Employers: Generally


Big Sky Colony, Inc. v. Dep't of Labor & Industry [12/31/12] 2012 MT 320 Although the Montana Supreme Court acknowledged that a Hutterite colony did not pay “wages” to its members as part of its communal living system, the court concluded that under statutory changes brought about in HB 119, the colony qualified as an employer under § 39-71-117(1)(d), MCA, for purposes of the workers’ compensation system since the colony engages in commercial activities.

Hopkins v. Uninsured Employers' Fund, 2011 MT 49 The Montana Supreme Court affirmed this Court’s conclusion that the appellant, who assigned the claimant tasks and regularly paid him, was an employer within the meaning of the applicable statutes.


Howe v. UEF [07/07/06] 2006 MTWCC 27 Under § 39-71-405(1), MCA, an employer who contracts with an independent contractor to have work performed of a kind which is a regular or recurrent part of the work of the trade, business, occupation, or profession of such employer is liable for the payment of benefits under Title 39, chapter 71, if the contractor has not properly complied with the coverage requirements of the Workers’ Compensation Act. In a case in which a real estate broker hired a contractor to complete part of a remodeling project on the broker’s personal residence, when the broker had not done any work in the construction industry since the mid-1990s, and the broker had not hired construction workers for any other projects on other real estate he owns in several years, if ever, the work cannot be considered to be a regular or recurrent part of the broker’s business and he is therefore not liable for workers’ compensation benefits in this instance.

Howe v. UEF [07/07/06] 2006 MTWCC 27 Where the UEF asked this Court to take judicial notice of certain federal tax regulations and argued that a contractor’s liability may migrate to the homeowners because improving their residence, which was part of a trust, was part of a regular course of business in using the trust as an income-producing entity, the UEF’s argument amounts only to speculation where the homeowners testified that they did not know if they received any tax benefits from the trust and the UEF did not introduce any tax returns, testimony, or other evidence to support its argument.
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.
Fliehler v. UEF [6/01/01] 2001 MTWCC 29 Where the employer operates from Montana, employs Montana workers, directs his workers to out-of-state jobs from Montana, transports those workers from Montana to job sites in other states, transports the workers back to Montana after most jobs, pays the workers in Montana by checks drawn on a Montana bank, the employer is a Montana employer and his employees are Montana employees subject to Montana jurisdiction and laws. Affirmed in Fliehler v. Uninsured Employers' Fund, 2002 MT 125.
Tommy v. State Compensation Insurance Fund [03/21/95] 1995 MTWCC 21 While claimant may be entitled to order permitting vocational expert to visit employer’s premises to weigh items relevant to lifting restrictions, Court would not order employer to allow visit by claimant’s attorney, who would then become a witness to any observations he made relevant to the case.