Montana--Laws Relating to Pregnancy



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Prohibitions against Pregnancy Discrimination

It is unlawful for an employer to terminate a woman or require that she take mandatory maternity leave because of pregnancy.

*”Employer” excludes fraternal, charitable, or religious nonprofit organizations

For the text of the statute, click here.[1]

Pregnancy Accommodation

Montana does not provide additional protections to the federal law, but see below regarding Disability Accommodation.

Pregnancy-Related Disability Accommodation

Although Montana does not specifically compare pregnancy to a disability in its statutory law, Montana courts have suggested that there are situations in which an employer must accommodate pregnancy in the same way it would accommodate a disability. For relevant case law, click here.[2]

Breastfeeding Rights

A woman has the right to breastfeed in any public or private location where she has the right to be.

*For the text of the statute, click here.[3]

It is unlawful for employers to discriminate against a breastfeeding employee. Employers must accommodate breastfeeding and must provide daily unpaid break time for a mother to express breast milk for her infant child and facilities for storage of the expressed milk. Employers are also required to make a reasonable effort to provide a private location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the work place for this activity.

For the text of the statute, click here.[4]

Family and Childcare Leave Laws

Private Sector:

Montana law requires that all employers provide a reasonable unpaid job-protected leave of absence for maternity leave.

It is unlawful for an employer to deny to the employee who is disabled as a result of pregnancy any compensation or leave benefits to which the employee is entitled. The employer may require pregnancy-related disability to be verified by a doctor.

*”Employer” excludes fraternal, charitable, or religious nonprofit organizations

For the text of the statute, click here.[5]

Public Sector:

State government has adopted rules that provide that six weeks is a reasonable leave after the birth of a child.[6] State employees who are adoptive parents and birth fathers may take up to 15 days parental leave immediately following the birth or placement of a child. You may request to take sick leave, annual leave, leave without pay, compensatory time or other appropriate paid leave.

For the text of the statute, click here.[7]

For the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, click here.

For the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, click here.

For further information on your pregnancy rights, contact Legal Momentum.

Copyright 2013 Legal Momentum

[1] Mont. Code Ann. § 49-2-310

[2] See Auchenbach v. Community Nursing, Inc., Case No. 9401006303 (October 15, 1996), (holding that employers that accommodate work-related limitations for any reason must also accommodate work-related limitations of pregnant women).

[3] Mont. Code Ann. § 50-19-501

[5] Mont. Code Ann. § 49-2-310

[6] See Salary and Benefits Information Overview, Montana’s Official State Website, (last visited 13 June, 2013).

[7] Mont. Code. Ann. § 2-18-606