Employee Discipline: South Dakota
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: Gloria Ju
- South Dakota is an employment at-will state that recognizes certain exceptions to the at-will doctrine. See Employment At-Will.
- Both state and federal law prohibit employers from disciplining employees based on protected characteristics, but there are two major differences between state and federal law. See Disciplining Employees in Protected Classes.
- Employers are prohibited from making retaliatory discipline decisions under numerous state laws. See Disciplining Employees in Protected Classes and Retaliation and Whistleblowing.
- Employees may not be disciplined for smoking off-duty or for engaging in political activities. See Lawful Behavior Outside of Work.
- Certain South Dakota employers ban the use of electronic cigarettes in the workplace. See E-Cigarettes.
- Employers must avoid making certain mistakes in disciplinary situations that can lead to legal liability, such as defamation, false imprisonment and illegal phone monitoring. See Discipline Considerations.
- When disciplining employees for attendance issues, employers must be aware of state jury duty and voting leave laws. See Specific Discipline Situations.
- Employers in South Dakota may use noncompete, nonsolicitation and nondisclosure agreements, but must be careful to abide by state and case law. See Specific Discipline Situations and Noncompete, Nonsolicitation and Nondisclosure Agreements.
- Employees owe a duty of loyalty to employers. An employer may have a cause of action for unfair competition, civil conspiracy or interference with a business relationship. See Specific Discipline Situations and Duty of Loyalty.
- South Dakota employers may ban guns in the workplace. See Guns in the Workplace.
- South Dakota has limited recordkeeping requirements. See Recordkeeping Requirements.