This post will guide you through employee leave laws for businesses and workers located in the state of South Dakota.
Follow this guide to understand employers’ obligations for vacation time, paid time off (PTO), sick leave, parental leave, bereavement and more, along with state holidays observed in South Dakota.
This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.
Employers in South Dakota are not required to provide paid or unpaid vacation time.
South Dakota law does not address Use It or Lose It vacation policies, meaning employers are free to enforce such a policy (though they are advised to make this clear in company policy and/or employees’ contracts).
Rules regarding paid time off in South Dakota are a matter of company policy, including whether or not any unused PTO, sick leave or holiday pay is paid out upon separation of employment. This means PTO payout is not required, unless your company policy promises it.
Sick leave is not required by law in South Dakota (paid or unpaid).
Besides any state laws or provisions written into employment contracts, employers in South Dakota must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which entitles eligible employees the right to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for serious health conditions, or to care for spouses, children or parents with a serious health condition.
The following official state holidays are observed in South Dakota:
|January 1||New Year’s Day|
|3rd Monday in January||Martin Luther King, Jr. Day|
|3rd Monday in February||Presidents Day|
|Last Monday in May||Memorial Day|
|July 4||Independence Day|
|1st Monday in September||Labor Day|
|2nd Monday in October||Native Americans Day|
|November 11||Veterans Day|
|4th Thursday in November||Thanksgiving|
There is no requirement to allow employees a paid or unpaid day off for state holidays, and employees required to work on state holidays are not legally entitled to extra compensation (such as higher pay or a compensatory day off), unless promised in their employment contract.
South Dakota does not have any laws regarding maternity leave (paid or unpaid).
The FMLA does apply, however, entitling new mothers to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth of a new child, as well as the placement of a new adoption or foster.
Paternity leave is not covered by law either, but fathers have the same right to unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks for the birth of their child, or a new adoption or fostered child.
There is no legal requirement to provide bereavement leave in South Dakota.
Employers must allow employees to serve jury duty, and must not fire or demote an employee for serving as a juror. However, time off for jury duty does not have to be paid.
Employers must provide two consecutive hours of paid leave to allow employees to vote, if they do not have two consecutive hours with which to do so outside of working hours while the polls are still open.
Federal Law (the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)) applies in South Dakota, which states that military service members receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service, and upon returning, must be reinstated to the same position (or an equivalent position) as they had before their leave.
Anything not covered in South Dakota state leave laws is up to the discretion of the employer, such as whether or not to provide paid sick leave or PTO, or whether PTO rolls over from year to year.
However, if any benefits are laid out in an employee’s contract or company policy, employers must comply with what has been agreed in that document.
For example, if an employee’s contract states that they are to receive 12 days of PTO each year, the employer is legally required to provide this, even though paid time off is not required by state law.