South Dakota Employment Law Update – March 2017

South Dakota

Whistleblower Protections

On March 10, 2017, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signed legislation (H.B. 1052) that provides employment protections to public employees who report violations of the law.

Pursuant to the law, no department, bureau, board, or commission of the state or any of its political subdivisions may dismiss, suspend from employment, demote, decrease the compensation of, or take any other retaliatory action against an employee because the employee reports in good faith to an appropriate authority a violation or suspected violation of a law or rule, an abuse of funds or abuse of authority, or substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, unless the report is specifically prohibited by law. However, this does not apply to any employee who knows the report is false or was made in a reckless disregard for the truth. A state employee who is the subject of retaliation under these provisions may file a grievance with the Civil Service Commission.

The law goes into effect on July 1, 2017.

Read H.B. 1052

Unemployment Insurance – Contribution Rates

On March 10, 2017, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signed legislation (H.B. 1097) that revises certain unemployment insurance contribution rates, provides for an unemployment insurance administrative fee, and provides for the distribution of the fee.

Pursuant to the law, the contribution rates for experienced employers will be determined through one of two schedules each year based on South Dakota’s average high-cost multiplier ratio as of June 30 in the previous year. Schedule A is in effect for any calendar year when the South Dakota average high cost multiplier ratio is less than 1.60. Schedule B is in effect for any calendar year when the South Dakota average high cost multiplier ratio is greater than or equal to 1.60. Experienced employers will also be assessed an administrative fee of 0.02 percent for the year if their reserve ratio was less than 2.25 percent as of June 30 in the previous year.

The new contribution rates apply to taxable wages paid on and after January 1, 2018.

Read SD H.B. 1097

Mandated Health Coverage – Applied Behavior Analysis

On March 9, 2017, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signed legislation (H.B. 1195) that revises certain provisions of state law regarding health coverage for applied behavior analysis. Pursuant to the bill, effective January 1, 2018, applied behavior analysis treatments must be provided or supervised by professionals licensed by the:

  • South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners or the Board of Examiners of Psychologists, and who have documented training and competence in applied behavior analysis; or
  • South Dakota Board of Social Workers as licensed behavioral analysts.

Read SD H.B. 1195