Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. General Provisions


39-30-103. Definitions. For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:

(1) "Eligible spouse" means the spouse of a person with a disability determined by the department of public health and human services to have a 100% disability and who is unable to use the employment preference because of the person's disability.

(2) (a) "Initial hiring" means a personnel action for which applications are solicited from outside the ranks of the current employees of:

(i) a department, as defined in 2-15-102, for a position within the executive branch;

(ii) a legislative agency for a position within the legislative branch;

(iii) a judicial agency, such as the office of supreme court administrator, office of supreme court clerk, state law library, or similar office in a state district court for a position within the judicial branch;

(iv) a city or town for a municipal position, including a city or municipal court position; and

(v) a county for a county position, including a justice's court position.

(b) A personnel action limited to current employees of a specific public entity identified in this subsection (2), current employees in a reduction-in-force pool who have been laid off from a specific public entity identified in this subsection (2), or current participants in a federally authorized employment program is not an initial hiring.

(3) (a) "Mental impairment" means:

(i) a disability attributable to intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, or any other neurologically disabling condition closely related to intellectual disability and requiring treatment similar to that required by intellectually disabled individuals; or

(ii) an organic or mental impairment that has substantial adverse effects on an individual's cognitive or volitional functions.

(b) The term mental impairment does not include alcoholism or drug addiction and does not include any mental impairment or mental disease or disorder that has been asserted by the individual claiming the preference as a defense to any criminal charge.

(4) "Person with a disability" means:

(a) an individual certified by the department of public health and human services to have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as writing, seeing, hearing, speaking, or mobility, and that limits the individual's ability to obtain, retain, or advance in employment; or

(b) any disabled veteran as defined in 39-29-101, except that the disabled veteran must be discharged under honorable conditions as defined in 39-29-101.

(5) "Position" means a position occupied by a permanent or seasonal employee as defined in 2-18-101 for the state or a position occupied by a similar permanent or seasonal employee with a public employer other than the state. However, the term does not include:

(a) a position occupied by a temporary employee as defined in 2-18-101 for the state or a similar temporary employee with a public employer other than the state;

(b) a state or local elected official;

(c) employment as an elected official's immediate secretary, legal adviser, court reporter, or administrative, legislative, or other immediate or first-line aide;

(d) appointment by an elected official to a body such as a board, commission, committee, or council;

(e) appointment by an elected official to a public office if the appointment is provided for by law;

(f) a department head appointment by the governor or an executive department head appointment by a mayor, city manager, county commissioner, or other chief administrative or executive officer of a local government;

(g) engagement as an independent contractor or employment by an independent contractor; or

(h) a position occupied by a student intern, as defined in 2-18-101.

(6) (a) "Public employer" means:

(i) any department, office, board, bureau, commission, agency, or other instrumentality of the executive, judicial, or legislative branch of the government of the state of Montana; and

(ii) any county, city, or town.

(b) The term does not include a school district, a vocational-technical program, a community college, the board of regents of higher education, the Montana university system, a special purpose district, an authority, or any political subdivision of the state other than a county, city, or town.

(7) "Substantially equal qualifications" means the qualifications of two or more persons among whom the public employer cannot make a reasonable determination that the qualifications held by one person are significantly better suited for the position than the qualifications held by the other persons.

History: En. Sec. 3, Ch. 1, Sp. L. 1983; amd. Sec. 34, Ch. 658, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 10, Ch. 646, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 28, Ch. 308, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 62, Ch. 545, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 101, Ch. 546, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 12, Ch. 339, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 34, Ch. 472, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 11, Ch. 75, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 68, L. 2013; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 191, L. 2013; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 161, L. 2015.