Accessible Navigation. Go to: Navigation Main Content Footer


Employment Law: A Hand with tie holding scales of justiceSeries of Seven Short Courses

Prevent costly mistakes.  Understanding employment law is insurance, power, and protection.

Description:

Business owners can become embroiled in lawsuits with employees simply because they are unaware of legal requirements.  Resulting litigation can be costly in terms of time, money, reputation, and emotional distress. Fortunately, there is a simple solution. Learning the basics of employment law will help you manage 75% of all issues and recognize the remaining 25% that warrant an attorney.

This series of seven short employment law courses is designed for Business Owners, HR Personnel, Managers, and Supervisors.

Sign up for a single short course by registering below, or take all seven short courses and save $100. To register for the full series and receive the discounted rate of $540, call (406) 243-6496 or email clare.kelly@umontana.edu.

Course Policies

Courses in chronological order:

 

The Basics of Employee Handbooks and Policies

Date: Tuesday
May 6
Time: 1 - 2:30 p.m.
Location: UM Campus - Todd Building
Hours of Instruction: 1.5
Course Fee: $65
Registration: Register Now

Course Description:

This course focuses on why companies should or should not have an employee manual, and if the company chooses to have a handbook, what should be included, especially since Montana law is unique in this area. The course provides instruction on how to draft a good policy, how and why to train employees in the policy, and the need for the company to follow its policy.


Hiring Effectively and Legally

Date: Tuesday
May 6
Time: 3 - 5 p.m.
Location: UM Campus - Todd Building
Hours of Instruction: 2
Course Fee: $85
Registration: Register Now

Course Description:

This course provides participants with basic knowledge of employment laws including how to hire employees without violating discrimination laws, the basics of a good job advertisement and interview techniques, questions that can and cannot be asked, and the need for comprehensive job descriptions. The course also covers the information that should be documented and what records need to be kept and for how long. We also discuss whether or not to use performance evaluations.


Wage and Hour Issues

Date: Wednesday
May 7
Time: 1 - 2:30 p.m.
Location: UM Campus - Todd Building
Hours of Instruction: 1.5
Course Fee: $65
Registration: Register Now

Course Description:

Participants will learn basic federal and state wage and hour laws including the Fair Labor Standards Act and Montana state law. The course provides knowledge on how to judge whether or not someone is an Independent Contractor, the requirement to obtain a copy of the IC certificate, how to decide if an employee is exempt or not, what must be in any policy related to the payment of wages and vacation time, whether a business must offer break time, etc.


Unemployment Insurance & Employee Discipline and Termination in Montana

Date: Wednesday
May 7
Time: 3 - 5:30 p.m.
Location: UM Campus - Todd Building
Hours of Instruction: 2.5
Course Fee: $85
Registration: Register Now

Course Description:

This course provides knowledge of the law related to unemployment insurance in Montana. It will explain the law, the procedure that is used, and the administrative system and process. Learn how to respond to an application for unemployment insurance, including the use of exhibits and witnesses, and the effects of a response -- such as whether statements in UI hearings are admissible in other proceedings.

This course also teaches the basics of employee discipline, including when and how to do it effectively and legally, and why documentation is necessary. Learn the requirements of the Montana Wrongful Discharge Act, including when an employee can be legally terminated, the process required by the Statute, and the damages if the employee is not terminated lawfully. The course provides information useful to ensuring that the termination is done correctly, can be justified, is supportable, and is based on employee performance issues, including how to comply with privacy laws and avoid defamation claims. For public employers, the class addresses the requirement that the employee be given just cause related to the termination. This concept is also useful to support termination decisions by private employers and to avoid claims of retaliation.

Additional termination issues will be discussed including grievance procedures, what needs to be included in the final paycheck, when the final paycheck must be issued under Montana law, and what documents must be kept and for how long.


Social Media: Required Postings and Records Retention

Date: Monday
May 12
Time: 12:45 - 2:45 p.m.
Location: UM Campus - Todd Building
Hours of Instruction: 2
Course Fee: $85
Registration: Register Now

Course Description:

Learn the legal issues surrounding the use of social media in the workplace including prohibiting its use during work time.  What recourse does an employer have if an employee posts comments about them?  Can social media be used as part of a background investigation?  The laws regarding the use and misuse of social media will be discussed, as well as the regulations for record keeping when records appear in an electronic format.


Basics of Federal and State Discrimination Law: How to Create a Discrimination Free Workplace

Date: Monday
May 12
Time: 3 - 5 p.m.
Location: UM Campus - Todd Building
Hours of Instruction: 2
Course Fee: $85
Registration: Register Now

Course Description:

This course covers the basics of Title VII and Montana State law. Discrimination laws will be explained, including a discussion on all protected categories, especially those only applicable to Montana. Participants will analyze vignettes to ascertain if the behavior is discriminatory. Learn what constitutes discrimination under the law, how to recognize discriminatory behavior, what the company must do to be compliant and protect its employees, and how to stop discriminatory behaviors. The class also focuses on how to draft and implement a policy and how to train employees in these issues. Participants learn how to address internal complaints of discrimination and complaints filed with the Human Resources Department. Finally, the class addresses the concept of retaliation, why it is illegal, why it is so prevalent, and how to prevent it.


Employee Health Issues: Understanding and Complying with the Myriad of Federal and State Laws Addressing Employee Medical Issues and Leave Requirements

Date: Tuesday
May 13
Time: 1 - 5 p.m.
Location: UM Campus - Todd Building
Hours of Instruction: 4
Course Fee: $170
Registration: Register Now

Course Description:

This course covers the basics of Federal and Montana State laws that regulate employee health issues. The course explains the requirements of Federal laws: the ADAA, FMLA, USERRA, Montana State specific laws, Workers Compensation, Military leave, and Pregnancy Leave Act. Learn when the laws are applicable, what each law requires of the company, and what the company can require of the employee. There are practice exercises on how to engage in the Interactive Process required by the ADAA. The course also addresses retaliation issues, including what the law requires, what would constitute retaliation, and how to prevent it.


Michele Puiggari | Employment Law: A Series of Five Short Courses Instructor | Professional Development Courses | UMExtended | School of Extended & Lifelong Learning

About the Instructor:

Michele Puiggari earned a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and a J.D. from Catholic University Columbus School of Law, and she is a licensed attorney in New Mexico, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania.  She is the founder and owner of Puiggari and Associates Consulting Services in Missoula, Montana, where she focuses on providing HR consulting services to businesses. Her areas of expertise include employment policy development, employment training of managers and employees emphasizing compliance with state and federal employment law, assistance with responding to external agency complaints of discrimination, and resolving workplace discrimination complaints, including employment investigations. Her clients include businesses in retail, healthcare, county government and higher education.

  • School of Extended & Lifelong Learning
  • The University of Montana
  • 32 Campus Drive
  • Missoula, MT  59812
  • Phone: (406) 243-2900
  • Fax: (406) 243-2047
  • Email: sell@umontana.edu