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Discrimination in Employment

The Human Rights Division is responsible for processing charges of employment discrimination under federal statutes and the North Dakota Human Rights Act (N.D.C.C. Chapter 14-02.4).

In October of 1987, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) designated the North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights as a Fair Employment Practices Agency (FEPA). A work-sharing agreement is signed annually by the North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights and the EEOC through its Chicago District Office. Under the work-sharing agreement, cases filed with either agency, which meet applicable jurisdictional requirements, are filed under both state and federal laws, and a single investigation is conducted by the Human Rights Division. The federal statutes include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended; and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended; and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Sexual harassment and discrimination based on pregnancy are also covered under Title VII.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), as amended, prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of age. Persons over the age of 40 are protected by the ADEA.

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed into law in 1990. The ADA applies to qualified individuals who have a disability, a record of a disability, or who are regarded as having a disability. In order to be protected by the ADA, an individual must show that they (1) are qualified to perform the job with or without a reasonable accommodation, and (2) have a disability. The ADA defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of an individual's major life activities. The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 provided further clarification that the definition of disability should be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals to the maximum extent permitted by the ADA. This law was effective January 1, 2009. ADA protection applies during the hiring process, and throughout the employment relationship.

Under Title II of Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), it is illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants because of genetic information. Title II of GINA prohibits the use of genetic information making employment decisions, restricts acquisition of genetic information by employers and other entities covered by Title II, and strictly limits the disclosure of genetic information.

In addition, the North Dakota Human Rights Act permits the North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights to process charges of employment discrimination that do not meet federal jurisdiction. The complaints may include issues of marital status, public assistance, and lawful activity off the employer's premises during non-working hours which is not in direct conflict with the essential business-related functions of the employer.

Hiring, discharge, pay, promotions, and other terms and conditions of employment are some of the issues involved with employment discrimination.

To file a charge of employment discrimination, complete the Equal Employment Opportunity Questionnaire and submit the completed form to the department. To report noncompliance with employment discrimination laws, complete the Complaint Inquiry form.

If you are an employer and have questions regarding your rights and responsibilities under employment discrimination laws, please contact us.

  • 600 East Boulevard Ave
  • Dept 406
  • Bismarck ND 58505-0340
  • (701) 328-2660
  • 1-800-582-8032 - In-state toll-free
  • 1-800-366-6888 or 1-800-366-6889 - TTY (Relay ND)
  • (701) 328-2031 Fax