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North Dakota FMLA

State Employers

North Dakota's State Family Leave Law (SEFLL) applies only to state government employers, not to employers of any political subdivision or arm of the state.

  • It permits unpaid leave for birth, adoption or foster placement of a child, or to care for a child, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition.
  • SEFLL leave is unpaid unless otherwise noted by employer policy or agreement.
  • FMLA is more generous than SEFLL. Employees are entitled to take leave under the law that is most beneficial.

Use of Leave

  • SEFLL provides up to 12 weeks unpaid leave during a 12-month period.
  • Leave may be taken intermittently.
  • Leave for part-time employees, or those with variable hours, is determined on a pro rata basis.
  • Leave may be used for:
    • Care of a child within 12 months of birth or adoption.
    • Care for a child, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition.
    • An employees serious health condition that interferes with job performance.

Employees may use up to 40 hours of other leave for health reasons to care for a child, spouse or parent with a serious health condition. When leave is used for the employee's own illness, the employer must compensate the employee for the leave.


  • Leave law: applies to state employees who have worked 1,250 hours in a 12-month period.
  • Child: a child, stepchild, or legal ward by birth, adoption or foster placement, who is under 18 years old or older than 17 and incapable of self-care due to serious health condition.
  • Parents: by birth, adoption, foster placement or step relationship.
  • Spouse: husband or wife of employee
  • Serious health condition: disabling physical or mental illness, injury, impairment or condition involving inpatient care or outpatient care that requires continuing treatment.

Husband and Wife Working for Same Employer

May be limited to a combined total of 12 workweeks of leave.

Notice Requirement

An employee must take into account the employer's legitimate needs and give reasonable notice when scheduling any kind of SEFLL leave.


  • An employee who requests family leave may be required to provide certification by a health care provider.
  • Certification is limited to establishing that the family member has a serious health condition, the date of the onset of the condition and probable duration, and medical facts known to the health care provider.

Continuation of Benefits

During family leave, an employee is responsible for paying group health insurance premiums under the same conditions that applied before taking leave. The employer is not required to pay any cost of insurance.


  • The employee is entitled to be returned to the same job or its equivalent (including compensation, benefits, hours, and other terms and conditions) when returning from leave.
  • If the employee's job is eliminated due to layoffs during the leave period, he or she is not entitled to reinstatement. The employee would retain all rights under the layoff and recall system as if no leave were taken.
Family leave laws in North Dakota

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