Author Archives: Stephen Bell

Stephen Bell

About Stephen Bell

Steve is a partner in the Trial group.

Quirky Question #241, Working for Free In Montana At A Start-Up Business

Question:

I was laid off by my Montana employer and I have decided to help my brother with his start up business. I will be a 50% owner but we are not going to take a salary until revenue is substantial. An accountant friend tells me that my work for free for the start-up may disqualify me for the unemployment benefits I am currently receiving. This cannot be right. I have paid into the unemployment system for years and I am not receiving any wages. Answer→

Quirky Question #217, Bereavement Leave in Colorado and Oregon

Question:

An employee in our Corporate Office recently informed Human Resources that she was requesting bereavement leave with respect to her sister’s death last month.  When she was informed of our company policy, that up to 3 days of paid time off may be taken to attend the funeral, she said her attorney friend told her a new law requires two weeks.  I’ve never heard of this law? Answer→

Quirky Question #212, Montana Non-Competes

Question:

We are an accounting firm and recently fired an employee at will.  We have always understood that Montana law disfavors non-competition agreements, therefore, our employment agreement provides that if the accountant provides services to our clients within six months of leaving, he will pay us the profits from such an engagement which are stipulated to be 75% of gross revenues.   Since our former accountant is not completely prohibited from competing, isn’t this agreement enforceable? Answer→

Quirky Question #209, Obesity as a Disability under MT Law

Question:

We are in Montana and a very obese woman recently applied for a manager position.  The position is more physical than most in that there is significant walking between facilities, and the candidate must climb ladders to view the product line in the manufacturing facility.   We declined to hire this candidate because we did not think she could safely perform the job.  She has threatened to sue us.  Is there any risk? Answer→

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