South Dakota has generally chosen to rely on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to govern relationships between employers and employees. FLSA is federal law that provides minimum protections for workers. However, employer and employees generally have employment agreements that primarily govern the employment relationship.
When Must Paychecks Be Sent Out?
South Dakota is one of only a few states that requires employers to pay their employees at least monthly, but not necessarily more often. The laws make no distinction between full-time and part-time employees or hour or salaried employees. Refer to your employment contract if you have any questions regarding the frequency that you are required to be paid.
What Happens If You are Fired?
Under South Dakota law, if you voluntarily leave (quit) employment your wages are to be paid on the next regular payday. An employee must also be paid on the next regular payday if the employee is involuntarily terminated (fired). In both instances, the employer is not allowed to withhold the final paycheck until the employee returns any property that may belong to the employer. South Dakota is also not required to offer severance pay, but an employer may offer severance pay if it is agreed to in the employment agreement.
Whether you receive compensation for unused vacation or sick days is a matter governed by your employment agreement. There are no South Dakota laws that specifically require an employer to compensate former employees for unused vacation or sick days.
Can Your Paycheck be Garnished?
Wage garnishment typically requires a court order. This means that before wages can be taken it must be proven, in a court of law, that a debt is owed and that steps have been taken to get repayment. In other words, a wage garnishment court order is usually a last resort. However, wage garnishments can occur for:
- failure to pay child support;
- the payment of civil settlements;
- failure to pay taxes or; and
- other outstanding debts.
If an employer is garnishing your wages demand documentation supporting the garnishment. An employer cannot garnish wages without having gone through the required process. Contact your employment lawyer if you have questions or concerns.
Can You Recover a Withheld Paycheck?
Keeping detailed records of your income – even where you are typically paid cash – is critical in ensuring that you receive compensation for the hours you have worked. An employer may be liable for significant damages for improperly withholding your wages so it is important to be able to tell exactly when they started to withhold wages.
Where Can You Find the Right Lawyer?
If you think your rights to your paycheck are being violated or at-risk, then contact a local South Dakota employment lawyer today to discuss any paycheck issues you may have.