South Dakota Comes to Paid Sick Leave Table

The Mount Rushmore State came to the paid sick leave table yesterday with the introduction of Senate Bill 120. Sponsored by thirteen Democratic legislators, the bill has been referred to the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee.


The bill has the typical PSL architecture but with a few unusual exclusions.  Employees of employers with at least fifty employees would accrue paid safe and sick time at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked to a maximum of 48 hours per calendar year. Employees would be able to use the accrued time after 90 days of employment for the usual reasons.

Non-profit organizations under IRC 501(c)(3) are exempt from the law. Executive, administrative, professional and construction employees are also not covered. Employees covered by a labor contract or other agreement that provides at least 24 hours of paid leave annually which can be used for the reasons in the law are also exempt from coverage.

For those who believe a state’s status as a blue state increases the chances that a PSL will pass while the chances are decreased in a red state, the odds that S.120 will pass are not very good. In the 2016 presidential election, South Dakota was a deep red state. More than 61% of the electorate voted for President Donald Trump while less than one-third voted for Secretary Hillary R. Clinton. Both the House and Senate have large Republican majorities.