North Dakota has enacted some state laws to protect the rights of workers and employers statewide. The laws clarify, but do not generally expand, the protections established by federal laws.

What Is Part-Time vs. Full-Time in North Dakota?

North Dakota labor laws do not clearly define full- or part-time employment. Thus, an employer can decide what factors make an employee full- or part-time.

What Is the Minimum Wage in North Dakota?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law regulating employee wages and hours. The FLSA set a nationwide standard for minimum wage of $7.25, and North Dakota has not increased this minimum wage requirement within the state. The minimum direct wage for tipped employees (those receiving more than $30 per month in tips) is $4.86 per hour, but tipped employees must receive enough tips to be paid the $7.25 minimum wage when tips are combined with the direct wage.


North Dakota employees are protected by state and federal overtime laws, which require employees receive time and a half for all hours worked over the first 40 hours in a week. However, there are exceptions to this rule. An employer is not required to pay overtime to “exempt” employees who fit into categories of executive, administrative, or professional roles.

Health Benefits

There is no requirement for employers to offer health benefits under state law in North Dakota. However, as of January 1, 2015, the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employers with at least 50 full time equivalent employees to provide health coverage to the majority of its full-time employees. If an employer provides health benefits to employees, coverage cannot be limited by discrimination based on gender, race, age, national origin, religion, or disability.


In North Dakota, employment is “at-will”, so an employee’s status can be changed, as long as the change is not based on the employee’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, pregnancy, or status with regard to public assistance. An employee’s status may also be protected by other federal laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Time Off

North Dakota does not have state laws requiring employers to provide employees with vacation benefits, but if vacation is agreed to in a contract, the employer must honor the time off accrued, even after the employment relationship ends. North Dakota also does not require employees be provided paid time off for illness. However, employers are required to comply with federal law, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which requires employers with at least 50 employees to permit all eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for any of the following reasons:

  • To care for a seriously ill immediate family member (child, parent, spouse);
  • To recuperate from their own serious health conditions;
  • To bond with a new child; or
  • To handle urgent matters related to a family member’s military service.

Where Can I Find a Local Lawyer to Help Me?

Most employment laws have strict deadlines that must be complied with, so if you think you are not getting the basic rights and protections offered by federal and state labor laws in North Dakota, do not hesitate to contact a North Dakota labor lawyer today. The attorney can help you understand your rights and how to protect yourself.