North Dakota Labor Laws

March 15th 2024

This article covers:

What are North Dakota Time Management Laws?

In the US, there are federal laws in place to manage the time spent by employees in the workplace, safeguarding their rights and guaranteeing fair pay for their efforts. These laws act as directives for employers, keeping them in check, and minimizing any forms of abuse or exploitation.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which dates back to 1938, is a critical federal law for time management, setting hourly wage rates and overtime pay, and requiring employers to keep an accurate record of their employees’ working hours. Overtime is pegged at 1.5 times the regular hourly rate for workers who exceed 40 hours a week. However, certain job categories, including executives, professionals, and administrative employees, are exempt from overtime pay depending on their job description and salary.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is another essential federal law that governs time management in the workplace, entitling eligible employees to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons, such as the birth or adoption of a child or caring for a family member with a serious health condition. This act also requires employers to maintain employees’ health benefits during their leave and restore them to their previous or equivalent positions upon their return to work.

Employers who contravene federal time management laws face severe legal ramifications, including fines, back pay, and damages. If workers feel that their employer has violated federal time management laws, they can file complaints with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division for investigation and legal action.

Overall, federal time management laws are instrumental in ensuring that workers are compensated fairly for their time and effort in the workplace, protecting them from abuse and exploitation by employers. The Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act are vital federal laws that govern time management and worker compensation, ensuring fair labor practices across various sectors, including non-profit, public, and private organizations.

North Dakota Minimum Wage $7.25
North Dakota Overtime 1.5 times the minimum wage for any time worked over 40 hours/week
($10.88 for minimum wage workers)
North Dakota Breaks 30-minute meal period in each shift exceeding 5 hours of work

What are the Hiring, Working & Termination Laws in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, it is deemed discriminatory practice for employers or employment agencies to terminate, give unequal treatment, refuse to hire, or withhold promotions or compensation to employees or job applicants because of their:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Mariage or public assistance status
  • Participation in lawful activity off the employer’s premises during non-working hours

Did you know that North Dakota was one of the pioneering states in the USA to implement the right-to-work law? This law essentially means that workers can decide for themselves whether or not they want to join a labor union at the workplace. Interestingly enough, this law has been taken seriously in the state of North Dakota, as it is forbidden for any employee to feel obligated to work with or become a part of a labor union just to keep their job.

In North Dakota, employment is considered “at-will,” meaning that an employer may terminate an employee at any time and for any reason, unless there is a contract stating otherwise. However, there are some exceptions where an employer cannot fire an employee, such as instances of discrimination or retaliation. If there is a specified notice in an employment contract, the “at-will” law does not apply, and employment may only be terminated for specific reasons. It is important to note that if employment ends, the employee must still receive their final paycheck on the regular payday.

What Are the Key Labor Laws in North Dakota?

Now, we will discuss some key labor laws in North Dakota that may not be related to the categories we have previously explored. Some of these regulations include:

  • OSHA Laws – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal law that helps ensure all employees work in a safe and healthy environment. This applies to all businesses, as OSHA enforces standards that must be followed. Additionally, OSHA provides training, assistance and education to raise awareness of safety in the workplace. However, it is important to note that OSHA only covers private sector employees and their employers. OSHA recognizes six main types of hazards in the workplace, which include biological, chemical and dust, work organization, safety, physical and ergonomic. Examples of hazards in each category range from mold and pests to excessive workload and stressful work environments.
  • Whistleblower Laws – In North Dakota, there is no sole whistleblower law in place. However, there are still other laws that offer protection against any form of retaliation in the workplace. This includes the Public Employee Relations Act and the North Dakota Century Code Chapter 34-01-20.
    • Public Employee Relations Act – As a public employee, you have the right to report any illegal or unethical activity related to your job without fear of retaliation. This includes violations of laws, rules, regulations, ordinances, and the misuse of public resources for personal gain. You can report these violations in writing and cannot be dismissed or discriminated against for doing so. If you do experience any negative consequences for whistleblowing, you can file a complaint with either the human resources department or the district court. It’s important to note that you must do this within 300 days of the suspected wrongdoing.
    • North Dakota Century Code Chapter 34-01-20 – It is prohibited for any employer to take disciplinary action against employees who report violations of federal, state, or local laws, participate in related processes, or refuse to engage in actions that conflict with such laws. In the event of a violation, individuals may take legal action within 180 days. Violators may be required to re-employ the employee, pay outstanding wages and benefits, and provide temporary or permanent injunctive relief.
  • Recordkeeping Laws – Employers in North Dakota are required to create and keep written records of their employees while they work and for a period of 2 years after thier termination. These records should contain information such as:
    • Wages
    • Wage rates
    • Job classifications
    • Terms and conditions of employment
    • Name, address, birth day (if younger than 19), and sex
    • Occupation
    • Hours worked each day and week
    • Exact time and day of the week when employee’s workweek begins
    • Basis on which the employee’s wages are paid (e.g., $12 per hour or $400 per week)
    • Hourly pay rate
    • Total overtime earnings
    • Additions or deductions from the employee’s wages
    • Total wages paid each pay period
    • Date of payment and the pay period

