Background/Timeline

1889: The North Dakota Constitution created the Department of Agriculture and Labor

1960: In the primary election, voters approved a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to establish a Department of Labor separate from the Department of Agriculture.

1965: The legislature created the Department of Labor. The department’s functions at that time consisted of establishing and enforcing standards for wages and working conditions in the state.

1983: The state legislature enacted the North Dakota Human Rights Act, authorizing the Department of Labor to investigate complaints alleging discriminatory employment practices.

1999: The state legislature added to the department’s human rights responsibilities when it enacted the North Dakota Housing Discrimination Act, which authorized the department to investigate complaints of discriminatory housing practices.

2000: The Human Rights Division was established within the Department of Labor.

2001: Additional amendments to the Human Rights Act were passed, authorizing the department’s Human Rights Division to investigate and enforce complaints of discrimination in public accommodations, public services, advertising for public accommodations or services, and credit transactions.

2009: The Legislative Assembly amended and reenacted portions of the Public Employees Relations Act providing that the Department of Labor receive complaints of retaliation and attempt voluntary compliance.

2013: the legislature passed a bill which changed the name of the department from the Department of Labor to the Department of Labor and Human Rights to accurately reflect the scope of the department.