South Dakota Leave Laws

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.

Are Use It or Lose It Polices Legal in South Dakota?

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).

Use It or Lose It leave policies mean that any leave not used at the end of the year is forfeited, and not carried over to the following year. Learn more about Use It or Lose It policies here.

PTO Payout Laws in South Dakota

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.

Read More: PTO Payout Laws by State

Sick Leave in South Dakota

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.

South Dakota State Holidays

The following official state holidays are observed in South Dakota:

January 1New Year’s Day
3rd Monday in JanuaryMartin Luther King, Jr. Day
3rd Monday in FebruaryPresidents Day
Last Monday in MayMemorial Day
June 19Juneteenth
July 4Independence Day
1st Monday in SeptemberLabor Day
2nd Monday in OctoberNative Americans Day
November 11Veterans Day
4th Thursday in NovemberThanksgiving
December 25Christmas
Any holidays that fall on a Saturday are observed on the previous Friday, while any holidays that fall on a Sunday are observed on the following Monday.

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.

Maternity Leave in South Dakota

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 in South Dakota

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.

Bereavement Leave in South Dakota

There is no legal requirement to provide bereavement leave in South Dakota.

Other Leave Types

Jury Duty Leave

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.

Voting Leave

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.

Military Leave

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.

Official Resources

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