South Dakota Equal Pay/Comparable Worth: What you need to know

The South Dakota Equal Pay Law prohibits discrimination in wages on the basis of sex for comparable work on jobs with comparable requirements in terms of skill, effort, and responsibility, but not physical strength (SD Cod. Laws Sec. 60-12-15 et seq.).
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Permissible reasons for pay differentials include:
• Seniority systems
• Job descriptive systems
• Merit increase systems
• Executive training programs
The Law also prohibits retaliating against any employee for complaining about an equal pay violation or participating in the investigation or hearing of a complaint under the Law. It is also unlawful for an employer to threaten retaliatory action for the purpose of dissuading an employee from filing a charge, testifying, or giving information about the employer in an action brought under the Law.
A written agreement by an employee to accept less than the full wage paid to employees of the opposite gender for the same work is not legally enforceable.
Coverage. The Law applies to all employers in the state.
The South Dakota Human Relations Act prohibits an employer from discriminating in compensation on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, ancestry, disability, national origin, blindness, or partial blindness (SD Cod. Laws. Sec. 20-13-10 and Sec. 20-13-10.1).
Employees have the right to file civil damages claims directly in state court and may recover legal fees in addition to unpaid wages (SD Cod. Laws Sec. 60-12-15 et seq.). Actions under the Equal Pay Law must be brought within two years of the alleged discrimination.
The South Dakota Department of Labor's Division of Human Rights enforces the Human Relations Act. The Department has the authority to receive ...

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