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Workers' Compensation: North Dakota

Workers' Compensation requirements for other states

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

Author: Nicole Farley, Fisher Phillips.


  • All employers that are subject to the North Dakota Workers' Compensation Law are required to post a specific notice in the workplace. See Notice Requirements.
  • Workers' Compensation under the North Dakota Century Code is the exclusive remedy for individual injury or death of an employee from a work accident or occupational disease. Private insurance is not allowed. See Covered Employers.
  • North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance (WSI) manages and regulates an exclusive employer-financed, no-fault insurance system covering workplace injuries, illnesses and death. WSI is the sole provider and administrator of the workers' compensation system in North Dakota. See Covered Employers.
  • An employer, for purposes of the North Dakota workers' compensation statute, includes any individual who hires or receives the services of another for compensation and includes many other entities, including the state and all of its subdivisions, partnerships, limited liability companies, associations and private corporations. See Covered Employers.
  • An employee is any individual who performs hazardous employment for compensation, unless the individual is an independent contractor, and includes elective and appointed officials of the state, plus aliens and minors, whether or not legally employed. See Covered Employees.
  • Independent contractors are not employees and therefore are not covered by workers' compensation. By law, the North Dakota Department of Labor may verify the independent contractor status of future or existing work relationships in the state. Verification is not mandatory. See Covered Employees.
  • North Dakota's workers' compensation system is a no-fault system, meaning an employer must compensate an employee who is injured or becomes ill on the job due to the performance of the employee's job duties, regardless of who is at fault. See Compensable Injuries.
  • Employers are not liable for workers' compensation claims under certain specific circumstances. See Employer Defenses to Workers' Compensation Claims.
  • Injured employees are entitled to reasonable and necessary work-related medical care and prescriptions, subject to fee schedule limitations and administrative rule guidelines. Employees may select their own doctor; however, the WSI may require the employee to begin treatment with another doctor to better direct the medical aspects of the claim. See Medical Benefits.
  • Employers are prohibited from discharging or threatening to discharge employees for seeking or making known the intention to seek workforce safety and insurance benefits. See Retaliation and Interference.
  • WSI provides several levels of dispute resolution in cases for workers' compensation claims. Appeals must be made within the specified time periods. See Claims Procedure.
  • In addition to collecting premium payments from employers and processing claims filed by North Dakota workers, WSI promotes workplace safety by assisting employers in providing safe work environments for their workers. See Safety Incentive Programs.