North Dakota Sex Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

North Dakota Sex Discrimination: What you need to know

The North Dakota Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment based on sex, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions (ND Cent. Code Sec. 14-02.4-01 et seq.). The law applies to all employers in the state.
Pregnancy accommodation. Employers must make reasonable accommodation because an employee is pregnant but is not required to provide an accommodation that would disrupt or interfere with the employer’s normal business operations; threaten an individual’s health or safety; contradict a business necessity of the employer; or impose an undue hardship on the employer, taking into consideration the size of the employer’s business, the type of business, the financial resources of the employer, and the estimated cost and extent of the accommodation.
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Bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception. Differences in treatment are permissible where sex, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth, or a related condition is a BFOQ for the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise. In order to be a BFOQ, a characteristic must be absolutely essential to the individual's ability to perform the job. Such situations are rare, however, and employers should be cautious in relying on a BFOQ when making employment decisions.
Gender stereotypes. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an adverse employment decision based on gender stereotyping is unlawful sex discrimination (Lewis v. Heartland Inns of Am., LLC, 591 F. 3d 1033 (8th Cir. 2010)). In this case, the employee was promoted by her manager to a dayshift position as a hotel front desk clerk. However, when the director of operations saw the employee, the director said she lacked the "Midwestern girl look." The ...

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