South Dakota News & Analysis

  • Game over: How to lose a gaming license over $20

    When a patron left $20 in chips on the craps table at a Deadwood casino, an employee placed them in the tip box. The employer's policy was to hold unclaimed chips if the identity of the patron was known. Was his violation of the employer's policy enough to cause him to lose his gaming license?

  • Cat's (paw) scratch fever

    The cat's-paw theory can be difficult to explain and even more difficult to spot in the workplace. Knowing exactly what the theory is can greatly assist in identifying cat's-paw behavior before it turns into a liability for the employer.

  • Don't forget to properly classify independent contractors

    You likely recall a time not so long ago when the improper classification of employees as independent contractors was the hot topic for the IRS and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). In 2011, the agencies entered into a "Memorandum of Understanding" in which they agreed to share information about potential misclassifications in an effort to crack down on the common practice. The DOL also entered into similar agreements with roughly 30 state departments of labor.

  • DOL issues FMLA opinion letters after a long break

    For the first time in nearly a decade, the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has issued opinion letters interpreting the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This may be a sign that the Trump administration intends to rely heavily on opinion letters as a form of guidance for employers, a practice that had been discarded by the Obama administration.

  • No drinking on the job—even if employee has alcohol problem

    Q One of the facilities we operate has a formal dining room and bar. One of our directors found a bartender drinking wine while on duty. We have a rule that drinking while on duty isn't allowed at all. We would like to fire her. If she tells us she has a drinking problem, would the termination violate her rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

  • Employer sinks age discrimination claim with flood of documentation

    An employee consistently showed up late for work, causing friction with her supervisors and coworkers. Eventually, she found herself deep into the disciplinary process and was terminated. Her subsequent age discrimination claim could have sunk the employer, but it was able to keep its head above water.

  • Employee of jet manufacturer can't land his claim in federal court

    An avionics installer was terminated by Dassault Falcon Jet Corp. (DFJ) because it believed he couldn't perform the essential functions of his job. The former employee sued, claiming DFJ unlawfully discriminated against him based on his age and disability. Let's take a look at why the courts grounded his lawsuit.

  • New technologies create new employee privacy issues

    Unless you work for a company that's very small or very low-tech by nature, chances are, one of your biggest challenges is keeping up with technology. If your competitors are taking advantage of the many new technological advances that promote efficiency and productivity while you're stuck in 1999, your business will struggle to compete.

  • Be careful when asking job applicants about citizenship

    Q Most of our positions require a U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) security clearance. To get a DOD security clearance, an employee must be a U.S. citizen. Is it legal for us to require applicants to note on our employment application whether they are U.S. citizens?

  • Barking up wrong tree: Tantrum over dog at work leads to firing

    Joyce Riggs was employed by Bennett County Hospital and Nursing Home as a technician but was terminated for insubordination after her request to bring a companion dog to work was denied. Does the employee's claim that she was terminated in retaliation for asking to bring her dog to work have any teeth?