Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. General Provisions


39-31-103. Definitions. When used in this chapter, the following definitions apply:

(1) "Appropriate unit" means a group of public employees banded together for collective bargaining purposes as designated by the board.

(2) "Board" means the board of personnel appeals provided for in 2-15-1705.

(3) "Confidential employee" means any person found by the board to be a confidential labor relations employee and any person employed in the personnel division, department of administration, who acts with discretionary authority in the creation or revision of state classification specifications.

(4) "Exclusive representative" means the labor organization which has been designated by the board as the exclusive representative of employees in an appropriate unit or has been so recognized by the public employer.

(5) "Labor dispute" includes any controversy concerning terms, tenure, or conditions of employment or concerning the association or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing, or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of employment, regardless of whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of employer and employee.

(6) "Labor organization" means any organization or association of any kind in which employees participate and which exists for the primary purpose of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, fringe benefits, or other conditions of employment.

(7) "Management official" means a representative of management having authority to act for the agency on any matters relating to the implementation of agency policy.

(8) "Person" includes one or more individuals, labor organizations, public employees, associations, corporations, legal representatives, trustees, trustees in bankruptcy, or receivers.

(9) (a) "Public employee" means:

(i) except as provided in subsection (9)(b), a person employed by a public employer in any capacity; and

(ii) an individual whose work has ceased as a consequence of or in connection with any unfair labor practice or concerted employee action.

(b) Public employee does not mean:

(i) an elected official;

(ii) a person directly appointed by the governor;

(iii) a supervisory employee, as defined in subsection (11);

(iv) a management official, as defined in subsection (7);

(v) a confidential employee, as defined in subsection (3);

(vi) a member of any state board or commission who serves the state intermittently;

(vii) a school district clerk;

(viii) a school administrator;

(ix) a registered professional nurse performing service for a health care facility;

(x) a professional engineer; or

(xi) an engineer intern.

(10) "Public employer" means the state of Montana or any political subdivision thereof, including but not limited to any town, city, county, district, school board, board of regents, public and quasi-public corporation, housing authority or other authority established by law, and any representative or agent designated by the public employer to act in its interest in dealing with public employees. Public employer also includes any local public agency designated as a head start agency as provided in 42 U.S.C. 9836.

(11) (a) "Supervisory employee" means an individual having the authority on a regular, recurring basis while acting in the interest of the employer to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees or to effectively recommend the above actions if, in connection with the foregoing, the exercise of the authority is not of a merely routine or clerical nature but requires the use of independent judgment.

(b) The authority described in subsection (11)(a) is the only criteria that may be used to determine if an employee is a supervisory employee. The use of any other criteria, including any secondary test developed or applied by the national labor relations board or the Montana board of personnel appeals, may not be used to determine if an employee is a supervisory employee under this section.

(12) "Unfair labor practice" means any unfair labor practice listed in 39-31-401 or 39-31-402.

History: En. Sec. 2, Ch. 441, L. 1973; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 117, L. 1975; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 384, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 59-1602(part); amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 271, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 31, Ch. 397, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 354, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 14, Ch. 108, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 483, L. 2005.