The South Dakota sick leave law doesn’t require employers to provide paid sick leave benefits to their employees. However, Labor and Employment Laws, South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation says that if a company decides to offer sick leave benefits and bonuses, it must adhere to its established policy or employment contract conditions.
Employers must also comply with the Federal and state Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and other applicable laws for unpaid and paid sick leave benefits.
With that said, the following employees are eligible to file for sick leave:
- Employed in the company for at least a year
- Accumulated a minimum of 1,250 working hours within the 12 months
Note that the employment contract’s 12 months do not have to be sequential. Employees may take the absences specified in the Family and Medical Leave Act as long as they can finish 12 months of employment.
Permitted Uses and Duration
Regular full-time employees are entitled to 9.334 hours of sick leave per pay period or 112 hours or 14 days for every year of employment. Meanwhile, regular or permanent part-time employees will utilize sick leave on prorated hours.
South Dakota sick leave may be acquired hourly, bimonthly, semimonthly, or monthly, as established by the human resources commissioner and accumulated in an unlimited number of hours.
Employees may also use a combination of sick, personal, and vacation time and unpaid absence to cover the 12 weeks allowed by FMLA.
The following is a list of conditions a South Dakota sick leave covers:
- Acute illness
- Pregnancy and surgery
- Eye and dental care
- Contagious disease exposure
- Medical examination or diagnosis
- Treatment for the following in an approved or accredited facility:
- Mental health issues
- Alcohol abuse
- Psychiatric counseling and care
- Birth of the employee’s newborn child
- Care of the employee’s newborn child
- Placing of a child for foster care or adoption with an employee
- Temporary care for the employee’s parent, child, or spouse suffering from a severe or serious injury or disease
- Employee’s serious health condition that prevents them from performing the functions of their job
- Employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent who is a military member is on covered active duty or called to covered active duty status
All eligible state employees are allowed to take up to 40 hours of sick leave each year as personal leave for the following reasons:
- Death of an immediate family
- Temporary care of family member (sick or disabled)
- Work as a volunteer cop or rescuer
- National disaster
- Other factors specified by the state’s career service commission
Suppose an employee becomes ill or injured while on vacation leave. In this case, they can also take sick leave.
If all other leave options have been exhausted, the personnel bureau has the authority to provide up to 28 days of sick leave to an employee with at least one year of service. Sick leave benefits not used during the calendar year may be carried over and used in subsequent calendar years.
Sick Leave in Advance
If a permanent employee has been in regular, continuous employment with the state for at least one full year and has used all of their accrued vacation and sick leave, sick leave can be advanced.
Advanced sick leave is at the bureau’s discretion under rules published by the commission according to Chapters 1-26 and can only be taken with the bureau’s permission.
If the employer grants the employee advanced sick leave, any further sick time earned will be applied to their negative sick leave balance. That is until they can reimburse the advanced sick leave.
The employee’s advanced negative sick leave balance is limited to 228 hours.
When availing of FMLA leave, the recipient employee must submit an advance notice to his or her employer. At least 30 days before the scheduled surgeries or childbirth, and as soon as possible for unexpected illnesses or situations.
The employee must also ensure they provide the employer with all the relevant pieces of information to prove the sick leave falls under FMLA coverage. However, the employee need not disclose the specific medical diagnosis or condition.
It’s also the employee’s responsibility to inform the employer of any changes in their leave, especially of any additional time needed and the expected date of returning to work. Doing so ensures a smooth process and prevents any disruption in company services.
At the request of the human resources commissioner, a medical certificate must accompany the sick leave.
Donated Sick Time to Employee for Self-Care
An employee of the state who meets all of the following criteria may donate accrued vested leave (sick or vacation) to another state employee for self-care:
- Terminally ill and unable to return to work
- Suffering from an acutely life-threatening injury or illness certified by a licensed medical doctor.
- An employee with a physical condition that will prevent him or her from returning to work for at least ninety days certified by a licensed medical doctor
- All leave benefits for which the recipient employee is eligible have been exhausted.
Alternative Eligible Leave Policies
The following are other South Dakota sick leave laws or policies that you need to make a note of:
Short-Term Disability Insurance (STD)
South Dakota has a short-term disability policy that public employees and private employees can benefit from, known as supplemental STD coverage. If an eligible employee becomes handicapped while covered by the Short-Term Disability Income Protection Plan, the employee will receive payments for up to 12 months (365 days).
Employees are fully incapacitated if they cannot physically execute the material and substantial duties of their state work or any other profession or occupation owing to illness, accident, or both.
Long-Term Disability Insurance (LTD)
For 90 days, all government departments will keep track of your paid sick leave. This provision ensures you can still use unused sick time to protect your income. Of course, this is only valid if you are disabled for more than 90 days due to long-term sickness or disability.
Long-term disability insurance is also available under the flexible benefits program. However, before you may receive a set percentage of your total revenue, you must wait 180 days.