The South Dakota Human Relations Act prohibits discrimination in employment based on sex, including sexual harassment (SD Cod. Laws Sec. 20-13-1 et seq.). The Act applies to all employers in the state. Under the Act, employers are prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against any applicant, employee, or intern based on sex.
The South Dakota Division of Human Rights defines sexual harassment as:
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
• Submission to the conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment,
• Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions, or
• The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
Examples of behavior that can create a hostile environment include repeated, offensive physical actions, verbal comments, hazing, or graphic or written displays that affect an employee’s ability to perform the job.
Under the state law, it is unlawful for an employer to aid, compel, or induce another person to sexually harass or to conceal harassment. It also unlawful discrimination to retaliate against any person who files a charge of harassment, testifies, assists, or participates in any way in an investigation, hearing, or any other proceeding conducted under the state law. A sample sexual harassment brochure published by the Division of Human Rights can be downloaded at http://dlr.sd.gov.