Custom Operations

Generally, agricultural work is exempt from mandatory workers’ compensation coverage unless any of the following occur:

  • A custom operator who is “based outside this state” and comes into North Dakota to perform custom work must secure coverage with North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance (WSI). This is regardless of the number of days of operation in this state.
  • A North Dakota employer doing custom work outside this state (which would presume that the operations are based in North Dakota) and brings along North Dakota residents would be covered for exposure outside the state (for these North Dakota residents) pursuant to our extraterritorial statute, or 30 consecutive days. Any exposure longer than 30 days would likely require the employer to secure coverage in the state in which they are doing business. WSI is unable to provide coverage for workers that are not part of the North Dakota based crew and have not worked in North Dakota for this employer.
  • A North Dakota based custom farming operator who provides custom services inside the state of North Dakota retains the exemption so long as his work does not exceed “30 actual working days of operation.” The statute does not discuss “calendar” or “consecutive” days, but “actual” days. That means that any excess of 30 days of custom operation, regardless of breaks between working days or length of time spent with a particular customer, requires that the employer secure coverage.