Department of Labor and Industry

Human Rights Bureau

Welcome to the Human Rights Bureau Home Page

What Does the Montana Human Rights Bureau Do?

The Montana Human Rights Bureau receives and investigates complaints of illegal discrimination.  The Human Rights Bureau is the agency responsible for enforcing the Montana Human Rights Act and the Governmental Code of Fair Practices, along with certain federal anti-discrimination statutes. The Bureau is committed to providing quality education and training opportunities to employers, employees, housing providers, tenants, and all Montana residents.

If you believe that you have been discriminated against, it is important to remember that under state discrimination laws you only have 180 days to file a complaint.  This means you only have 180 days from when an adverse act happens to have a written complaint filed with our office.  Time may be extended if the person participated in a grievance procedure.  (MCA 49-2-501)

It is important to understand that we serve Montana as a neutral entity; we do not provide any type of advocacy service on behalf of the employee or the employer.

The information provided on this web page may constitute legal information.  Legal information is not the same as legal advice (the application of the law to an individual’s specific circumstances).  We will do our best to provide you with neutral information that is accurate and useful, but we recommend you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.

Montana's Discrimination Laws

Montana's discrimination laws can be found in the Montana Human Rights Act (Title 49) and in the Montana Governmental Code of Fair Practices.

These laws make it unlawful to discriminate in:

  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Education
  • Public Accommodations
  • State and Local Governmental Services and Employment
  • Credit
  • Insurance (sex and marital status only)
  • Finance

because of:

Harassment based on any protected class is unlawful!

In order for behavior to be considered unlawful harassment, it must be suffciently frequent and/or severe to create a hostile work environment, or it must result in a tangible action, such as a demotion, termination, eviction, change in work duties, wages or rent.

Issues that are NOT Within the Authority of the Bureau

 The Bureau does not handle:
  • Veterans preference
  • Smokers rights or Clean Indoor Air Act (except when directly related to a request for accommodation for a disability)
  • Matters related to arrest, criminal convictions, or sentencing
  • Matters related to divorce proceedings, child custody and child support
  • Matters related to court rulings
  • General unfair treatment not based upon one of the protected classes listed above
  • Alleged misconduct committed by a federal government or by tribal governments

Common Referrals

Bureau Chief
Marieke Beck
Phone: (406) 444-4356
Case Manager
Kathleen Helland
Phone: (406) 444-4356

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 1728
Helena, MT 59624-1728

USF&G Building
1625 11th Avenue
Helena, MT 59601

(406) 444-2884
TDD at (406) 444-9696

(406) 444-2798