North Dakota Payment Laws

To start off, let’s take a look at the laws that govern how much employees must be paid. We’ll delve into the details of minimum wage standards, including any exceptions that may apply.

What is the Minimum Payment in North Dakota?

Starting on July 24th, 2009, employees in North Dakota are allowed to receive a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour based on federal regulations.

What are the Exceptions for Minimum Payment in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, some workers are not subject to the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The exempted groups of employees are:

  • Employees who work in nonprofit camps for youth education
  • Guides, cooks, or camp-tenders for a hunting or fishing guide service
  • Golf course caddies
  • People in employment programs for youthful or first-time offenders
  • Prison or jail inmates performing work directly associated with the prison, jail, institution, state, or a political subdivision
  • Actors or extras for motion pictures
  • Babysitting workers who work less than 20 hours per week
  • Volunteers who work on a part-time basis for public services, religious, nonprofit and charitable organizations, hospitals, etc.
  • Student trainees of vocational schools, provided that they don’t replace regular employees and don’t receive wages

In North Dakota, if you regularly receive over $30 in tips per month, you’re considered a tipped employee. Employers can take a tip credit of up to 33% of the state minimum wage, which in North Dakota is $2.39 per hour for tipped employees. However, the employee’s total earnings per hour (wages+tips) must equal at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25. If not, the employer must make up the difference.  For students enrolled in vocational education or related programs, the minimum hourly wage is 85% of the state minimum wage during their first year of employment, which stands at $6.16 per hour.

Employees with disabilities are paid a wage that matches their productivity and skills compared to a person without a disability doing the same work. Lastly, training programs and similar activities in North Dakota do not count as working time.

What is the Payment Due Date in North Dakota?

North Dakota requires employers to pay their workers at least once a month on a scheduled pay day. Other pay frequencies in the US include paying employees every week, every other week, or twice a month.

What are North Dakota Overtime Laws?

In North Dakota, when an employee works more than 40 hours a week, it is considered overtime. It is important to note that overtime pay does not include paid holidays, paid time off, or sick leave. Eligible employees in North Dakota should receive overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times their regular pay rate.

What are the Overtime Exceptions and Exemptions in North Dakota?

Although overtime pay is mandatory for most employees, certain jobs and specific workers are exempted from this requirement, including:

  • Workers classified as bona fide executive, administrative, and professional employees earning at least $684 weekly
  • Individuals employed in agricultural occupations
  • Employees spending a majority (at least 51%) of their working time providing care in foster homes, shelters, and related facilities
  • Domestic service employees who live in the households where they work
  • Commissioned sales representatives working in retail automobile, trailer, boat, truck, aircraft, or farm dealerships (with the condition that they are not required to be present for more than 40 hours per week)
  • Computer employees receiving a minimum hourly rate of $27.63
  • Fieldwork employees engaged in sales or order-taking activities (non-outside sales work limited to 20% of weekly work hours)
  • Mechanics earning a percentage of a flat rate schedule
  • Retail employees whose regular rate of pay exceeds 1.5 times the minimum hourly rate and receive at least 51% of their compensation from commission on goods or services (for a minimum period of 1 month)
  • Announcers, news editors, or chief engineers employed at radio or television stations
  • Artistic or creative professionals such as editors, musicians, actors, writers, publishers, etc.
  • Employees of covered motor carriers as specified by the Motor Carriers Act
  • Teachers, instructors, or lecturers employed in schools or educational systems
  • Highly compensated employees earning over $107,432 per year, primarily performing office or non-manual work
  • Employees providing care for aged or disabled persons, with no more than 20% of their work involving household tasks (cleaning, cooking, etc.)

