State and federal laws regulate the hours employers can expect their employees to work and the compensation paid in exchange for time spent working. These laws include overtime and compensatory pay, how many hours can be scheduled and the minimum compensation allowed. Wage and hour laws are enforced by state and federal agencies, so it is essential for employers to understand the requirements and apply them. The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation provides information about many state-specific wage and hour laws.
Minimum Wage in South Dakota
Employees who do not receive tips as part of their compensations have a minimum hourly wage of $8.55 in South Dakota, and the law states it cannot be lowered. The federal minimum of $7.25 per hour cannot be applied by employers in South Dakota because, according to federal wage laws, the state law must be upheld if it is higher. For teenagers under the age of 18, the state has proposed a law to establish the minimum wage at $7.50.
Minimum Wage of Tipped Workers: Employees who receive tips cannot be paid an hourly wage less than $4.275, but they must still earn at least $8.55 per hour. To ensure this minimum is met, employers must keep track of the tip amounts and make up any difference in compensation.
Does Minimum Wage Apply to Me: There are few exemptions to the state minimum wage, and each of these has specific criteria that must be met. For example, seasonal amusement or recreation establishments that are closed at least five months of the calendar year are not subject to South Dakota minimum wage laws. This only applies if they meet certain criteria regarding how many months of the year they are open or regarding their seasonal and annual earnings. A newly hired employee who is 19 or younger may be paid an hourly wage of $4.25 for up to 90 calendar days. Employers of outside salespersons or babysitters are also not bound to the state minimum wage.
When Are Raises Required: South Dakota law mandates that the minimum wage should be adjusted each year to account for the cost of living. In contrast, federal minimum wage laws can only be increased when Congress passes legislation to that effect and the President approves it. Employers may set their own policies for raises that are above and beyond those mandated by law.
Work Hours in South Dakota
In South Dakota, there are a number of laws specific to youth employment. These limit the number of hours that can be worked under various circumstances, what tasks and activities employees may perform, and exceptions to these laws. Employers should review laws carefully, as they can be complicated. There is not a limit on the number of hours an adult may work each week.
Paying Overtime: South Dakota does not have laws that govern compensatory or overtime payment. As a result, employers who meet the criteria must comply with federal overtime laws. The minimum rate for overtime is $10.875 per hour, which is 1.5 times the federal minimum wage. Exceptions to the requirements set by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act include firefighters, nurses and domestic workers.
Guaranteed Breaks and Meals: In South Dakota, employers are not required to offer meal or rest breaks, and there is no federal law guaranteeing these. However, nursing mothers must be allowed time during the day to express milk. If the employer does not offer paid breaks, mothers may take unpaid time for this purpose.
Paid Time-off and Sick Pay:In South Dakota, employers may set their own policies regarding whether they will offer paid holiday and/or sick leave.
Notice Period for Employee Termination: Employers in South Dakota may terminate employees at will, which means that in most circumstances, the employer can fire an employee at any time. Discrimination or contract fulfillment are exceptions to this rule.
Plant Closings & Layoffs: Companies with at least 100 full-time workers are subject to the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires an employer to provide a 60-day notice before laying off employees or closing plants. The number of layoffs and other factors affect how this law applies.
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