Like federal law, North Dakota law requires that employees be paid one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in a given week over 40 hours. The following employees are not covered by this law:
In addition, anyone exempt from North Dakota's minimum wage law (see below) is also exempt from the state's overtime law. The following employees exempt under federal law are non-exempt and covered under North Dakota law:
North Dakota has a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, which is identical to the federal minimum wage. Employers can use tips and gratuities to reduce the minimum wage required to $4.86 per hour.
The minimum wage must be paid to all employees in every occupation in the state, with the following exceptions:
Anyone who is not covered under the federal minimum wage law and who is not in this list is covered under North Dakota's minimum wage. This includes:
If the employer and employee agree in writing, the employer may count up to $18 per day against the minimum wage for the reasonable cost of board, lodging, and other facilities the employer furnishes the employee. The employee must voluntarily agree to this.
An employer may require an employee to purchase a uniform as long as this does not bring the employee's wages below the minimum wage for all hours worked during the relevant period.
The state Labor Commissioner has the authority to permit employers to pay students in vocational programs and disabled individuals below the minimum wage.
No cities or counties in North Dakota currently have a minimum wage different from the state minimum.
Unlike federal law, North Dakota does provide for a meal period. A minimum of a 30-minute meal period must be provided in each shift exceeding five hours when there are two or more employees on duty. However, employees may waive their right to a meal period by making an agreement with their employers. If an employee is completely relieved of her/his duties during the meal period, the employer does not have to pay for that time. If there is a collective bargaining agreement, that will trump this provision.
The wage claim process requires first that you speak with your employer about the wages you believe (s)he owes you, and, if that is unsuccessful, that you may write a letter demanding the wages you are owed. If that does not work, you can electronically file a wage claim with the North Dakota Labor Commissioner. A printable form can be found here. In order to help you enforce your wage claim, the North Dakota Department of Labor can hold hearings to help resolve the issue; if those hearings are unsuccessful, the Department can initiate a court case on your behalf. In addition to receiving your back wages and interest, you may be entitled to double or triple that amount if this is not your employer's first violation.
Do not delay in contacting the North Dakota Department of Labor to file a claim. There is a strict two-year statute of limitations on all wage claim cases in North Dakota. If you do not file your wage claim within two years, the Department may not have sufficient time to investigate the claim, and then will not be able to help you. However, as you might have other legal claims with shorter deadlines, do not wait to file your claim until your time limit is close to expiring. It may be helpful to consult with an attorney prior to filing your claim, but it is not necessary to have an attorney to file a wage claim with the North Dakota Department of Labor.
Under North Dakota state law, an employee has an implied right to bypass the administrative system described above and bring a lawsuit her/himself. The same two-year statute of limitations applies.
State Labor Agency
Department of Labor and Human Rights
600 East Boulevard Avenue, Dept. 406
Bismarck, ND 58505-0340
Phone: (701) 328-2660
TTY: 1-800-366-6888 or 1-800-366-6889
Fax: (701) 328-2031 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can visit the Department in person as well:
600 East Boulevard Avenue 13th Floor
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505-0340
This material was originally prepared by attorney Joseph Jaramillo and former law clerks Keia Cole and Adam Weiss of the law firm Goldstein, Demchak Baller Borgen and Dardarian, and was updated by Professor Douglas D. Scherer, of Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. Professor Scherer also serves as the Vice President of Workplace Fairness.
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