Montana’s Wrongful Discharge from Employment Act (WDEA) requires that employers have just cause for discharge of employees after completion of an initial probationary period. A recent Montana case highlights state-specific issues for employers to consider if they have employees who work in Montana, even if those employees live in,
Articles About Montana Labor and Employment Law.
Montana is well-known in the employment world for deviating from the employment at-will doctrine. In Montana, employees are protected under the Wrongful Discharge from Employment Act (WDEA), which provides that an employee’s discharge from employment is wrongful if the discharge is not for good cause.1 One exception to the WDEA is that during an employee’s probationary period of employment, the employee’s employment may be terminated for any reason or no reason.2 While an employer can establish its own specific probationary period, if it does not, there is a six-month probationary period under the WDEA.3
The Montana Supreme Court has upheld against a state constitutional challenge the State’s 2011 Montana Marijuana Act, a new statutory framework embodying the State’s effort to limit abuses resulting from the 2004 Medical Marijuana Act, which was established by voter initiation. Montana Cannabis Industry Ass’n v. The State of Montana, 2016 Mont. LEXIS 168 (Feb. 25, 2016). The decision could benefit employers by limiting the availability of marijuana among persons not authorized to use it for medical purposes.