North Dakota Leave Laws

April 26th 2024

Taking time off from work is essential for employee health and welfare. As a result, there are specific laws in North Dakota that regulate leave entitlements for both public and private employers. 

This article discusses the various types of leave available to employees as defined under North Dakota laws. North Dakota recognizes two categories of leave: mandatory and non-mandatory, each with distinct rules and conditions.

This Article Covers

North Dakota Required Leave
North Dakota Non-Required Leave

North Dakota Required Leave

Employers in North Dakota are legally required to offer employees certain types of leave. The types of mandatory leave include:

1. Annual Leave (Public Employers)

  • Eligibility: State and local government agencies, departments, institutions, boards, and commissions must offer annual leave to their employees.
  • Duration: Depends on years of service and can range from 8 to 16 hours per month. Public employees can accrue up to 240 hours of annual leave each year. 
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: Annual leave can usually be used at the employee’s discretion for vacations, personal time off, or other personal matters
  • Pay: All accrued hours of annual leave are paid upon an employee’s termination.

2. Sick Leave (Public Employers)

  • Eligibility: All state and local government agencies, departments, boards, and commissions must provide sick leave to their employees. 
  • Duration: Employees start accruing this leave from day one on the job, with the minimum rate being 8 hours per month.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: Illness, injury, doctor’s appointments, caring for ill/injured family members, and cases of domestic violence or tragic events.
  • Pay: Sick leave is paid in North Dakota.

3. Family Leave (Public Employers)

  • Eligibility: Only state employees are eligible for family leave in North Dakota. 
  • Duration: Up to 12 weeks per year. 
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: Childbirth, adopting or fostering a child, caring for an immediate family member with serious health issues, or being affected by such an issue themselves.

4. Military Leave

  • Eligibility: Members of the National Guard and the Armed Forces Reserve are entitled to military leave in North Dakota. Eligibility also extends to anyone called in for federal service by the US President or anyone who wishes to volunteer for such service. 
  • Duration: Eligible employees are entitled to 20 paid workdays per year for military service. In cases of full or partial mobilization or emergency active duty, paid leave extends to the first 30 days.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: When an employee is called to active duty or is participating in military training.
  • Pay: Employees receive 20 paid workdays a year if they have worked for their employer for at least 90 days. For the first 30 days of full or partial mobilization or emergency active duty, leave is also paid. If military leave occurs on a weekend or a normally scheduled workday, employees may choose between unpaid time off or rescheduling their work period.

5. Emergency Response Leave

  • Eligibility: American Red Cross volunteers, emergency medical service volunteers, and firefighters are eligible for emergency response leave if requested to respond to a level II disaster or emergency.
  • Duration: Up to 5 working days per year. 
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To respond to an emergency or help with relief efforts. 
  • Pay: Emergency response leave is paid in North Dakota.

6. Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Leave (Public Employers)

  • Eligibility: Organ and bone marrow donors who work in the public sector must be offered leave in North Dakota. 
  • Duration: Up to 20 days. 
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To donate organs or bone marrow. 
  • Pay: State employees who donate an organ or bone marrow are entitled to paid leave.

7. Honor Guard Leave

  • Eligibility: Guards of honor participating in military funeral services are eligible for this leave.
  • Duration: 24 working hours per calendar year. 
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To participate in final tribute services at military funerals to honor deceased veterans.
  • Pay: Honor Guard leave is paid, recognizing the importance of the services provided by the honor guard and showing appreciation for their dedication.

8. Jury Duty Leave (Public Employers)

  • Eligibility: Employees of state and local government agencies, departments, boards, and commissions who are selected for jury duty are entitled to this type of leave. 
  • Duration: Varies depending on the period of jury service required by the court. 
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: When an employee is summoned by the court. 
  • Pay: Public employers in North Dakota are legally required to pay employees their regular pay during jury duty. If the juror fees provided by the court are less than the employee’s regular pay, the employer must compensate the difference. Additionally, employees who are on authorized annual leave during their jury service can retain both their regular pay and the juror fees.

9. Witness Leave (Public Employers)

  • Eligibility: Employees asked by their employer to testify in court are eligible for witness leave. 
  • Duration: The duration required for court testimony. 
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: When an employee is called to testify in court on behalf of their employer.
  • Pay: Employees are paid their regular wage during the time spent in court. They must also receive reimbursement for travel expenses, meals, and lodging related to their court appearance. If the employer does not cover these expenses, the employee can keep any compensation provided by the party requesting their testimony. This policy is effective even if the employee is on authorized leave.

10. Funeral Leave

  • Eligibility: State or local government employees are entitled to paid funeral leave.
  • Duration: Up to 24 working hours. 
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: If a family member or a family member of the employee’s spouse passes away.
  • Pay: Funeral leave is paid in North Dakota.

11. Holiday Leave (Public Employers)

  • Eligibility: Only public employers are eligible for holiday leave in North Dakota. 
  • Duration: For the duration of the official holiday.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: The occurrence of a national or state holiday.

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

If you want to know more about the rights of employees in North Dakota, you can read our guides on Your rights as a salaried employee in North Dakota, and Your rights as an hourly employee in North Dakota. You can also learn more about North Dakota Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

North Dakota Non-Required Leave

In North Dakota, there are several types of leave that are non-mandatory for private employers, including: 

  • Annual Leave 
  • Holiday Leave 
  • Sick Leave
  • Family Leave 
  • Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Leave 
  • Jury Duty Leave 

The provision of these types of leave is at the discretion of the employer and is often detailed in the employment contract or employee handbook. Private sector employees should refer to their specific employment agreements or company policies to understand their entitlements regarding non-required leave. 

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.