Certain employees in North Dakota are eligible for overtime pay under the Fluctuating Workweek Method (FWW) if they receive a fixed salary and their workweek hours tend to fluctuate. This means that these employees sometimes work more than 40 hours a week and other times they work less. For example, a salaried nonexempt employee who receives a fixed salary regardless of whether they work 35 or 45 hours a week is eligible for overtime pay of one-half (0.5) times the regular hourly rate for every hour worked over 40 in a week.

Learn more in detail about North Dakota Overtime Laws.

What are North Dakota Time Off/Break Laws?

In North Dakota, employees are guaranteed a minimum 30-minute meal break during shifts lasting more than 5 hours, even though it’s not required by federal law. This law promotes a positive work environment and can boost the productivity of employees. It’s important to note that these breaks are unpaid and are only provided if there are at least 2 employees on duty.

What are the Exceptions to Break Law in North Dakota?

If employees are not given the opportunity to take a break during meals, they are entitled to receive payment for such periods. It’s important to note that if an employer provides a break period of less than 30 minutes, for example a 15-minute coffee break, the employee must still be compensated.

What are North Dakota Breastfeeding Laws?

In North Dakota, businesses have the option to be designated as “infant friendly” to show their support for breastfeeding in the workplace. However, if they choose to do so, they are required to implement certain accommodations. This includes providing flexible work scheduling and reasonable breaks for breast milk expression, a private space (excluding bathrooms) for this purpose, access to water for hand washing and breast pump cleaning, and a refrigerator for hygienic storage of breast milk.

What are North Dakota Leave Laws?

North Dakota provides two types of leaves – required and non-required leaves.

What is North Dakota Required Leave?

The following are the required leave types that North Dakota employers must provide to their employees:

  • Annual Leave (Public Employers) – State and local government agencies, departments, institutions, boards, and commissions all offer an annual leave benefit to their employees. Your annual leave accrual rate is based on years of service and can range from 8 to 16 hours per month. You can carry over up to 240 hours of annual leave each year. When you leave your job, you’ll get paid for any accrued hours of annual leave.
  • Holiday Leave (Public Employers) – The list of the holidays public employees receive can be find in the table below the Non-Required Leave.
  • Sick Leave (Public Employers) – As per the new policy, all state and local government agencies, departments, boards, and commissions must provide paid sick leave to their employees. Employees can start accruing this leave from day one based on their years of service, with the minimum rate being 8 hours per month. They can use this leave for various qualifying events such as their own illness/injury, diagnostic/treatment appointments, or for their eligible family members’ illnesses/injuries. Sick leave can also be used in cases of domestic violence, for seeking services or in tragic events like child deaths, with different limitations and hours allowed. The eligible family members include spouses, parents, children, and other dependent family members.
  • Family Leave (Public Employers) – State employees in North Dakota are eligible for family leave in certain cases such as childbirth, adopting or fostering a child, caring for an immediate family member with serious health issues, or being affected by such an issue themselves. The employee can take up to 12 weeks of leave per year. It’s important to note that family leave in North Dakota is unpaid, unlike sick leave.
  • Military Leave – As an employee or officer of the state of North Dakota or its political subdivisions, you may be eligible for a military leave of absence. This includes members of the National Guard, members of the armed forces reserve of the USA, anyone called in the federal service by the president of the USA, and anyone who wishes to volunteer for such service. If you are eligible, you are entitled to leave without losing your status or efficiency rating when called to active duty. Additionally, if you have been employed for 90 days before your absence, you will receive 20 paid workdays a year for military service. In the event of full or partial mobilization or emergency active duty, you will receive paid leave of absence for the first 30 days. If your leave falls on a weekend or a day when you are scheduled to work, your employer must give you the option of unpaid time off or the opportunity to reschedule your work period.
  • Disaster Services, Emergency Medical Services, and Firefighter Volunteers Leave – If there’s a level II disaster or emergency, American Red Cross volunteers can take time off to help the relief efforts. Likewise, emergency medical service volunteers and firefighters can get paid time off if they’re requested to respond to an emergency. However, they can’t take more than five working days off in a year.
  • Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Leave (Public Employers) – State employees who donate an organ or bone marrow are eligible to receive up to 20 days of paid leave from state agencies.
  • Honor Guard Leave – Honoring the veterans who have served our country is important, and guards of honor play a key role in providing final tribute services at military funerals. To show appreciation for their dedication, honor guard leave is granted – allowing up to 24 working hours of paid leave per calendar year.
  • Jury Duty Leave (Public Employers) – State and local government agencies, departments, boards, and commission employees who are selected for jury duty are entitled to paid absence from work. Even though the court provides jurors with juror fees, the employer is obligated to make up the difference if the fees do not match the employee’s regular pay. For instance, if the juror was absent for two days, normally receiving $200, and the court only paid them $120, their employer must pay them $80 to make up the difference. Employees on authorized annual leave who are called for jury duty can keep both their court fees and regular pay for the days they serve as jurors.
  • Witness Leave (Public Employers) – If an employee is asked by their employer to testify in court, they are entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses, meals, and lodging. However, the employee cannot ask for any additional compensation and must be paid their regular wage for the time spent in court. If the employer doesn’t cover the employee’s expenses, the employee can keep any compensation offered by the party requesting their witness testimony. This still applies if the employee is on authorized leave.
  • Funeral Leave – State or local government employees are entitled to paid funeral leave, for a maximum of 24 working hours, if a family member or family member of their spouse passes away.

