Department of Labor and Industry

Workers Comp Regulations

Workers' Comp Regulations Category

Welcome to the Workers' Compensation Regulations Bureau Home Page

Bureau Chief
Peter Van Nice
Phone: (406)
444-0566
UEF Manager
Mark Hurlbut
Phone: (406)
444-7720
ICEC Manager
Dallas Cox
Phone: (406)
444-9586
Self-Insurance Prgm Mngr
Erin Weisgerber
Phone: (406) 444-1555

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 8011
Helena, MT 59604-8011
 
Location
Beck Building
1805 Prospect Avenue
Helena, MT 59601
 

About the Workers' Compensation Regulations Bureau

The Workers' Compensation Regulations Bureau is a multi-faceted organization with responsibility for various areas of regulation, primarily in the field of workers' compensation. As you will see if you scroll through our functions, our responsibilities range from educating employers about Montana’s Workers’ Compensation requirements and enforcing compliance, licensing professional employer organizations, registering construction contractors, establishing medical fee schedules, issuing independent contractor determinations and a whole lot of areas in-between. If we can be of assistance to you in any of these areas, please e-mail us or visit the Contact Us page to find contact information on the specific area of assistance needed.


First Report of Injury, Release of Medical Information
Travel Expense Reimbursement Rule

Montana Codes Annotated (MCA)

If you wish to view the latest codes, go to the Montana Codes Annotated page. To view the Montana Codes for prior years, go to the Montana Legislature site and then select the year needed. The sections you will need to reference are located in Title 39 Labor. They are Chapter 8 - Professional Employer Organizations, Chapter 9 - Contractor Registration, Chapter 71 - Workers' Compensation, Chapter 72 - Occupational Disease, and Chapter 73 - Silicosis Benefits.


Montana Workers' Compensation and Occupational Disease Laws (the "Blue Book") Order Form

Administrative Rules of Montana

The Department of Labor and Industry Administrative Rules are also available for use on the Secretary of State web site and includes these chapters: Chapter 28 Workers' Compensation Mediation; Chapter 29 Workers' Compensation and Occupational Disease; Chapter 33 Contractor Registration and Chapter 35 Independent Contractors.

Silicosis Program

39-73-101 MCA

The department administers a program to determine eligibility and pay benefits to those suffering from silicosis.

Silicosis is a fibrotic condition of the lungs due to the inhalation of silica dust. Most of the claims we have are from former Butte miners. Payments are made to those with silicosis, which results in total disability, rendering it impossible for the person to be gainfully employed. Claimants or their surviving spouses (as long as they do not remarry) are paid $350 per month for life.

Contact Information

Silicosis Program
Workers' Compensation Regulation Bureau
Employment Relations Division
PO Box 8011
Helena, MT 59604-8011
(406) 444-0564

Subsequent Injury Fund

39-71-905 et. seq. MCA

The department manages the Subsequent Injury Fund, a program designed to assist individuals with disabilities obtain employment.

A person with a disability is defined in statute as a person who has a medically certifiable permanent impairment which is a substantial obstacle to obtaining employment or to obtaining re-employment if the employee should become unemployed, and is based on such factors as the person's age, education, training, experience and employment rejection.

Once an individual is certified and returns to work, should he or she have an injury again, the Fund limits the liability of the insurer to 104 weeks of benefits. After that point insurers are reimbursed for the medical and indemnity benefits paid on the claim.

Contact Information

 

Subsequent Injury Fund
Employment Relations Division
PO Box 8011
Helena, MT 59604-8011

Jennifer Hirth
(406) 444-0564
Fax: (406) 444-7710
jhirth@mt.gov
Subsequent Injury Fund
Employment Relations Division
PO Box 8011
Helena, MT 59604-8011

Maralyn Lytle
(406) 444-6604
Fax: (406) 444-4140
mlytle@mt.gov
   

 

Insurance Compliance

 

Employers must provide workers' compensation insurance defined in the Montana Workers' Compensation and Occupational Disease Acts. Insurance may be purchased from insurers that are authorized in Montana, and have workers' compensation included in their authority. Or, the department may grant an employer the ability to self-insure its workers' compensation liabilities if it has the requisite financial ability to pay workers' compensation indemnity and medical benefits.

Contact Information

Carrier Compliance
Workers' Compensation Regulation Bureau

Employment Relations Division
PO Box 8011
Helena, MT 59604-8011
Erin Weisgerber
(406) 444-1555
eweisgerber@mt.gov

Professional Employer Organizations

WHAT IS A PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYER ORGANIZATION?

A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) is a business that leases employees to other businesses. A PEO manages the paperwork responsibilities associated with having employees. (PEOs) are to pay employee wages, workers' compensation premiums, payroll-related taxes, and employee benefits from their own account without regard to payments by the client. Thus, they become the employer of record. The client company in return pays the PEO employee costs plus an administrative fee. The client company is sometimes termed a coemployer.

The primary question with employee leasing is just whose employees are they? Historically, an employer/employee relationship is identified through the right to control the work of the individual. With leasing employees, the PEO has the right to hire, fire, discipline, and reassign an employee, while the client company maintains enough control so they can run the day to day operations of their business. The rights and authority of the PEO and the client company are defined in the PEO statutes, and are to be defined in the contract between the two parties.

Montana recognizes two options for employee leasing, one of which is a professional employer arrangement and the other is an employee leasing arrangement. The primary difference between the two options is whether the employees are sourced 100% by the PEO or whether the employees are shared between the PEO and the client.

Is employee leasing for you? PEOs claim to be human resource specialists. They make it their business to be knowledgeable about all aspects of employing workers, keeping abreast on all federal and state requirements. PEOs can provide benefits and insurances for less money than a smaller business because of their size. Providing benefits is an advantage employers need today; it assists them in keeping good employees. Another advantage to leasing employees is that business owners and managers can spend their time focusing on their business rather than employee related tasks.

Leasing employees may relieve a business of responsibility associated with employees, but it does not relieve the liability. The companies enter into a relationship where the liability is shared. The type of arrangement the companies enter into could affect the potential liability. Client companies are jointly and severally liable for any employee-related expense that a PEO does not make. Another liability issue a business should consider when thinking of employee leasing is that the business may or may not have exclusive remedy under the workers' compensation laws. This is an issue that would need to be decided in the court system.

PEOs are required to be licensed through the Department of Labor & Industry. The application requests information from the PEO regarding ownership, financial stability, benefits packages provided, workers' compensation and unemployment policies, and copies of the contracts they use. PEOs that are licensed are required to provide proof that all payroll related taxes for the quarter have been paid. An independent CPA prepares this proof.

Businesses that are considering leasing some or their entire workforce from a PEO should at the very least call the department to verify that the PEO is licensed and in good standing. The department also recommends you:

    * Check references. Ask for a client list and contact as many as possible for references.
    * Scrutinize the contract. Read the contract very carefully and be sure you understand exactly what your responsibilities and liabilities are.
    * Proof of payment. Require that the PEO send you copies of all reports it sends to government agencies and insurance companies to confirm that your leased employees are listed.

Contact Information

Workers' Compensation Regulations Bureau
PO Box 8011
Helena, MT 59604-8011
Brett Wall
(406) 444-0776
brwall@mt.gov