It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee (or a person acting on behalf of an employee) for reporting a violation of law. These types of complaints are often called “whistleblower” complaints. There is no single “whistleblower protection” law. Rather, many different laws provide whistleblower protection.

The Department enforces two state whistleblower laws that provide certain protections to employees, or persons acting on behalf of employees, who believe they have been retaliated against for certain actions or activities such as participating in an investigation, or for refusing to perform an employer’s order that the employee reasonably believes violates certain laws or rules. The Public Employee Relations Act includes an anti-retaliation provision for certain public employees. Before filing a complaint, employees working for the state, a county, a city, or a political subdivision should determine if they meet the statutory definition of employee. The general provisions of North Dakota Century Code Chapter 34-01-20 also contain anti-retaliation protection for all employees, as defined by statute.

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