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Employment Laws in North Dakota

Filed under Hiring Workers. Fact checked on May 25, 2012.

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Employers in North Dakota must conform to these state rules relating to the employment relationship.

Employee means a person who performs services for an employer that has one or more employees, but does not include:

  • individuals employed by their parent, grandparent, spouse, child, or grandchild
  • individuals in domestic service

For purposes of the equal pay law, employee means any individual employed by an employer.

Employer means a person in North Dakota who employs one or more full-time employees for more than one quarter of the year and a person, wherever situated, who employs one or more employees whose services are partially or wholly performed in North Dakota.

For purposes of the equal pay law, employer means a person acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in relation to one or more employees of each sex.

Prohibited Employment Discrimination

Hiring or employment decisions are prohibited based on an individual's:

  • race
  • color
  • religion
  • sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or related disabilities)
  • national origin
  • age (40 or over)
  • mental or physical disability
  • marital status
  • receipt of public assistance

Lawful activities outside employment. Employment discrimination based on lawful activity off the employer's premises during nonworking hours which is not in direct conflict with the essential business-related interests of the employer is prohibited.

Whistle-blower protections. It is a discriminatory practice for persons to engage in any form of threats, retaliation, or discrimination against a person who has opposed any unlawful discriminatory practice or who, in good faith, has filed a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in an investigation, hearing, or litigation under North Dakota's Human Rights Act.

Sales of methamphetamine precursor drugs. Employers in North Dakota may avoid penalties under the state law regulating the retail sales of methamphetamine precursor drugs by providing training for employees.

Service animals. Individuals with disabilities and persons training service animals are entitled to be accompanied by service animals in places of public accommodation.

Firearms. Effective August 1, 2011, an employer may not prohibit an employee from possessing a legally owned firearm if the firearm is lawfully possessed and locked inside or locked to a motor vehicle in a parking lot if the employee is lawfully in the area. Employers may not prohibit or attempt to prohibit an employee from entering the employer's parking lot or place of business because the employee's private vehicle contains a legal firearm being carried for lawful purposes that is out of sight within the private vehicle. Verbal or written inquiries or searches regarding firearms in a private vehicle are prohibited.

Employers may not condition employment upon the fact that an employee or prospective employee does or does not hold a concealed weapons license or upon any agreement that prohibits the keeping of a legal firearm for lawful purposes in a private locked vehicle in a parking lot.

Employers may not terminate the employment of or otherwise discriminate against an employee for exercising the constitutional right to keep and bear arms or for exercising the right of self-defense as long as a firearm is never exhibited on company property for any reason other than lawful defensive purposes.

Recordkeeping/Posting Requirements

Employers must collect and maintain medical history information separate from nonmedical information and keep it confidential.

Employers subject to the equal pay law must make, keep and maintain records of the wages and wage rates, job classifications, and other terms and conditions of employment of their employees and must preserve the records for the periods of time and must make reports as the Commissioner of Labor prescribes.

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