South Dakota News & Analysis

  • Back to school brings new wave of COVID-19 policies, questions

    With many families facing uncertainty involving their children's schools, questions about the applicability of the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) continue to come up. The EFMLEA applies only when you are on leave to care for your child whose school or place of care is closed or whose childcare provider is unavailable because of COVID-19-related reasons.

  • EEOC publishes new guidance on employee opioid addiction

    Opioid addiction continues to be a serious problem in the United States. As with many other prescription medications, opioids present significant challenges to employers, who must address issues relating to both the lawful use of the medication as well as the impact of its abuse.

  • Can you fire employee for Facebook post? Employer tips for policing social media

    Two things are eminently clear as the 2020 election season ramps up: (1) Everyone has an opinion, and (2) they aren't shy about sharing it. So, what's an employer to do when an employee likes or shares an inflammatory article on Facebook or uses his 280 characters on Twitter to start a battle with a local government candidate? Is the employee's speech protected? Does the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) apply? Here are a few considerations.

  • Things to consider before requiring employees, visitors to wear face masks

    Wearing a face covering has become a political signal in the polarizing clash between those who see doing so as a moral responsibility and others who view it as an infringement on their freedom. Consequently, employers can likely expect resistance ― including the potential for aggression and violence ― if they establish a face-covering policy. Before taking action, they should plan carefully.

  • Help! Some of my employees say they can't wear face masks

    In light of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz's recent Executive Order requiring face masks in most indoor work settings, many employers are wondering how to deal with employees who say they cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition or religious belief. Before responding, you should understand your responsibilities under the various discrimination and employee leave laws.

  • Trump's payroll tax deferral ― what should employers do?

    On August 8, President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order directing Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin to defer the withholding, deposit, and payment of certain payroll taxes beginning September 1 through the end of 2020. The order left several important questions open and directed the Treasury to issue guidance to implement the order. Secretary Mnuchin finally issued guidance on August 28, but many questions remain.

  • Court affirms termination of HR manager who solicited employee to sue employer

    Kia Motors has advertised with the slogan "the power to surprise."? One of its HR managers took that saying to heart in choosing a very surprising method of expressing her displeasure with the employer. It didn't work out so well for her.

  • Issues to consider before transitioning to permanent remote workforce

    The COVID-19 pandemic may have permanently changed the future of work. From banking to insurance and the legal industry, employers have embraced remote work for employees. Before March 2020, many companies allowed only a select few people to work remotely ― typically exempt employees who travel. Now they're permitting more employees to work from home. Some businesses like Nationwide Insurance are reducing their office footprint as they let more people stay home. Before you allow more employees to telework, however, here are some important employment law aspects to consider.

  • Cutting-Edge HR

    Next Chapter aims to help formerly incarcerated people. Workplace communication company Slack announced in July that Dropbox and Zoom have joined its Next Chapter apprenticeship program, which is designed to bring formerly incarcerated individuals into engineering roles. In making the announcement, Slack said criminal justice reform has never been more vital to the country's health, and formerly incarcerated individuals account for unemployment rates nearly five times as high as those faced by other jobseekers. "This partnership is a small but meaningful step toward addressing the long-term, systemic changes that are needed to make our companies and our country more just and inclusive places to work and live,"Â the Slack announcement said. Slack began its pilot program last year, and all three of its first apprentices have joined the company as full-time engineers.

  • Federal Watch

    EEOC launches study of EEO-1 Component 2 data. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced in July that it would fund a statistical study with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) to conduct an independent assessment of the quality and utility of the EEO-1 Component 2 data for fiscal years 2017 and 2018, which was collected last year. The Information Quality Act requires the EEOC to assess and ensure the quality and utility of data collected by the agency. To meet the requirements of the law, the assessment must examine the data's fitness for use, including the utility of pay bands in measuring pay disparities and potential statistical and analytically appropriate uses of the data. The EEOC said the assessment also will inform the EEOC's approach to future data collections.