What is North Dakota Non-Required Leave?

The non-required leave types for private employees are:

  • Annual Leave – Private Employers are not obligated to offer such leave
  • Holiday Leave – Private Employers are not obligated to offer such leave
  • Sick Leave – Private Employers are not obligated to offer such leave
  • Family Leave – Private Employers are not obligated to offer such leave
  • Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Leave – Private Employers are not obligated to offer such leave
  • Jury Duty Leave – Private Employers are not obligated to offer such leave

The following are the official federal holidays observed in the US:

State Official Holidays Date
New Year’s Day 1 January
Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Day Third Monday in January
Washington’s Birthday Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Election Day Every other year
Veterans Day 11 November
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day 25 December

What are North Dakota Child Labor Laws?

To protect the safety and wellbeing of minors in the workplace, both federal and North Dakota laws have established restrictions on the hours and types of work that minors are permitted to perform. For workers aged 14 and 15, North Dakota employers are required to obtain a work permit. However, these permits are only granted to minors who maintain passing grades in all subjects and attendance records in school. Those who have unsatisfactory grades and frequently miss school are not eligible for work permits under North Dakota law. There are various regulations in place to govern child labor in North Dakota.

What are the Laws on Working Hours for Minors in North Dakota?

While there are no hourly limitations for minors who are 16 and older in North Dakota, minors who are 14 or 15 are allowed to work under specific circumstances, such as:

  • Between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (until 9 p.m. from June 1st to Labor Day)
  • Up to 3 hours on a school day
  • Up to 8 hours on a non-school day
  • 18 hours on a school week
  • 40 hours on a non-school week

While federal law doesn’t cover breaks or meal periods for young employees, North Dakota law requires workers to receive a 30-minute meal break during each shift lasting more than 5 hours, as long as there are at least 2 employees on duty.

What are the Banned Jobs for Minors in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, if you’re 14 or 15 years old, there are certain jobs that you’re not allowed to do. The law prohibits minors in this age range from working in certain occupations, such as:

  • Working with power-driven machinery (excluding specific exceptions)
  • Working at a construction site (with limited exceptions)
  • Participating in lumbering or logging operations
  • Working in sawmills or planing mills
  • Working with explosives
  • Operating steam boilers or machinery
  • Operating laundry machinery
  • Working with or near toxic substances such as acids, paints, herbicides, etc.
  • Working with or near medical waste
  • Working in a mine or quarry
  • Operating or assisting with passenger or freight elevators
  • Manufacturing goods for immoral purposes
  • Working in occupations involving ladders or scaffolds higher than 6 feet
  • Operating weapons
  • Door-to-door sales (excluding newspaper and shopper carriers)
  • Handling or storing blood, blood products, body fluids, or tissues
  • Cooking, baking, grilling, or frying
  • Working in a warehouse or storage facility
  • Trucking or commercial driving
  • Any job requiring standing, except for minors working as singers or musicians in a church, school, or academy.

Employers who hire minors aged 14 and 15 need to put up a printed sign that shows the daily hours of work, start and end times, and break times (if any). This sign should be easily visible in each establishment where minors work.

Important Cautionary Note

This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.