad nauseum about the employment labor laws. But let’s go over them just one more time, shall we? By making sure that both employees and employers are aware of the labor laws and their rights under those laws, we can help everyone to be in compliance with the state’s labor laws.
In the state of Montana, the employment labor laws are fairly straightforward. Although there have not been recent changes to them (at least I am not aware of any recent changes at the moment), there can be changes. In fact, many states change their labor laws frequently, and then it is up to the employer to know about the changes. Whenever that happens, the employer must update the related labor law posters to show the new law. It’s not just a requirement—it’s the law! So to remain compliant with the law, employers have to keep themselves informed.
Alright, so getting down to business, let me give you a rundown of the latest Montana ( MT ) Employment Labor Posters that have to be displayed in the workplace. This is for every business in the state. Those posters are: OSHA – Health and Safety on the Job, Minimum Wage Law, Discrimination Notice, Unemployment Insurance, and Workers’ Compensation.
In addition to these Montana employment labor posters, there are several Federal posters that the government says must be displayed in the workplace. These include the following posters: USERRA – Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law, Federal Minimum Wage, Employee Polygraph Protection Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and OSHA-Job Safety & Health Protection.
The only exception to the posters is, say, a very small business with only one or two employees would not have to display a law that regulates businesses with more than 4 employees. Otherwise, the posters must be displayed and must be kept current.
I would like to tell you about the labor law posters for Montana. There are many federal and state requirements for the labor law posters for Montana. These posters let employees know their rights and protections under the law. The labor law posters for Montana must be displayed where all employees can easily see them. They should be easily accessible for all employees. It’s the employer’s responsibility to make sure the labor law posters for Montana are displayed in an appropriate spot.
The required state and federal postings for the labor law posters for Montana are: Equal Employment Opportunity, Federal Minimum Wage, Montana Clean Indoor Air Act, Polygraph Protection, Family Medical Leave Act, Job Safety and Health, Proof of Employment Insurance coverage, Prevailing Wage Law, Proof of Worker’s Compensation coverage, and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
The required postings for each business depend on the size and the type of the business. For example, the Polygraph Protection requirement doesn’t apply to public employees. Therefore, those labor law posters for Montana don’t need to be displayed in public workplaces. Also, the Prevailing Wage Law only applies to Public works projects.
The Montana Clean Indoor Air Act just went into effect in 2005. This prohibits smoking in most public indoor places. Some public places – casinos, bars, taverns, etc. – can apply for an exemption from the law. However, this exemption only lasts until October 1, 2009. At that time all public places must comply with the law.
The employers must make sure that the labor law posters for Montana are kept up – to – date. The labor law posters for Montana don’t need to be changed every year but they do need to be changed whenever the applicable law changes. It’s the employer’s job to know when the law changes and to make the appropriate updates to the posters.