Montana News & Analysis

  • Be ready if Congress adds new funds to PPP business relief program

    These are strange days, indeed. Aside from its human cost, the COVID-19 pandemic will affect virtually every business, with some industries being hit harder than others. In response to the emergency public health orders issued by states, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), a $2 trillion package designed to provide relief to individuals and businesses.

  • Legal questions among the concerns surrounding COVID-19

    The novel coronavirus COVID-19 brings up a host of concerns for employers as you focus on keeping employees safe and business on track. Not to be forgotten are the laws that may be implicated as the situation develops.

  • Some of the must-knows for employers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic

    In Avengers: Endgame, Iron Man stands up to an alien invader with the humorous line, "I'm sorry, Earth is closed today." The line elicited chuckles because of how incredible it was. The entire planet shutting down was a veritable impossibility. Or so we thought. Less than a year after the movie was released, the line doesn't seem like such an incredible concept. Enter COVID-19a previously unknown coronavirus that spreads easily from person to person. In a very short time, the illness has spread around the globe. The World Health Organization has officially declared it a pandemic, and as of mid-March, there were 5,000 confirmed cases in the United States. Questions abound on how much more this sickness will spread and how many lives it will affect.

  • Idaho's renewed interest in changes to Washington's noncompete law

    With the recent uncertainty resulting from the response to COVID-19, new legal ramifications arise with each decision employers make to keep their employees healthy and safe. One such ramification Idaho employers in the Lewiston, Moscow, and Coeur d'Alene areas may be experiencing is the effect of recent changes to Washington state law as it relates to Washington employees recently allowed to work remotely.

  • Traditional 'use-it-or-lose-it' vacation policies barred in Colorado—at least for now

    Under a recent regulation interpreting the Colorado Wage Claim Act (CWCA), Colorado employers are now barred from having policies that permit accrued vacation time to be forfeited if not used within a particular time frame. Instead, under the new regulation, they must compensate employees for all accrued but unused vacation at the time of separation and are otherwise prohibited from having policies requiring the forfeiture of accrued but unused vacation time.

  • Appointments matter—Scalia takes charge of DOL

    One of the mysteries of the Trump administration is its apparent disinterest in the work of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and its many subagencies, divisions, and multiple roles. DOL programs, policies, oversight, and enforcement may very well touch and affect more Americans' lives than those of any other federal agency. Yet, with the exception of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the White House has all but ignored the DOL.

  • COVID-19 considerations: furloughs and payroll

    Q As a nonprofit, we are concerned we may need to furlough several employees in the upcoming weeks. What considerations should we be aware of when furloughing employees?

  • 5 HR 'don'ts' inspired by Netflix's Tiger King

    If you are one of the two people left in America who has not yet watched the true-crime documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness on Netflix and don't want to read any spoilers, you may want to turn back now. Otherwise, here are five HR tips on what not to do, inspired by Joe Exotic's unique brand of unhinged managerial madness.

  • Paying an expempt employee a bonus doesnt threaten his exemption

    Q If an exempt employee is asked to help on a proposal (not part of his normal job duties) and he expected to be compensated but wasn't, is that an issue? Someone also asked him to track his time. Can we pay him a bonus instead?

  • Cutting-Edge HR

    Avoid mistakes when hiring hourly workers. Although hourly workers make up 58.5% of the wage and salary workforce, theyre often overlooked in conversations about recruiting, ac-cording to job networking site Indeed, which recently listed common mistakes to avoid when hiring hourly workers. The pitfalls include a lack of communication. Employees need to make sure they understand how to handle reporting when they willl be late, and how to update the schedule when trading shifts with coworkers. Include preferred modes of communication such as phone, text, and e-mail. Also, dont skip the interview process. Candidates need to be told whats expected of them, including conduct, dress codes, and company culture. Also, candi-dates need to know what an hour in the life of the organization looks like, and they should be told how productivity is measured.