Virtually all employees in South Dakota must be covered by workers' compensation insurance. State and local government employees are covered, as are duly appointed volunteer workers and volunteer emergency workers, whose earnings for purposes of benefit computation are presumed to qualify them for the maximum level of compensation allowed under the Workers' Compensation Act. Vocational or technical school employees in job training programs are covered and are considered employees of the school. While independent contractors and subcontractors are responsible for providing coverage for their respective employees, the prime contractor is ultimately responsible. Minors, whether or not lawfully employed, are also covered.
Only the following types of employees are exempt from coverage:
• Executives of nonprofit and religious corporations
• Domestic servants who work fewer than 20 hours per week and no more than 6 weeks in each quarter
• Elected or appointed state officials
• Casual workers employed outside the usual course of the employer's business
• Most farm employees, but coverage must be provided for those engaged in the operation of threshing machines, grain combines, corn shellers or huskers, silage cutters, and seed hullers
Employers may elect to provide coverage for employees in exempt categories. Coverage may not be waived by individual employees (SD Cod. Laws Sec. 62-4-1et seq.).