COVID-19 FAQs

Medium

LABOR

No state or federals require an employer to provide its employees PTO. Therefore, an employer can set all of the terms and conditions for the use of and/or awarding of PTO.

In North Dakota, generally, PTO which is earned and available for an employee’s use must be paid out upon “separation” from employment.  If an employer lays off employees for an indefinite period of time, or with no expectation of bringing some or all of its employees back at a certain date, PTO should be paid out to the employee.

A non-exempt employee is paid based on the work performed, on an hourly, salary, daily and/or piece rate.  A non-exempt employee is entitled to an overtime rate for any hours worked over 40 in a single workweek.  An exempt employee is paid on a salary basis for the job performed, not the number of hours of work performed. An exempt employee is not entitled to overtime wages.

A non-exempt employee does not have to be paid if no work was performed.  Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an exempt employee is entitled to receive their regular salary if they are “ready, willing and able to work,” but no work was available. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fact-sheets/70-flsa-furloughs

Yes. An employer can set the terms and conditions of employment, including adding job duties.

The employer can set all of the terms and conditions of employment.  For example, some employers may ask employees to keep their regular schedules, including breaks, even if they are working remotely.  In other cases, an employer and employee can work out alternative schedules, keeping in mind reasonable accommodations are made for employees who may need them.

Review the terms of your contract.  Generally, the contract will govern how an employee will be paid under these types of circumstances. 

The employer has sole discretion to make designations, and may treat essential and non-essential employees differently with regard to their PTO policies, so long as the different treatment is not related to any protected class.

If an employer is requiring an employee to undergo COVID-19 testing, the employer is responsible for the cost of the testing.

No. Governor Burgum signed an Executive Order on Friday, March 20th directing that individual base period employers accounts will be relieved of charges (i.e. No Charge) on claims filed as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19.

Yes. Governor Burgum signed an Executive Order on Friday, March 20th to assist business owners in the receipt of Unemployment Insurance by temporarily eliminating income reduction requirements for business owners.

Employees may be eligible for both types of leave, but only for a total of twelve weeks of paid leave. They may take both paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provides for an initial two weeks of paid leave. This period thus covers the first ten workdays of expanded family and medical leave, which are otherwise unpaid under the Emergency and Family Medical Leave Expansion Act unless the employee elects to use existing vacation, personal, or medical or sick leave under the company’s policy. After the first ten workdays have elapsed, the employee will receive 2/3 of their regular rate of pay for the hours s/he would have been scheduled to work in the subsequent ten weeks under the Emergency and Family Medical Leave Expansion Act.

Additionally, if an employee takes expanded family and medical leave, you must require them to provide you with documentation that supports the reason for taking this leave. This may include a notice that has been posted on a school, daycare, or government website, published in a newspaper, or an email notification sent by the school district, child care provider, etc. You should retain these documents for your records if you plan to claim a tax credit under FFCRA.

No. The only type of family and medical leave that is paid leave is expanded family and medical leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act when such leave exceeds ten days. This includes only leave taken because the employee must care for a child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.

A travel order was put in place on March 28 and amended on April 8 with an update on individuals who are exempt from the required 14-day quarantine upon return from international locations and states in the U.S.

The list of exemptions includes:

  • Essential critical infrastructure workers, as defined by the United States Department of Homeland Security.
  • People commuting to and from North Dakota for work or for essential supplies and services.
  • People engaging in outdoor activities (e.g., walking, hiking, running, biking, driving for pleasure, hunting, or fishing), and going to available public parks or other public recreation lands, so long as they remain at least six feet apart from individuals from other households.

Additional guidance and updates from the North Dakota Department of Health can be found here.

Careers Limit
5 (default)