Employment Discrimination

The following practices are unlawful if based on a protected class (age, race, color, national origin, religion, creed, disability, marital status, sex, political belief (in government) or retaliation):

  • To discharge, refuse to hire, or to discriminate against a person with respect to compensation or privileges of employment
  • To deny a reasonable maternity leave or refuse to reinstate an employee following the leave    
  • For labor unions to deny membership or otherwise discriminate against a person or member
  • For employment agencies to fail or refuse to refer for employment
  • To retaliate against a person who filed a complaint, participated in the investigation, or opposed discriminatory practices

Employer Alert

  • Anyone who hires one or more persons is subject to the Montana Human Rights Act
  • Questions on applications should be related to skills, experience, and education important to performing the job 
  • Avoid questions about an applicant’s race, age, religion, medical condition, marital status, or family responsibilities
  • To avoid claims of discrimination, apply standards equally to all employees

The Human Rights Bureau strongly encourages all Montana employers to develop effective discrimination policies and grievance procedures. Effective policies and procedures will protect your employees from discrimination and may prevent liability for violations of state and federal anti-discrimination laws. For more information, check out our online training.

When an employment discrimination complaint is filed it may be “dually filed” with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  This means that both state and federal laws will apply.

The Bureau Does NOT handle:

  • Hiring and firing decisions which do not relate to discrimination based upon the factors listed above, such as termination without good cause under the Montana Wrongful Discharge Act
  • Access to and confidentiality of personnel files
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