Employee Handbooks - Work Rules - Employee Conduct: 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, and it recognizes that an employee handbook can alter the at-will relationship. See At-Will Nature of Employment.
- State employees cannot be penalized for their political affiliation or expression of opinions. See Work Rules Concerning Political Activity and Employee Expression of Views.
- The South Dakota Human Relations Act (SDHRA) prohibits discrimination based on an employee's marriage to or association with a person of a specific national origin or ancestry or association with an organization related to a national origin. See Work Rules Concerning Personal Relationships and Personal Activities.
- South Dakota bans smoking in the workplace, but also prohibits employers from discriminating against those who smoke off-duty. See Work Rules Concerning Smoking, Alcohol and Drug Use.
- Employers may implement a rule prohibiting employees from carrying guns in the workplace. See Work Rules Regarding Workplace Violence.
- Although they are not workplace-specific, employers in South Dakota should abide by state laws restricting the ability to monitor telephones and computers. See Work Rules Regarding Use of Employer Equipment, Vehicles and Communication Systems.
- When it comes to dress codes and appearance policies, employers must be mindful of the SDHRA. See Work Rules Regulating Employee Dress, Grooming and Personal Appearance.
- All employers must abide by regular payday rules, while only state employers are obligated to provide paid vacation and sick days to their employees. See Work Rules Regarding Employee Work Schedules and Shifts.
- Attendance policies must take into account laws regarding reasonable accommodations, jury duty, time off to vote and military leave. See Work Rules Regarding Attendance, Tardiness and Timekeeping.
- Employers must understand that an employee terminated for misconduct according to the company handbook may be able to collect unemployment benefits. See Work Rules Concerning Employee Misconduct.
- A rule requiring employees to speak only in English may result in a national origin discrimination claim. See Work Rules Concerning English Language Fluency or Use.