The North Dakota Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of religion (ND Cent. Code Sec. 14-02.4-01et seq.). The Act applies to all employers in the state. Under the Act, it is unlawful to:
• Refuse to hire or discharge an employee on the basis of religion unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).
• Give adverse or unequal treatment to an individual or employee with respect to application, hiring, training, apprenticeship, promotion, compensation, layoff, or any other privilege or condition of employment on the basis of religion.
• Advertise that individuals of a particular religion are unwelcome, not acceptable, or not solicited for employment.
• Conceal unlawful discrimination or aid, compel, or induce another individual to engage in unlawful discrimination.
• Engage in any form of threats, retaliation, or discrimination against an individual who has opposed an unlawful discriminatory practice, filed a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in a proceeding or investigation under the Act.
BFOQ exception. It is not unlawful for an employer to refuse to hire or discharge an individual on the basis of religion, if religion is a BFOQ reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise (ND Cent. Code Sec. 14-02.4-08). These situations are rare, however, and employers should exercise extreme caution in making employment decisions that have a disproportionate impact on a particular religious group.