North Dakota Whistleblower Protections

All North Dakota citizens are protected by state and federal whistleblower laws. We have provided information about many of the laws in North Dakota below. For more information about federal laws, click here.

Government Employees

Other Whistleblower Laws

Statutes specifically protecting government whistleblowers

Public Employees Relations Act

Parties Protected By Statute

Public employees


““Employee” means any person, whether employed, appointed, or under contract, providing services for the state, county, city, or other political subdivision, for which compensation is paid. “Employee” also includes a person subject to the civil service or merit system or civil service laws of the state government, governmental agency, or a political subdivision. “Employee” does not include:

  1. A person elected to public office in the state or in a political subdivision.
  2. A member of the legislative council.
  3. A person holding an appointive statutory office.
  4. One deputy or principal assistant for each elected official or appointive statutory official.
  5. One secretary for each elected or appointive statutory official.
  6. All members of the governor’s staff.”


N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 34-11.1-01(3).

Protected Actions Under Statute
  1. An employee may, without fear of reprisal, report in writing to the employee’s respective agency head, a state’s attorney, the attorney general, or an employee organization the existence of:
    1. A job-related violation of local, state, or federal law, rule, regulation, or ordinance.
    2. The job-related misuse of public resources.


  1. For having made a report under subsection 1, no employee will:
    1. Be dismissed from employment.
    2. Have salary increases or employment-related benefits withheld.
    3. Be transferred or reassigned.
    4. Be denied a promotion that the employee otherwise would have received.
    5. Be demoted.
    6. Be discriminated against in any term or condition of employment.


N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 34-11.1-04(1)-(2)


“No employee may suffer a penalty or the threat of a penalty because that employee exercised rights under this chapter.”


N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 34-11.1-06.

General-purpose statutes protecting whistleblowers

N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 34-01-01 et seq.


N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 34-01-01 et seq.

Parties Protected By Statute



“A contract of employment is a contract by which one, who is called the employer, engages another, who is called the employee, to do something for the benefit of the employer or of a third person.”


N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 34-01-01.

Protected Actions Under Statute

“1. An employer may not discharge, discipline, threaten discrimination, or penalize an employee regarding the employee’s compensation, conditions, location, or privileges of employment because:

  1. The employee, or a person acting on behalf of an employee, in good faith, reports a violation or suspected violation of federal, state, or local law, ordinance, regulation, or rule to an employer, a governmental body, or a law enforcement official.
  2. The employee is requested by a public body or official to participate in an investigation, a hearing, or an inquiry.
  3. The employee refuses an employer’s order to perform an action that the employee believes violates local, state, or federal law, ordinance, rule, or regulation. The employee must have an objective basis in fact for that belief and shall inform the employer that the order is being refused for that reason.”


N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 34-01-20(1).

Specific Remedies Authorized By Statute

“An employee asserting a violation of this section may bring a civil action for injunctive relief or actual damages, or both, within one hundred eighty days after the alleged violation, completion of proceedings under subsection 4, or completion of any grievance procedure available to the employee under the employee’s collective bargaining agreement, employment contract, or any public employee statute, rule, or policy, whichever is later. If the court determines that a violation has or is occurring under this section, the court may order, as the court deems appropriate, reinstatement of the employee, backpay for no more than two years after the violation, reinstatement of fringe benefits, temporary or permanent injunctive relief, or any combination of these remedies. Interim earnings or amounts earnable with reasonable diligence by the employee, from the same employer, must reduce backpay otherwise allowable. In any action under this section, the court may award reasonable attorney’s fees to the prevailing party as part of the costs of litigation. An employee whose collective bargaining agreement, employment contract, or public employee rights provides a process through which recourse for conduct prohibited by subsection 1 is available must exercise that process to completion before commencing an action under this subsection, and if that process provides for judicial review by statutory appeal, then recourse under this subsection is not available.”


N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 34-01-20(3).