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South Dakota Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off (PTO), Vacation Time, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Last updated on January 22, 2024.

Paid Time Off (PTO) in South Dakota

Vacation Leave Quota 

South Dakota law doesn’t require employers to provide vacation leave.    

Private employers in South Dakota are not required to provide paid or unpaid vacation.     

However, most employers in the private sector provide employees with 10 paid days off on average, after a 1 year on the job.  

If an employer chooses to offer vacation leave to its employees, paid or unpaid, it must comply with appropriate state law, established company policy, and the employment contract. 


The accrual system is not compulsory in South Dakota, but it is widely used by companies.      

Employers are generally free to design their own vacation accrual system, which could include daily, weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, or monthly increments. It is usually based on the pay period. 

Roll Over (Carry Over, Brought Forward) 

A Use-It-or-Lose-It policy is not forbidden.  

A “use it or lose it” policy forbids employees from rolling over earned, unused vacation from one year into the next one. Therefore, the employee’s untaken vacation time is lost.   

A use-it-or-lose-it policy is not addressed by state statutes in South Dakota, which means that employers can apply it. 

Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay 


Payment of Accrued, Unused Vacation on Termination 

Not required by state law. 

Payment of accrued, unused vacation on termination is also not addressed by state statutes. Because South Dakota’s Legislature and its courts have not provided any information about vacation leave, employers are free to create their own policies regarding vacation leave and PTO payout at termination. 

Sick Leave in South Dakota

Federal law requires 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave. No additional state laws.

Federal Laws – Leave Quota 

Federal law requires 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave.

The standard federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to South Dakota (as it is in all the states in the U.S.A). The leave is job-protected.  

Employees qualify for FMLA benefits only if: 

  • they have been employed for at least 12 months (at least 25 hours per week) or 1,250 hours in the previous year 
  • they work in a location where at least 50 people are employed by the company (in a 75-mile radius)        

The FMLA entitles qualified employees to take up to 12 weeks off for: 

  • personal medical reasons – illness or injury 
  • to care for a close family member (child, spouse, or parent) suffering from a severe illness 
  • maternity or paternity leave.    

Employers are free to propose additional sick leave benefits that are better than the minimum federal requirement.      

Check out our article on FMLA to learn more. 

South Dakota State Laws 

No additional state sick laws.  

Currently, 23 states offer paid sick leave. South Dakota is not among them.  

South Dakota doesn’t mandate an employer to offer employees either paid or unpaid sick days. Some employers (especially big companies) do offer it as a common benefit. If employers decide to offer sick days, they must stick to the provisions outlined in their established company policy or employment agreement. 


Sick leave in South Dakota is unpaid. 

Maternity, Paternity, FMLA in South Dakota

Federal Law 

12 weeks of unpaid maternity/paternity leave is provided by FMLA.       

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that allows eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for family or medical reasons, including maternity or paternity leave. Unless otherwise authorized by the employer, an employee must take this leave continuously. More information about FMLA eligibility can be found above, under the section Sick Leave in South Dakota: Federal Laws – Leave Quota.    

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is one more federal law that protects pregnant women. According to the PDA, discrimination against pregnant people is prohibited in all areas of employment: hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, fringe benefits, training, leave, and health insurance.    

Additional State Laws in South Dakota 

There are no additional state laws providing leave for maternity or paternity.  

South Dakota has no additional state laws concerning maternity and paternity leave. Only the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Pregnancy Disability Act provide expecting and new parents with the right to take leave. 


Maternity and paternity leave in South Dakota are unpaid. 

Bereavement Leave in South Dakota

An employer is not required to provide bereavement leave.      

An employer is not legally required to provide any paid or unpaid bereavement leave, or any time off to attend an immediate family member’s funeral. However, nearly all American companies, offer paid time off for bereavement, which usually lasts for up to 3 work days. Some companies are even more generous and offer a maximum of 5 or 6 days. 


Bereavement leave in South Dakota is unpaid. 

Jury Duty Leave in South Dakota

Employers must provide employees unpaid time off for jury duty

Employers are required to provide employees with unpaid, job-protected leave to report to jury selection or jury duty. Notice requirements do apply, so employees may have to show their employer their jury summons (within a reasonable period of time after receiving it) to be given the necessary leave. 

It is illegal for any employer to fire or suspend an employee because they have served as a juror. An employee cannot face any negative consequences such as a loss of job status, pay, or seniority due to serving on a jury. 


The employer pays: 

Employers in South Dakota are not required to pay employees for jury duty leave, but most employers do it as the court compensation is rather low. 

The court pays:         

Employees who serve as jurors in South Dakota are paid $50.00 a day (though juror pay is only a token amount).  

Military Leave in South Dakota

All employers in the U.S. must comply with USERRA. Additional state law.

Federal law 

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is a federal law that applies to employers of all sizes and types in the U.S. USERRA protects employees called to active duty in the U.S. military, including the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves, and National Guard. USERRA provides reinstatement rights, protection from discrimination, the right to continue group health care benefits for up to 24 months during their leave, and up to 5 years of unpaid leave for military service (with exceptions to this 5-year limit). 

South Dakota State Law 

The same employment protection under USERRA extends also to members of the state National Guard ordered to active duty by the state’s governor or the federal government (president). 


Military leave is unpaid. 

Voting Leave in South Dakota

2 consecutive hours, but only if an employee doesn’t have enough time in their non-working hours. 

An employer is obligated to give their workers 2 hours of paid time off during polling hours for voting in any primary or general election on Election Day. An employer is not required to provide this leave if an employee has 2 consecutive hours before or after their shift (while voting polls are open).  

An employer can specify the hours when employees leave work to vote. 

Deducting an employee’s regular pay or salary due to their absence is not allowed by the employer. 


Voting leave is paid by the employer. 

South Dakota State Holidays in 2024

A leave for holidays is not required by state law. 

Private employers in South Dakota are not required to provide paid or unpaid leave for holidays. Private employers can require all employees to work on holidays. Holiday pay (“time-and-a-half,” or 150 percent of the regular rate) is also not mandated by law. However, the majority of employers in South Dakota do provide at least several paid holidays.      

South Dakota officially observes 11 state holidays.

A complete list of holidays celebrated in South Dakota for 2024:
Holiday Observed in 2024 General Date
New Year’s Day 2024 Monday, January 1 January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, January 15 3rd Monday in January
Presidents’ Day. Monday, February 19 3rd Monday in February
Memorial Day Monday, May 27 Last Monday in May
Juneteenth Wednesday, June 19 June 19
Independence Day Thursday, July 4 July 4
Labor Day Monday, September 2 1st Monday in September
Native American Day Monday, October 14 2nd Monday in October
Veterans Day Monday, November 11 November 11
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 28 4th Thursday of November
Christmas Day Wednesday, Dec. 25 December 25

* When a holiday from the mentioned list occurs on a Saturday, it will be celebrated on the preceding Friday as a state holiday. Similarly, if the holiday falls on a Sunday, it will be observed on the following Monday. 

Holiday Observed in 2025 General Date
New Year’s Day 2025 Wed., Jan 1, 2025 January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, January 15 3rd Monday in January


  1. South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation – Employment Laws, https://dlr.sd.gov/employment_laws/wage_hour_issues.aspx
  2. The South Dakota Employment Law Guide, https://joinhomebase.com/state-labor-laws/south-dakota/
  3. South Dakota Payroll and Benefits Guide, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/us-south-dakota/
  4. Leave Laws by State and Municipality: 50-State Charts, https://www.xperthr.com/fifty-state-charts/leave-laws-by-state-and-municipality/20973/

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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