South Dakota Civil Rights laws & HR compliance analysis

South Dakota Civil Rights: What you need to know

The South Dakota Human Relations Act prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, ancestry, disability, or national origin (SD Cod. Laws Sec. 20-13-1 et seq.). The Act applies to all employers in the state. The Act also prohibits employers from retaliating or discriminating against employees or applicants who file discrimination complaints.
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Like the federal law under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, state law prohibits an employer from making a decision regarding hiring, promotion, job duties, compensation, or any other condition of employment on the basis of a protected characteristic. Also, as with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, employers must offer reasonable accommodations to allow individuals with disabilities to participate in the job application process and to perform essential job functions. An employer is not obligated to offer an accommodation that creates an undue hardship to the employer's business.
It is permissible to hire an individual on the basis of a BFOQ. A BFOQ is a qualification that is absolutely essential to the applicant's ability to perform the job in question. For example, being female is a reasonable BFOQ for a job modeling women's clothing. The BFOQ exception is narrowly interpreted, however, and employers should use extreme caution in relying on such a rationale when making employment decisions that may have a discriminatory effect.
In addition to the BFOQ exception, employers are permitted to require security clearances for certain jobs; to observe the terms of a bona fide seniority or merit system, or a system measuring earnings ...

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