Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 3. General Administrative Provisions

Administration -- Duties And Powers Of Department -- Duties And Powers Of Board -- Emergency Provisions

39-51-301. Administration -- duties and powers of department -- duties and powers of board -- emergency provisions. (1) It is the duty of the department to administer this chapter. The department may adopt, amend, or rescind rules to employ persons, make expenditures, require reports, make investigations, and take action that the department considers necessary or suitable in administering this chapter.

(2) The department shall determine its own organization and methods of procedure in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and must have an official seal, which is judicially noticed.

(3) Whenever the department believes that a change in contribution or benefit rates is necessary to protect the solvency of the fund, the department shall promptly inform the governor and the legislature and make recommendations with respect to the change.

(4) (a) The department and the board may jointly or individually issue subpoenas and compel testimony and the production of evidence, including books, records, papers, documents, and other objects that may be necessary and proper in regard to any investigation or proceeding under this chapter.

(b) If a subpoena issued and served under this section is disobeyed or if a witness refuses to testify to any matter for which the witness may be interrogated in a proceeding before the department, the department may apply to a district court for an order to compel compliance with the subpoena or testimony. Disobedience of the court's order constitutes contempt of court.

(5) (a) In the aftermath of a disaster, as defined in 10-3-103, the department may waive, suspend, or modify its rules concerning the filing of a claim for benefits, filing continued claims, registration for work, or work search if all of the following conditions are met:

(i) the president of the United States declares a disaster pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 5170, et seq.; and

(ii) the governor issues an executive order directing the department to waive, suspend, or modify rules relating to claims.

(b) In a disaster declared under subsection (5)(a), the department may waive, suspend, or modify its rules relating to claims in portions of the state named by the department as appropriate to address the nature of the disaster and the purposes of unemployment insurance laws.

(c) The department shall verify that an employer who has laid off employees because of a disaster declared under subsection (5)(a) is in the portion of the state covered by the disaster order. If the employer is eligible, the department shall implement the provisions of 39-51-1214(2)(i).

History: En. Subd. (a), Sec. 11, Ch. 137, L. 1937; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 156, L. 1961; amd. Sec. 40, Ch. 93, L. 1969; amd. Sec. 11, Ch. 368, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 87-120; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 349, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 11, Ch. 125, L. 1983; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 125, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 20, Ch. 491, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 61, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 597, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 466, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 52, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 20, Ch. 81, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 25, L. 2009; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 123, L. 2011; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 81, L. 2013.