Wage and Hour Laws in South Dakota | Current South Dakota Labor Laws


Minimum Wage

In South Dakota, the current minimum wage is $9.95 as of January 1st, 2022. The state must reevaluate the minimum wage annually and adjust it as necessary based on the cost of living.

Additionally, the state must ensure its minimum wage is equal to or higher than the federal standard minimum wage of $7.25.

Tipped employees are currently offered $4.975 as the minimum wage in the state. Employees must earn the standard minimum wage with tipped wages and tips combined. If not, employers are responsible for covering the differences.

Visit our South Dakota minimum wage page to learn more about minimum wage in South Dakota.

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Overtime

South Dakota labor laws do not have laws governing the payment of overtime. SD Dept. of Labor and Regulation: Overtime. Federal overtime laws apply. See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.


Prevailing Wages

South Dakota does not have a prevailing wage law that governs wage rates on government projects or service contracts.

Under certain circumstances, employers in South Dakota may be required to pay residents wage rates established by federal prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the federal and state’s standard minimum wage rates.

Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain government services. See the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.


Meals and Breaks

South Dakota labor laws do not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees, thus the federal rule applies. SD Dept. of Labor and Regulation: Work Breaks. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal (lunch) period or breaks.

However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than twenty (20) minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually thirty (30) minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period. DOL: Breaks and Meal Periods.


Nursing Mother Breaks

South Dakota labor laws do not require employers to provide nursing mothers with breaks to express breast milk. However, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires certain employees to provide nonexempt nursing mothers for one (1) year following a child’s birth with reasonable rest breaks to express milk and private spaces, other than a bathroom, to express breast milk.


Vacation Leave

There aren’t any current laws suggesting employers have to pay their employees unpaid or paid vacation benefits in South Dakota. There is also lacking legislation regarding different areas of vacation leave, including:

  • Whether employees can earn accrued vacation leave
  • If employers must pay employees for their accrued vacation leave upon employment termination
  • Whether employers can place a cap on any accrued vacation leave

If South Dakota employers have specific vacation leave policies, they must abide by the guidelines described in employment contracts. Also, with the lack of legislature, it’s assumed employers can develop independent vacation leave policies.Visit our South Dakota vacation leave page to learn more about vacation leave in South Dakota.


Sick Leave

South Dakota employers are not required to provide their employees with unpaid or paid sick leave benefits. However, if an employer has policies regarding sick leave benefits, they must abide by the guidelines as explained in employment contracts.

Additionally, employers could be required to provide unpaid time off following the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Visit our South Dakota sick leave page to learn more about sick leave in South Dakota.


Holiday Leave

Private employers in South Dakota do not have to provide employees with unpaid or paid holiday leave. They can also require their staff to work holidays at their regular pay rate. However, if an employee’s hours fall into overtime, the employer must follow overtime laws.

In these instances, employers could pay employees 1.5x their standard wage amount. Additionally, if employers have policies regarding holiday leave, employers must follow the outlined policies.

Visit our South Dakota holiday leave page to learn more about holiday leave in South Dakota.


Jury Duty Leave

If an employee is asked to respond to a jury summons or serve on a jury, no laws exist to offer unpaid or paid time off. That said, employers cannot threaten, terminate, or coerce employees responding to a summons.

Additionally, an employee cannot be demoted or suspended due to missing work due to jury duty.

Visit our South Dakota jury duty page to learn more about jury duty benefits in South Dakota.


Voting Leave

South Dakota employers must offer employees two consecutive hours of paid time off to vote. However, this only applies if the employee doesn’t have two off-duty hours available when the pools are open.

Employers can also control when employees can vote during the workday to keep operations smooth.Visit our South Dakota voting leave page to learn more about voting leave in South Dakota.


Severance Pay

Unemployed professionals in the state can apply for unemployment benefits while seeking a new job. That said, South Dakota has specific requirements applicants must meet before being granted unemployment benefits, which include:

  • Applicants must have lost their job through no fault of their own.
  • Applicants must be able and willing to work full-time.
  • Applicants must be registered with SDworks to seek new jobs.
  • Applicants’ wages in the high quarter must be a minimum of $728.
  • Applicants’ wages in the remaining three quarters must be 20x the weekly benefit amount.

Visit South Dakota’s unemployment page to learn more about unemployment benefits in South Dakota.


Unemployment

Under certain circumstances, South Dakota residents may be eligible for unemployment benefits while they search for another job. You are required to certify that you are unemployed on a weekly basis to receive these benefits. See South Dakota State Unemployment Benefits.


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We hope you find our newsletters help you better navigate employment and labor law issues.