South Dakota Leave Laws


Vacation Leave

South Dakota has no laws requiring employers to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. SD Dept. of Labor and Regulation – Labor and Employment Laws South Dakota’s Legislature and its courts are silent regarding any obligation an employer may have regarding vacation leave, including whether an employer must pay an employee accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.

Due to the silence of South Dakota authorities on the matter of vacation leave, it is likely employers are free to establish the vacation leave policy of their choosing. An employer would be required to comply with the terms of a valid employment contract containing vacation leave provisions.


Sick Leave

South Dakota law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. SD Dept. of Labor and Regulation – Labor and Employment Laws If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in South Dakota may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.


Holiday Leave

South Dakota law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. SD Dept. of Labor and Regulation – Labor and Employment Laws In South Dakota, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays.

A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

State holidays

Visit our South Dakota State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of South Dakota as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.


Jury Duty Leave

An employer is not required to pay an employee for time spent responding to a jury summons or serving on a jury. Any employee serving as a juror must retain and be entitled to the same job status, pay, and seniority as he or she had prior to performing jury duty. SD Statute 16-13-41.2

An employer may not discharge or suspend any employee from his employment for serving as a juror in any court in the State of South Dakota. SD Statute 16-13-41.1


Voting Leave

South Dakota law requires an employer to provide an employee with two (2) consecutive hours of paid leave to vote if the employee does not have two (2) consecutive hours of off-duty time before his or her shift begins or after his or her shift ends in which to vote while polls are open. An employer may dictate when the employee may take voting leaving.

An employer in South Dakota that fails to provide an employee paid voting leave as required commits a Class 2 misdemeanor.

SD Statute 12-3-5


Bereavement Leave

South Dakota law does not require employers to provide employee bereavement leave. Bereavement leave is leave that is taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative. Employers may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice it maintains.


Family and Medical Leave

South Dakota does not require private employers to provide employees with family or medical leave. However, private employers can choose to implement their own medical leave guidelines if desired.

Employers in South Carolina must provide employees with family and medical leave consistent with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Based on the federal Family Medical Leave Act, employers with 50+ employees must provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave per 12 months. This amount of leave renews every 12 months, so long as the employee continues meeting the eligibility requirements.

The eligibility requirements to receive leave under the FMLA include:

  • Employees must have worked for an employer for a minimum of 12 months
  • Employees must have worked a minimum of 1250 hours the previous year
  • Employees must work at a location with 50+ employees within a 75-mile radius

FMLA South Dakota can help various employees in several situations. Some of the most common reasons to take leave under this act include:

  • Recuperating from a serious health condition
  • Assisting a family member with a serious health condition
  • Caring for an ill or injured military family member
  • Bonding with a new child

It’s important to note that although leave under the Family Medical Care Act is unpaid, employees are entitled to additional benefits. Employers must continue to provide access to the employee’s health insurance benefits. Additionally, employees can use their accrued paid time off during their medical leave under FMLA.


Military Leave

Military members in South Dakota are entitled to the same benefits that the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) offers, including:

  • Employees have the right to continue group healthcare benefits for 24 months of their leave
  • Upon return, employees must be reinstated to the same (or equivalent) previously held position
  • Employees must receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service (with exceptions)

Currently, there aren’t any specifications for family leave regarding military service. It is important to note that employers must provide all military employees with the same benefits. Also, employers cannot discriminate against or fire employees due to their military responsibilities.


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