South Dakota labor laws were created to protect employees from misconduct by employers. These laws lay out what rights are available to employees and how they can exercise said rights. If you are concerned about whether you are not protected at your job, you should contact a local lawyer to find out what your rights are.
The Difference Between Part-Time and Full-Time Employment in South Dakota
South Dakota does not have any required number of hours to be full-time. So, it is up to each company to set how many hours an employee must work to be part-time or full-time. Employees should contact their supervisor to find out if they are considered full-time or part-time at their job.
Part-time employees are typically presented with different (more limited) options in terms of benefits and other rights compared with full-time employees. For instance, part-time employees may not always have access to medical and dental coverage, paid days off, and other benefits. These, however, may be subject to negotiation and agreement between the worker and their employer.
What is South Dakota's Minimum Wage and Overtime Policy?
The minimum wage in South Dakota has recently gone up to $8.65 per hour. For tipped employees, the minimum wage is $4.325. If there is an increase in the minimum wage in the near future, it will likely be announced by October and any increase will depend on the cost of living.
There are no state laws about overtime in South Dakota. Rather, the state uses the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which dictates that if you work over 40 hours in a week, your employer has to pay you 1 and ½ times your hourly pay. South Dakota also allows for overtime to be free of restrictions, so an employer can ask an employee to work as many hours as necessary.
Violations of minimum wage and overtime pay rates can lead to a wage and hour claim. A common example of such a claim is where the employer fails to pay their employees the full amount for overtime work they did. Here, legal action may be needed to recover the wages and any other damages involved.
Are Employers Required to Offer Health Benefits in South Dakota?
As of now, South Dakota follows the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without having it be impacted by any state healthcare laws. The ACA requires that employers with 50 or more full-time employees provide at least 95% of their employees with health insurance.
This plan must cover at least 60% of typical health costs. If the company you work for has less than 50 employees, then it is up to the company to decide if it wants to offer health insurance.
How to Handle Employment Discrimination in South Dakota
On a national level, employees cannot be discriminated against because of their race, age, color, religion, gender, genetic information, national origin, disability, or citizenship status. However, this law only applies to companies with at least 20 employees.
In South Dakota, the only law protecting employees against discrimination is the South Dakota Human Relations Act, and it does not more protections against discrimination than those offered by federal laws.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against by an employer, you can file a complaint with either the South Dakota Division of Human Rights (SDDHR) or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The agencies have different time limits to file of which you need to be very careful.
The state also protects employees from retaliation from the employer for filing a discrimination claim. South Dakota does not have a limit on the damages you can get. But if you end up suing in a federal court the amount you can receive depends on the size of the company. The following are the limits on potential damages:
- For companies with 15 to 100 employees, the limit is $50,000;
- For companies with 101 to 200 employees, the limit is $100,000;
- For companies with 201 to 500 employees, the limit is $200,000; and
- For companies with more than 500 employees, the limit is $300,000.
Is there Paid Time-Off in South Dakota?
South Dakota does not have its own laws about time off for employees. However, if your company has 50 or more employees and does business in multiple states, then you are covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Under FMLA, an employee has the rights to take off 12 weeks of unpaid leave for medical leave, keep their health benefits, and have their job when they return. In South Dakota, there is no law that requires employers to provide paid sick or vacation leave. Instead, it is up to each company to decide what it wants to do and tell its employees.
Where Can I Find a Local Employment Lawyer to Help Me?
If you re concerned that you are being prevented from enjoying your rights are an employee, contact a South Dakota employment lawyer today. A lawyer can help you to understand just what your rights are and how you can ensure that your rights are being respected by your employer.