The North Dakota Human Rights Act prohibits an employer from discriminating against an applicant on the application form on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related disabilities), national origin, age, physical or mental disability, status with respect to marriage or public assistance, or participation in a lawful activity off the employer's premises during nonworking hours that is not in direct conflict with the essential business-related interests of the employer (ND Cent. Code Sec. 14-02.4-03). Employers with one or more employees are covered by the Act.
Retaliation prohibited. It is unlawful for an employer to threaten, retaliate, or otherwise discriminate against a person because the person has opposed any unlawful discriminatory practice, filed a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or litigation under the Act.
The BFOQ exception allows an employer to make an employment inquiry only where a protected characteristic is a BFOQ reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the employer’s business. For example, being female would be a legitimate BFOQ for a person applying for a job as a model of women's clothing. The BFOQ exception applies only in limited circumstances and, in general, courts have been extremely reluctant to sanction otherwise discriminatory practices on BFOQ grounds. Employers should use caution in relying on the BFOQ rationale and should always consult with legal counsel before making any inquiries on the basis of a BFOQ.
Note: The North Dakota Human Rights Act provides for a BFOQ exception on the basis of religion, sex, national ...