In November, Montana voters approved Ballot Initiative I-151, which raised and strengthened the state’s minimum wage. A bill is now pending in the Montana legislature, Montana House Bill 492 (HB 492), which would change the state’s minimum wage protections for tipped workers across the state.
Montana’s restaurant industry, which is the chief proponent of HB 492, has characterized the bill as making relatively small changes in minimum wage protections for tipped restaurant servers. However, review of HB 492’s actual statutory language and contents reveals that this characterization is not accurate. Rather, HB 492 would significantly weaken Montana’s minimum wage protections