North Dakota Labor Laws

North Dakota Labor Laws (2024 Guide For Employers)

It’s essential for employers and employees working in the state of North Dakota to have a solid understanding of North Dakota labor laws.

  • Are you struggling to understand your rights regarding time off and paid leave?
  • Confused about how to calculate your regular rate of pay or overtime hours?
  • Unsure about your employer’s obligations regarding recordkeeping and work conditions?

When it comes to employment law, it’s important to possess a comprehensive understanding of North Dakota labor regulations, including those concerning time off, employee wages, and work conditions.

In-depth knowledge can empower you to navigate the complexities of labor laws with confidence.

This article is for:

  • Private employers seeking clarity on their obligations under North Dakota labor laws.
  • Employees aiming to assert their rights regarding time off, wages, and work conditions.
  • Individuals interested in understanding the nuances of employment contracts, leave of absence, and collective bargaining in North Dakota.

Understanding labor laws can feel daunting, but rest assured, you’re not alone.

We’re here to simplify the process and point you in the right direction for learning more about your rights.

Together, let’s gain a greater understanding of North Dakota labor laws.

Disclaimer: Despite our best efforts to provide you with accurate information on this topic at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content at the time of reading. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific guidance on North Dakota labor laws.

North Dakota Wage Laws

Minimum Wage

North Dakota’s minimum wage matches the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour.

Tipped employees in the state earn a minimum cash wage of $4.86 per hour, with the understanding that their tips will bring their earnings up to or above the standard minimum wage.


Certain categories of workers may be exempt from North Dakota’s minimum wage requirements. These can include outside salespeople, agricultural workers on small farms, and some individuals with disabilities.

North Dakota Payment Laws

Regular Payday

North Dakota requires employers to establish regular paydays. Employees must be paid their earned wages at least once each month.

Pay Period

Employers can choose weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, or monthly pay periods for their workers.

Final Paycheck

Upon termination, employees are entitled to receive their final paycheck including all earned wages, on or before the next regular payday.

If terminated immediately, final pay is due within a short timeframe (typically by the next business day).

North Dakota Overtime Laws

Standard Overtime

North Dakota follows the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guidelines for overtime pay. Non-exempt employees must be paid at a rate of time and one-half their regular wage rate for all hours worked beyond 40 in a single workweek.


Exemptions from overtime requirements apply to salaried employees in executive, administrative, or professional roles who meet specific criteria. Other exemptions may apply depending on the industry or employer type.

North Dakota Break Laws

Meal Breaks

North Dakota requires employers to provide a meal period of at least 30 consecutive minutes for shifts with two conditions: 1) the employee works at least 5 consecutive hours and 2) the employee is relieved of all work duties.

Rest Breaks

North Dakota does not have a specific law mandating rest breaks.

However, federal law may require certain breaks, such as those for nursing mothers to express breast milk.

North Dakota Leave Requirements

While North Dakota doesn’t have a comprehensive state-mandated leave program, certain leave requirements exist under both state and federal law:

Sick Leave

North Dakota has no law requiring employers to offer paid sick leave. However, some employers choose to do so, and federal law may require leave in specific health-related cases.

Jury Duty Leave

Employers are obligated to provide leave for employees summoned to jury duty. They are prohibited from penalizing or discharging an employee for serving on a jury.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA applies to eligible employees working for covered employers in North Dakota.

It entitles employees to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for qualifying reasons like serious health conditions, caring for a new child, or addressing needs arising from a family member’s military service.

Child Labor Laws in North Dakota

North Dakota enforces strict child labor laws to protect minors in the workforce:

Minimum Age

Generally, the minimum age for employment is 14 years of age.

Some work may be permitted for younger children with parental consent and/or specific restrictions.

Work Hours

There are limitations on the number of hours and the times of day when minors are permitted to work. These vary based on the age of the minor and the school week (in session or not).

Prohibited Occupations

North Dakota prohibits minors from engaging in certain occupations considered hazardous or detrimental to their well-being.

North Dakota Hiring Laws


North Dakota law prohibits discrimination in hiring based on protected characteristics. These include race, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, pregnancy, and other factors protected by the state’s Human Rights Act.

Background Checks

Employers in North Dakota may conduct background checks on potential hires, but they must follow certain guidelines to ensure fairness and compliance with the law.

Employment Eligibility Verification

Employers are required to verify the employment eligibility of all new hires using the federal I-9 form.

North Dakota Termination Laws

At-Will Employment

North Dakota is an “at-will” employment state.

This means that, in the absence of a written contract stating otherwise, an employer can terminate an employee for any reason (or no reason at all), provided it’s not illegal or discriminatory.

Exceptions to At-Will Employment

Exceptions exist, such as in cases where termination violates public policy or protected activities (like whistleblower actions or exercising legal rights).

Notice Requirements

North Dakota doesn’t mandate severance pay or advance notice of termination. However, employers may establish policies addressing these matters.

Occupational Safety in North Dakota


Most North Dakota employers fall under the jurisdiction of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA sets and enforces workplace safety and health standards.

Workers’ Compensation

North Dakota mandates a workers’ compensation system that provides benefits to employees injured or who become ill due to their work.

This is a no-fault system, meaning that employees receive benefits even if the injury wasn’t the employer’s fault.

Important Notes

Federal vs. State Law

Where federal and state labor laws overlap, the laws providing greater protection for workers typically prevail.

Local Laws

Some cities or counties in North Dakota may have additional ordinances or regulations related to employment.

Where to Find More Information

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

It’s always best to consult with an attorney or the North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights with specific questions or for assistance interpreting the law in your situation.

The North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights is an excellent resource for further details on labor laws.

Their website offers information, forms, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice

This blog post provides a general overview of North Dakota labor laws but does not constitute legal advice. Laws and regulations are subject to change, and there may be additional requirements or exemptions that apply to specific situations. Employers and employees should consult a qualified labor law attorney for advice on their specific circumstances.

If you have any questions about your rights or obligations as an employer or employee in North Dakota, it is essential to consult with a labor law attorney to receive accurate information and guidance tailored to your situation. By seeking professional legal advice, you can ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to comply with labor laws and protect your rights.

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