This Employer Handbook answers questions commonly asked by employers and provides information about your rights and responsibilities.
What is Unemployment Insurance?
Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a federal-state program developed in 1935. Unemployment Insurance is exactly as the name implies - insurance. Administration of the Unemployment Insurance program is financed through the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) paid by employers.
Unemployment Insurance benefits lighten the burden for the unemployed worker, maintain purchasing power in the community, and allow laid off employees to remain in the area so they will be available for re-employment. The program stabilizes the local and state economy by preventing a sharp drop in consumer spending during periods of unemployment. Unemployment Insurance benefits are paid with Unemployment Insurance contributions paid by employers.
Employee - is an individual who performs a service for a person or organization. One test applied to determine if an individual is an employee is: Does the individual or organization for whom the service is performed have the legal right to control the way in which the service is performed? It is only the right to control that is important; it is not necessary that the control is ever exercised.
Employer - is a person or organization who pays wages to an individual in exchange for the performance of a service. Individuals, corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts, limited liability companies, associations, joint ventures, religious organizations, government agencies, and political subdivisions are types of entities that may be employers. This is not an exclusive list of examples and if your particular organization is not mentioned by name it does not mean it is not considered an employer. Note: If an employer’s total gross wages are less than $1,000 for the current year or the previous year, the employer is not required to pay Unemployment Insurance taxes.
Wage - is a general term that includes, but is not limited to, salaries, wages, bonuses, fees, commissions, vacation allowances, retroactive pay increases, and any other payments made by an employer for services provided by his/her employee, unless exempted. The term wages also includes the cash value of any asset that is given to an employee as compensation for his/her service to the employer.
What if I have a question that is not covered in this handbook?
This handbook may not answer all your questions and does not cover all situations. If you need assistance, contact the Unemployment Insurance office at (406) 444-3834 or the field representative nearest you. See page 31 for for field representative phone numbers, and page 33 for listings of the Montana Job Service.
Please have available your UI account number, federal identification number and other information (canceled checks, report copies, etc.) when you call. If calling about a particular claimant, please have their social security number available.
We attempt to answer every call in person and know it is frustrating to call
the department and reach a voice mailbox. However, voice mail has
substantially reduced the number of lost calls and improved our service. We’ll
get back to you as soon as possible if you leave your name, phone number and
UI account number.