It’s important to stay up to date on all of the employment laws in your state so that you can maintain compliance in your business. We did some of the hard work for you and put some of the most important North Dakota statutes in one place so you can either learn them for the first time or give yourself a refresher. 

However, remember that our summary is not qualified legal advice, laws are always subject to change, and they can vary from municipality to municipality. 

It’s up to you to make sure you’re compliant with all laws and statutes in your area. Consult with a qualified lawyer and/or your local government agencies if you have questions or concerns. 

Here are a few North Dakota labor laws every small business owner should know.


First, here are a few helpful links and resources for you to bookmark and refer back to:


  • Sick Days: Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid sick leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one.
  • Medical Leave: Employers may be required to provide an employee unpaid leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
  • Vacation Leave: Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid vacation leave, but must comply with any established policy or contract.
    • Employers can’t require employees to forfeit any accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment, regardless of the reason. 
    • Employers can cap the amount of vacation leave an employee can accrue. 
    • Employers can implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy that requires employees to use their leave by a certain date. 
  • Jury Duty: Employers are not required to pay an employee for time taken to respond to a jury summons, but they are not allowed to punish the employee in any way. 
  • Holiday Leave: Private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid time off for holidays. 
  • Voting Leave: State law “encourages” employers to allow employees to take time off to  vote if their work schedules conflict with voting poll times. Still, there is no guaranteed right to the time off. 
  • Bereavement Leave: Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave.

Final Paycheck

  • All employees who separate from employment, no matter the reason, must be paid all final wages no later than the regular payday the wages would be due. 
  • If an employee is not paid by the required day, the employee is entitled to collect the value of the wages they would have earned had they continued working for each day the employer is in default, up to 30 days. 

Minimum Wage

The current minimum wage in North Dakota is $7.25.

Tipped Wages

  • The minimum wage for tipped employees is $4.86. 
  • Employers, except for those who work in certain gaming organizations, are prohibited from requiring employees to participate in a tip pooling or sharing agreement

Child Labor

Minors 14 and 15 years of age are subject to the following restrictions:

  • When school is in session:
    • A maximum of 3 hours a day on school days
    • A maximum of 8 hours a day on non-school days
    • A maximum of 18 hours a week during school weeks
    • Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
    • No working during school hours 
  • When school is not in session
    • A maximum of 8 hours a day 
    • No more than 40 hours a week 
    • Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. from June 1 to Labor Day
  • Minors 16 and 17 years of age are not subject to any time restrictions. 

Meal and Rest Breaks, Overtime

  • Federal law requires employers to pay non-exempt employees an overtime rate of 1 ½  their regular rate for all hours worked in a workweek in excess of 40. 
  • Employers must provide employees with an unpaid 30-minute meal break when scheduled to work more than 5 hours and 2 or more employees are on duty. 

Employment Discrimination

  • The North Dakota Human Rights Act makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age (40 years and older), disability, pregnancy, marital status, or receipt of public assistance. 
    • It is also illegal to discriminate against an employee for participation in a lawful activity off the employer’s premises during non-working hours, as long as the activity is not in direct conflict with the essential business-related interests of the employer. 
  • Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.       


North Dakota is an employment-at-will state, which means that without a written employee contract, employees can be terminated for any reason at any time, provided that the reason is not discriminatory and that the employer is not retaliating against the employee for a rightful action. 

Shift Scheduling

There are currently no laws regarding shift scheduling in North Dakota.

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