South Dakota News & Analysis

  • City reasonably accommodated employee with flesh-eating bacteria

    When a city employee contracted a serious health condition that required him to be out beyond the 12 weeks covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), his employer granted him an extended leave of absence. During his absence, however, the city eliminated his position and offered him either a severance package or a new position with a lower salary. Would he be able to establish disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, and retaliation as a result?

  • No irony here: Employee earns his termination by refusing to work with another employee

    An employee who has trouble communicating with his foreman complains about the foreman's safety. Soon, he refuses to work on the foreman's crew altogether and, as a result, is terminated. Can he collect unemployment insurance benefits?

  • DOL says FMLA leave mandatory for employees and employers

    After more than 25 years, you might think questions regarding proper interpretation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) would be settled. It's a highly regulated law, and it provides employers far more detail and clarity than they get with most other labor and employment laws.

  • Tips to ensure you are prepared for a deposition

    For an HR professional, giving a deposition is a lot like visiting the dentist. You know it's necessary, but you probably aren't looking forward to it. You may be asked questions you don't want to answer (like how often you actually floss). And finally, consistently responsible practices should reduce your stress levels about the event, make it go a lot smoother, and prevent worse problems in the future.

  • Gearing up for seasonal workers—benefits considerations

    Q We are looking to hire seasonal employees, preferably students, to work for 90 to 120 days. They will work 40 hours per week. What benefits must we provide?

  • Workplace Trends

    NFIB speaks out against predictive scheduling laws. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) issued a statement in March in opposition to state and local laws requiring employers to provide hourly workers their work schedules weeks in advance. The organization said such laws aren't always possible or realistic for small businesses. "It severely limits owners' control over their scheduling decisions and urgent business needs," the statement said. The organization pointed to laws in Oregon, Seattle, and San Francisco and said the unpredictability of staff needs in certain industries like construction and hospitality raises concerns. "The laws not only prevent employers from adjusting to market changes, bad weather, or other demands outside their control, but they also prevent employees from picking up additional work hours at a moment's notice or requesting unanticipated time off," the statement said.

  • Drugs, meds, and OTCs: restricting job duties for suspected opiate use

    In light of the ongoing nationwide drug epidemic, companies may be increasingly anxious to protect themselves by monitoring their employees—particularly those who use or operate company-owned vehicles and machinery.

  • Missing money mires employer

    When cash turned up missing, an employer was quick to point fingers at an employee. It didn't appear, however, there was any evidence she actually stole the money. Despite lacking evidence, the employer fired the suspected employee anyway.

  • Know the legal issues you face when employees work past 65

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about one-third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 69 are still employed. That number has been steadily rising, and it's expected to reach 36 percent over the next five years.

  • Walmart greeter fiasco provides important employment lessons

    Have you ever walked into a Walmart and been greeted by an employee—frequently disabled or elderly—who seemed to have no responsibilities other than to welcome customers to the store? Did you ever wonder what the point of the position was or why a corporation the size of Walmart would pay so many people to do it?