House Joint Resolution No. 10
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Joint Resolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the state of Montana requesting the Department of Labor and Industry to undertake an exploration and analysis of different approaches to an integrated dispute settlement process for employment-related issues.
WHEREAS, most private sector employers in Montana have 10 or fewer employees and do not maintain personnel officers or in-house legal staff; and
WHEREAS, Montana's employment statutes constitute a complex body of law that often necessitates the application of specialized skills and knowledge; and
WHEREAS, employment-related disputes are currently heard in many different forums, such as the Board of Personnel Appeals for wage and hour issues, the Board of Labor Appeals for unemployment insurance issues, the Workers' Compensation Court for workers' compensation issues, the Human Rights Commission for discrimination issues, and District Courts for the resolution of wrongful discharge conflicts; and
WHEREAS, the same set of facts are often salient in more than one dispute resolution forum at the same time; and
WHEREAS, litigation in multiple forums costs time and money to employers and employees alike; and
WHEREAS, it may be both advantageous and efficient to allow a single, integrated process to assist in the resolution of employment-related disputes.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
That the Department of Labor and Industry:
(1) explore, investigate, and report to the 56th Legislature optional approaches to an integrated dispute resolution process for employment-related issues; and
(2) invite the participation and involvement of interested, knowledgeable persons, including employers and employees from the private and public sectors, in the department's process of identifying and analyzing options.