Employment: Montana Employment

Williams Insulation Co. Inc. v. Department of Labor and Industry, Uninsured Employers' Fund, 2003 MT 72 Where Wyoming workers' compensation coverage did not apply to employees working primarily in Montana, UEF properly assessed penalty against employer for failing to carry workers' compensation insurance.
Williams Insulation Co. Inc. v. Department of Labor and Industry, Uninsured Employers' Fund, 2003 MT 72 When subsections (2) and (5) of section 39-71-402, MCA (1999) are read together, the law requires that, with the exception of employers engaged in the construction industry, an out-of-state employer does not have to purchase coverage in Montana if it has out-of-state coverage that applies to its employees while in Montana. A construction industry employer, however, would not get the benefit of any reciprocity under subsection (2), but would have to maintain coverage in Montana irrespective of any out-of-state coverage.
Fliehler v. Uninsured Employers' Fund, 2002 MT 125 Company that installs kitchens for restaurants nationwide is an employer required to maintain workers compensation insurance under the Montana Workers Compensation Act even though day-to-day control of employee's duties took place outside Montana. While company performed no recent jobs in Montana, its principal place of business was in Montana, which was the state where the crew was hired, from which they left to perform jobs, and where they returned to live between jobs. Where there was no singular point of control in the sense that all of the employee's duties were controlled from Montana, or that all of his duties were controlled at non-Montana job sites, the WCC was correct in comparing all of the employer's activities at its various locations and concluding that the primary, principal and ultimate control over the work took place in Montana.

Sandoval v. UEF and Jacklin [5/6/99] 1999 MTWCC 33 As set out in the Court's prior order in this case, for Montana workers' compensation requirements to apply, Jacklin must have either primarily controlled Sandoval's activities from Montana or Sandoval's duties must have been primarily carried out within Montana. The evidence is undisputed that mule owner, who hired claimant to race his mules, remained in Idaho. Owner submitted as "undisputed facts" a racing schedule for 1995, showing no races took place in Montana, meaning none of the summer 1995 work was to occur in Montana. Claimant responded by affidavit stating his "understanding" that some races would have occurred in Montana. Jacklin responded with an affidavit of the Executive Secretary for the Montana Board of Horse Racing stating that "no mule racing has occurred in Montana since 1994." Claimant did not dispute this affidavit. Summary judgment granted because conclusory or speculative statements such as an "understanding" do not contradict facts stated in affidavits or sworn testimony.

Sandoval v.UEF and Jacklin [10/21/98] 1998 MTWCC 76 Where it is undisputed claimant was a resident of Montana when injured, section 39-71-118(7)(a), MCA (1993) sets forth the standard for determining whether Montana workers' compensation law is applicable. That section provides that an "employee or worker in this state" means "a resident of Montana...whose employment duties are primarily carried out or controlled within this state." The Court interprets "primarily" to mean "first in importance" or "leading," not 50% or more. Thus, subsection 7(a) covers traveling employees whose employment duties carried out in Montana exceed the duties they carry out in any other individual jurisdiction. If only two states are involved, then the Montana duties must equal or exceed 50%. If there are three or more states, then the percentage of time worked in Montana must be greater than the percentage of time worked in each of the other states individually.
Sandoval v.UEF and Jacklin [10/21/98] 1998 MTWCC 76 In order to determine whether claimant's duties were primarily carried out in Montana, the Court must decide whether to consider all the employments claimant had with this employer, or to consider the employment under the parties' written agreement for training and racing mules for the 1995 season, the season in which claimant was injured. Because subsection (7) contemplates present employment, and where the parties had entered into a series of written and oral agreements for specific terms of work, the Court will look only to the time period covered by the most recent written agreement.
Sandoval v.UEF and Jacklin [10/21/98] 1998 MTWCC 76 Cross motions for summary judgment filed raising the question whether claimant, a mule and horse trainer, was covered by the Montana Workers' Compensation Act when injured at a mule race in Nevada. UEF and the employer argue Montana lacks jurisdiction over the accident because the employer is not a Montana resident, he does not operate a business in Montana, and claimant's work was performed primarily outside of Montana. Where it is undisputed claimant was a resident of Montana, the Court looks to section 39-71-118(7)(a), MCA (1993), which provides that an "employee or worker in this state" means "a resident of Montana . . . whose employment duties are primarily carried out or controlled within this state." Although it appears uncontroverted that races did not occur in Montana during the applicable term of employment, summary judgment denied where the Court does not have sufficient evidence to rule out the possibility that claimant would have done substantial work in Montana that season had he not been injured. [Note: Summary judgment was granted to the UEF and employer in Joseph L. Sandoval v. Uninsured Employers' Fund and Donald W. Jacklin [5/6/99] 1999 MTWCC 33.]
R. Zimmerman, Inoco Incorporated, Big Z Trucking, and Zimmerman Trading Company v. UEF and State Fund [10/23/97] 1997 MTWCC 60 Under 39-71-118, MCA (1993), truck drivers were employees for whom the employer should have purchased Montana workers' compensation insurance where they were residents of Montana and their work was controlled from Montana. A penalty assessment issued the Department of Labor is upheld against specific corporate entities.