There is no law in North Dakota requiring private employers to offer paid or unpaid sick leave to their staff.
However, it is vital to remember that if sick leave is guaranteed, the employer can become obligated by law to provide it. To ensure that claims made in handbooks or elsewhere appropriately represent current rules, employers should frequently evaluate them. If adjustments are required, employers should update the employment policy, and employees should be notified.
The state may compel employers with North Dakota State workers to give an employee unpaid sick time through the FMLA and other federal requirements.
Employees of private-sector employers are subject to 12 weeks of vacation per year under the FMLA. The employees can renew their leave if they continue to meet the requirements.
Following are the qualifications of employees for FMLA North Dakota eligibility:
- They must have at least 12 months of employment in the company.
- They must have put in at least 1250 hours of work the year before.
- They must be located within a 75-mile radius with 50 or more co-employees
Employees may be entitled to family medical leave in various situations in the state. These circumstances include:
- getting to know a new child
- providing care for a sick relative
- recovering health after a terrible illness
- aiding a military employee’s family member who is ill or injured
Additionally, firms may provide individual leave alternatives to workers. These sorts of leave must be specified in employee agreements and taken per corporate policy.
Private employers are not mandated to provide paid sick or vacation time to their staff. The federal Family Medical Leave Act and its restrictions apply to the employer. If a private employer offers paid vacation time, they may set a cap on the total days of vacation time that an employee may accumulate.
However, they may not require an employee to forfeit earned or accrued vacation time upon termination of employment. Unless the employer clearly distinguishes between vacation leave, sick leave, and other sorts of leave, all leave is regarded as vacation leave.
Also, employers of federal employees are required to give annual and sick leave to anyone who isn’t covered by a written employment contract. For these government employees, annual leave must be a minimum of one working day and a maximum of two working days each month.
North Dakota’s Human Rights Act ensures employment law compliance for employers. It forbids employment discrimination against public and private employers. Pregnancy, childbirth, and other health conditions caused by those, as mentioned earlier, are included in the definition of gender that are protected by these laws.
Currently, North Dakota does not compel public employers to grant a government employee’s request for family leave unless the leave is:
- Filed within 12 months of the employee’s child’s birth for taking care of the child;
- Completed a year after the child’s placement for caring and adoption, as a condition of adoption or foster care; or
- For taking care of the employee’s child diagnosed with a critical illness.
Employee Protections for Sick Leave
North Dakota employers must know when their workers are entitled to leave work. The state may impose government investigations, fines, employee lawsuits, and hefty penalties, fees, and damage awards on employers’ non-compliance with federal leave rules.
Employers with under 50 employees are not obligated to abide by the FMLA. Still, depending on the employer’s location, workforce size, and other aspects, they may be subject to additional parental leave regulations under state or local law.
One of the requirements for employers in North Dakota is that they should assess applicable federal and state leave legislation obligations. They have to identify compliance gaps needed to reduce non-compliance risks. This compliance check could be challenging, particularly if there are overlapping federal and state leave rules.
Employers should validate the following as part of the compliance review:
- Employee leaves have been adequately described in employee handbooks and documented regulations and procedures;
- Managers and supervisors are taught how to manage employee absences, as well as to receive regular training from human resources employees;
- Employees are entitled to their rights and obligations regarding leave, and leave policies are consistently implemented;
- Systems for correctly managing records track and record employee absences; and
- Supply the necessary signs and posters about the leave laws.
Other North Dakota Sick Leave Laws
In North Dakota, there are additional rules that employers must follow when it comes to sick leave. Examining further sick leave legislation will help us understand what these states’ employers and employees should know.
- Sick Leave Accrual and Accrual Rate
Sick leave accrual for eligible employees starts on the day of hire.
- Accrual for Fractional Months
For every partial month of employment, an employee accrues sick time. When a government employee works less than a full month, the number of sick days they are entitled to depends on some factors. It must be proportional to the number of straight-time hours they put in relative to the total number of working hours in a month.
- Sick Leave Carryover Limit
There is no limit to the total accrued sick leave time that an employee may carry over from an annual working period to the next.
- Sick Leave and Reemployment
Government employees who undergo separation from employment and are rehired within one year are entitled to their sick leave benefits. The accrual amount must be credited based on the number of sick leave hours. Those hours accumulated at the time of departure, less any amount the employee subsequently paid.
Also, employees affected by a reduction in force and rehired within two years are subject to sick leave benefits based on the labor law. They are credited with the sick leave time they accumulated by the time of departure, less any amount they had been paid.
- Assumption of Accrued Sick Leave
All of the employee’s accumulated sick leave hours must be accepted by the state agency that hired the person from another state agency. A county social service employee’s earned sick leave time must be accepted by state organizations under North Dakota’s merit system.
If an employee asks to transfer from one state agency to another, the county social service board should assume all the earned sick leave. The earned sick leave includes the hours requested by the employee.