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 on the basis of 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.
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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 employee described her own appearance as "slightly more masculine" with a preference for loose fitting clothing, including men's shirts and slacks. The director told the employee she was required to undergo a second interview to "confirm" her promotion. The employee complained that the policy was discriminatory and was fired 3 days later for "thwarting" the interview process. She brought a lawsuit against the employer, claiming sex discrimination based on gender stereotyping. The court ruled that the employee could proceed to a trial ...

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