South Dakota ADA laws & safety compliance analysis

South Dakota ADA: What you need to know

Comparison: State vs. Federal

The South Dakota Human Relations Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of disability (SD Cod. Laws Sec. 20-13-1 et seq.). A separate state law prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants or employees on the basis of genetic information (SD Cod. Laws Sec. 60-2-20). Both laws cover all public and private employers, regardless of size.

State Requirements
'Disability' Defined
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Disability is defined as:

  • A physical or mental impairment, including impairments resulting from disease, that substantially limits a major life activity,
  • A record of having such an impairment, or
  • Being regarded as having such an impairment.

The disability must be unrelated to:

  • An individual's ability to perform the major duties of a particular job or position, or
  • An individual's qualifications for employment or promotion.

Current illegal use of or addiction to marijuana or a controlled substance is expressly excluded from the definition of disability.

Reasonable Accommodation

Employers must make a "good faith" effort to accommodate applicants and employees with disabilities, unless the accommodation would pose an undue hardship (SD Cod. Laws Sec. 20-13-23.7).

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Considerations

The federal ADA imposes similar obligations on employers, but covers only employers with 15 or more employees.

Current illegal drug use is not considered a disability under the ADA. However, the ADA does classify alcoholism and past drug addiction as disabilities. Employers may hold individuals with alcoholism and substance abuse disabilities to the same performance standards as other employees.

Although the ADA has similar provisions as the state law, amendments to the ADA broadened ...


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