It’s important to stay up to date on all of the employment laws in your state so that you can maintain compliance in your business. We did some of the hard work for you and put some of the most important South Dakota statutes in one place so you can either learn them for the first time or give yourself a refresher. 

However, remember that our summary is not qualified legal advice, laws are always subject to change, and they can vary from municipality to municipality. 

It’s up to you to make sure you’re compliant with all laws and statutes in your area. Consult with a qualified lawyer and/or your local government agencies if you have questions or concerns. 

Here are a few South Dakota labor laws every small business owner should know.


First, here are a few helpful links and resources for you to bookmark and refer back to:


  • Sick Days: Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid sick leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one.
  • Medical Leave: Employers may be required to provide an employee unpaid leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
  • Vacation Leave: There are no laws requiring employers to provide vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer establish a valid employment contract that contains vacation leave, they would have to comply with it. 
  • Jury Duty: Employers are not required to pay an employee for time taken to respond to a jury summons, but they are not allowed to punish the employee in any way.
  • Holiday Leave: Private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid time off for holidays
  • Voting Leave: Employers are required to give employees 2 hours of paid time off to vote if they do not have 2 hours to vote while off duty.  
  • Bereavement Leave: Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave.

Final Paycheck

Employees who are terminated, who quit or who are separated from employment due to a labor dispute must be paid all final wages by the next regularly scheduled payday or as soon as the employee returns all property of the employer in their possession. 

Minimum Wage

  • The current minimum wage in South Dakota is $9.10. 
  • The minimum wage is increased every year to reflect the change in the cost of living and is announced on October 15. 

Tipped Wages

The minimum wage for tipped employees is $4.55. 

Child Labor

  • Minors under the age of 16 may not work
    • In any occupation that poses a risk to life, health, or morals
    • More than 4 hours per school day or 20 hours per school week
    • Later than 10 p.m. on a school night
    • More than 8 hours per non-school day or 40 hours per non-school week

Meal and Rest Breaks, Overtime

  • There are no state laws governing the payment of overtime, so federal rules apply. 
    • Federal law requires employers to pay non-exempt employees an overtime rate of 1 ½  their regular rate for all hours worked in a workweek in excess of 40. 
  • State law does not require employers to provide meal periods or breaks. 
    • Federal law does not require employers to provide meal periods or breaks, but if they choose to do so, breaks lasting less than 20 minutes must be paid. 
    • Meal periods do not need to be paid if employees are free to do as they wish. 

Employment Discrimination

  • South Dakota’s Human Relations Act makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, ancestry or national origin.
  • Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.       


South Dakota is an employment-at-will state, which means that without a written employee contract, employees can be terminated for any reason at any time, provided that the reason is not discriminatory and that the employer is not retaliating against the employee for a rightful action. 

Shift Scheduling

There are currently no laws regarding shift scheduling in South Dakota.

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