North Dakota Privacy laws & HR compliance analysis

North Dakota Privacy: What you need to know

No common law. North Dakota has not yet recognized any of the common-law invasion of privacy torts (Hougum v. Valley Memorial Homes, 574 N.W.2d 812 (N.D. 1998)). However, it has enacted several laws impacting workplace privacy. Employers should keep these laws in mind when drafting an employee privacy policy.
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Workers' compensation. An injured employee's workers' compensation files are strictly confidential. However, certain people may examine an employee's workers' compensation record, including pertinent government employees, the employee's representative or physician, the investigating physician, or the employer, for legitimate business purposes (N.D. Cent. Code § 65-05-32).
Wiretapping. North Dakota law prohibits the interception of any wire or oral communication by an electronic, mechanical, or other device (N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-15-02(1)). A person is guilty of a Class C felony if he or she:
• Intentionally intercepts a wire or oral communication by use of any electronic, mechanical, or other device; or
• Intentionally discloses to any other person or intentionally uses the contents of any wire or oral communication, knowing that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire or oral communication.
An individual who committed one of the acts above has a defense to prosecution if:
• The individual was authorized by law to intercept, disclose, or use the wire or oral communication;
• The individual was acting under color of the law to intercept a wire or oral communication and was a party to the communication or one of the parties to the communication had given prior consent to such interception; or
• The individual was a party to the ...

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