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Employee Discipline: North Dakota

Employee Discipline requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Authors: Joel Fremstad and Lynn Block, Fremstad Law


  • In North Dakota, there is a presumption that employment is at-will. See Employment At-Will.
  • North Dakota law restricts an employer's ability to take an adverse employment action against an employee on the basis of criteria such as race, sex, age, disability and other protected categories. See Employees in Protected Classes.
  • North Dakota statutory restrictions limit an employer's ability to take any adverse employment action against an employee for opposing any unlawful discriminatory practice or who, in good faith, has filed a complaint, testified, assisted or participated in an investigation, proceeding, hearing or litigation under several laws. See Employees Who Have Engaged in Protected Activities.
  • North Dakota employers should exercise caution when disciplining employees based on absences taken as a result of protected leaves. See Enforcement of Attendance Policies.
  • North Dakota employers may not discriminate against or discipline employees for their participation, or their refusal to participate, in labor activities. See Employee Blacklisting.
  • In North Dakota, employers may not prohibit employees, customers or other persons lawfully visiting the business premises from possessing a firearm, if the firearm is legally possessed and locked inside a motor vehicle. See Possession of Firearms in the Workplace.
  • North Dakota employers should ensure that an effective employee drug and alcohol testing policy is in place. See Employee Drug Testing.
  • North Dakota may not discipline or otherwise discriminate employees for off-duty, legal behavior that is not in direct conflict with the employer's business interests. See Off-Duty Conduct.
  • North Dakota prohibits smoking cigarettes, including e-cigarettes, under certain circumstances. See E-Cigarettes and Tobacco Use.
  • While North Dakota permits medical marijuana use by qualified patients, it does not prohibit an employer from imposing discipline for the possession or consumption of marijuana at work. See Marijuana Use.
  • With respect to recording, monitoring or intercepting employment communications, such as disciplinary meetings, North Dakota is a one-party consent state. See Recording Disciplinary Meetings.
  • Bismarck has requirements pertaining to employee discipline. See Local Requirements.