South Dakota Salaried Employees Laws

February 22nd 2024

South Dakota has established laws that protect employees and ensure fair wage compensation. Salaried employees in South Dakota receive a fixed amount of compensation, and employers can schedule employee paychecks at regular intervals (e.g., weekly or monthly).

This article discusses the rights of salaried employees and the obligations of employers, as well as processes around payment, break and leave entitlements, and overtime compensation.

This article covers:


Wage Payments for Salaried Employees in South Dakota

The current minimum wage in South Dakota has recently been increased to $11.20 per hour. Meanwhile, tipped employees receive $5.60, but employers must ensure the tips earned meet or exceed the minimum wage. The maximum amount an employer should compensate their tipped employees is 50% of their wages. Moreover, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) permits subminimum wages to specific employees:

  • Student-learners
  • Full-time students
  • Individuals with disabilities

In South Dakota, employers can pay an hourly wage of $4.25 per hour to individuals under 20 years old for the initial 90 days of work. Meanwhile, full-time students are entitled to 85% of the federal minimum wage ($6.16 per hour). Paychecks are scheduled monthly or every two weeks.

Salaried Employees’ Eligibility for Overtime in South Dakota

As per South Dakota overtime laws, non-exempt employees are eligible to receive overtime pay. Employees earning less than $684 per week, or $35,568 annually, and working in non-exempt industries are eligible for overtime compensation.

Employers determine eligible employees based on their job responsibilities and the nature of the business they are employed in.

Check out South Dakota Overtime Laws for more detailed information.

Overtime Pay for South Dakota Salaried Employees

Overtime pay applies to non-exempt salaried employees whose working hours exceed 40 hours a week. South Dakota follows the 1.5-times rate to compensate for any hours worked beyond the regular workweek.

To compute the hourly rate, an employer divides the employee’s salary by the number of hours that the salary compensates for. Then, this hourly rate is used to calculate overtime pay. The overtime pay is therefore:

Hourly rate x overtime hours x overtime rate (1.5)

At times, calculating overtime pay might be tedious. Employers can streamline the process by using a timesheet app, monitoring time and attendance, or employing overtime compliance software.

Exceptions to Overtime Exemptions for South Dakota Salaried Employees

Overtime exemptions in South Dakota align with the FLSA. The guidelines define the eligibility criteria for exempt employees. As per federal law, an exempt employee is:

  • A bona fide executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales employee.
  • Earnings at least $684 per week.
  • A highly compensated employee earning an annual income of more than $107,432 a year.
  • A salaried computer employee who earns at least $684 per week.

Violation of Salaried Employees’ Wages Payment in South Dakota

Employers withholding wages are subject to penalties. The South Dakota Legislature states that employees have the right to pursue compensation. The penalty for unpaid wage compensation is equal to twice the amount owed by the employer. In addition, employers are required to cover expenses and incurred attorney’s fees.

Legal actions addressing wage payments can be filed individually or on behalf of a group of workers.

Male and Female Salaried Employees in South Dakota

The South Dakota Codified Laws prohibit employers from compensating workers differently according to their gender for comparable work. The state follows an “equal work, equal pay” principle, and pay discrepancies can only be based on the following:

  • Seniority system
  • Merit system
  • System measuring earnings by quantity or quality
  • Workplace location
  • Necessary and regular travel for an employee
  • Educational qualifications
  • Work experience
  • Training

Leave Entitlements for Salaried Employees in South Dakota

In South Dakota, employers are mandated to provide certain types of leave to their employees, including family and medical leave, court and jury duty leave, voting time leave, and military leave.

Family and Medical Leave grants eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for themselves or a family member under specific conditions. These include having worked for the company for at least a year and having met specified hour requirements. In cases where a family member is injured in the line of duty, an additional 14 weeks of leave may be granted.

Court and Jury Duty Leave allows employees to take time off for jury duty with pay during the trial period and possible reimbursement for expenses incurred. During election seasons, South Dakota employers must provide up to two hours of paid leave for employees to vote.

Additionally, military personnel are entitled to certain leave benefits, including service leave, which can be accrued annually for up to 40 hours. Training leave is available to permanent employees with prior approval from their military commander.

However, employers are not obligated to offer vacation leave, sick days, bereavement leave, or holiday leave to their employees. If they do choose to offer these benefits, they must outline the guidelines in writing, and the payments associated with these types of leaves are to the discretion of the employer.

Break Entitlements for Salaried Employees in South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Labor has no outlined guidelines on employee breaks. This means that the federal rules apply, stating employers are not required to provide breaks.

Nonetheless, employers have the option to offer rest breaks in their policies. Breaks of 20 minutes or less are compensable unless work is required during that time.

Breastfeeding employees are an exception to this rule, and nursing mothers can use breastfeeding breaks for up to a year.

To guarantee that employees fully utilize their entitled benefits, especially those linked to their work hours, it may be essential to monitor work hours or employ automated systems for tracking time off to streamline the procedure.

Deductions from Exempt Employees’ Salaries in South Dakota

Unlike other states, South Dakota lacks specific state laws defining wage deductions. Due to the absence of legal regulations, employers are likely to withhold wages for:

  • Cash shortages
  • Damages, loss, breakages, or stolen company property
  • Required uniforms and tools
  • Other items required for employment

Furthermore, employers can only deduct from an employee’s paycheck if there is a written agreement. The federal FLSA restricts employers from making deductions that would reduce an employee’s pay below the minimum wage. As the state’s minimum wage surpasses the federal requirement, employers must ensure employees still earn the state’s minimum hourly wage after deductions.

Termination of Employment for Salaried Employees in South Dakota

South Dakota follows an “at-will” employment policy. Employers in South Dakota have the right to terminate employees at their discretion. Certain exceptions, however, exist, such as:

  • Employment contracts with a specified end date.
  • Any attempt to exploit employees.
  • Termination based on discrimination.
  • A retaliation towards employees for objecting to activities within their rights to refuse.

Any of these reasons are deemed unlawful. On the other hand, employees can resign for any reason.

Upon termination, employees should receive their final paycheck on the next scheduled payday. Final pay may be issued as a lump sum or in semi-monthly installments.

Employers should note that timely payment is crucial. When employers fail to comply in a timely manner, penalties may apply. Further, if the laid-off employee can provide legal documentation of non-payment, fines are imposed.

Learn more about South Dakota Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

When making this guide, we have tried to make it accurate, but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We advise you to seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred by the use of this guide.