The following are selected statewide policies and are not an exhaustive list of all policies. The state reserves the right to change or eliminate these policies with or without notice. Please be aware that your agency may have more restrictive policies or guidelines on the same subject matter and additional policies on different subjects. Please contact your personnel representative if you have any questions about your agency's policies or guidelines.

Adoption Reimbursement Benefit Policy

(Effective July 1, 2023)

Policy Overview

To offer financial assistance to eligible employees working through the adoption process.


All benefit-eligible employees may apply for adoption assistance benefits after six continuous months of employment. Only adoption expenses incurred after an employee becomes eligible will be reimbursed. Covered adoptions are for children, other than stepchildren, who are U.S. citizens or residents under the age of 18 and adopted through an agency licensed by the State of South Dakota, and for private adoptions legally permitted by the State. The employee must be the adoptive parent, and if both parents are employees, only one can utilize the financial benefit. The employee must be actively employed at the time of financial reimbursement.

Financial Reimbursement

Eligible adoption-related expenses will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $25,000 per adoption. If the adoptive parent is adopting two or more children at the same time, they will only be eligible for a maximum reimbursement of $25,000.

Most expenses directly related to the adoption are reimbursable, including:

  • Application fees
  • Home studies
  • Agency and placement fees
  • Legal costs, including attorney fees and costs of legal proceedings
  • Reasonable and customary transportation and lodging expenses to obtain physical custody of the adopted child. Expenses may be for the adoptive parents, child, and natural mother
  • Parent, child, and family adoption counseling

Tax Considerations

The State of South Dakota follows the requirements of Section 137 of the federal tax law, which exempts some, but not all, employer-provided adoption assistance from federal tax withholding. However, these amounts are subject to social security, Medicare, and FUTA taxes. Employees should visit with a tax professional or refer to Internal Revenue Service instructions entitled Qualified Adoption Expenses regarding taxation of financial benefits, tax credits, and tax exclusions prior to utilizing this benefit.

Process for Reimbursement of Expenses

Complete an Adoption Financial Reimbursement Form. Itemized receipts for expenses must accompany the completed form when it is submitted. Request for reimbursements can be made as costs are incurred as follows not to exceed $25,000:

  • Up to $2,500 for application fees
  • Up to $4,000 for home studies
  • Up to $15,000 for agency and placement fees, including legal costs and proceedings
  • Up to $5,000 for travel costs
  • Up to $2,500 for parent, child, and family adoption counseling

Click here for the Adoption Reimbursement Benefit Policy FAQ.


Alternative Work Schedule Policy

It is the goal of the state of South Dakota to provide employees with a work environment that allows them to balance work and life activities. As an employer, the State recognizes the need for flexibility in scheduling to provide employees the opportunity to participate in family and community activities. To achieve this goal, employees and supervisors are encouraged to use alternative work schedules. Alternative work schedules will enable managers to meet their program goals and provide better customer service while, at the same time, allowing employees to be more flexible in scheduling their personal activities.

Alternative Work Schedules Available:

Flexible work schedule:
With supervisory approval, employees may select alternative starting and stopping times during the workweek. The starting and stopping times and the lunch period are fixed for the duration of the flexible schedule unless the supervisor discontinues or temporarily suspends the flexible work schedule. Salaried employees on a flexible work schedule may be required to work additional hours or adjust their schedule to meet the requirements of their position.
Permanent reduced work schedule:
With supervisory approval, hourly and salaried employees may reduce the number of hours worked each week. Employees on a reduced work schedule will be considered permanent part-time employees and will earn less leave and pay based on the reduced number of hours worked. If employees work less than 20 hours per week, they are not entitled to health, life, or retirement benefits. This is a permanent schedule and is not intended for seasonal fluctuation.
Flex time:
With supervisory approval, employees may occasionally modify their daily work schedule. Adjustments may be made at any time to allow employees flexibility in their schedule during the week. Hourly employees must make up hours flexed at a different time during the work period. Hourly employees who are unable to make up hours flexed during the work period must take either paid or unpaid leave. Salaried employees may not flex an entire day.
Compressed work schedule:
With supervisory approval, full-time hourly and salaried employees may work their normally scheduled number of hours each work period in less than five days. Examples are four 10-hour days or four nine-hour days and one four-hour day. Since full-time employees are entitled to a maximum of eight hours for a holiday, hourly employees working a compressed work week may be required to adjust their work week or take paid or unpaid leave during a work period that includes a holiday. Salaried employees must have a set schedule and take leave for any day in which they will be absent during all scheduled hours regardless of the number of hours worked during the week. Salaried employees on a compressed work schedule may be required to work additional hours or adjust their schedule to meet the requirements of their position.
Work Adjust:
Work adjust is adjusting hours for work performed outside the normal work schedule to meet the requirements of the agency. Work adjust is intended for short term changes to an employee’s schedule to meet workload requirements. Work adjust applies to hourly employees and is not appropriate for salaried employees.

Eligibility for Alternative Work Schedules:

Supervisors will work with employees and attempt to accommodate their scheduling requests. Alternative work schedules, however, may not be available to every employee at any time because of customer service requirements. If alternate work schedules are not possible, the supervisor should explain why the request for an alternative work schedule cannot be honored.


Principal administrative offices will be open during the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, including the noon hour. Service to both internal and external customers must be maintained or improved.

Rest periods are a normal part of the work schedule and cannot be accumulated or be included as a basis for a flexible work schedule. A lunch break of at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted time is recommended.


Teamwork among employees and agency management is an important factor in implementing alternative work schedules and achieving positive benefits associated with alternative work schedules. Meaningful work must be available for the employee during the entire alternate work schedule. Supervisors and employees are mutually responsible for ensuring successful alternative work scheduling programs.

Supervisors shall:

  1. Ensure adequate, not minimal, staff is available to serve the needs of the public. Both internal and external “customer” needs will be considered to determine adequate staffing.
  2. Ensure that alternative work schedules are administered consistently and equitably.
  3. Ensure alternative work schedules do not cause or contribute to the need for additional staff or overtime work.
  4. Ensure work that requires regular supervision or essential interaction with other staff is scheduled when supervisors and interacting staff are available.
  5. Ensure the work site has adequate supervisory and management coverage at all times.

Employees shall:

  1. Plan and organize their time to meet the job requirements established by the supervisor. This includes answering your phone during all alternative work hours.
  2. Participate in the resolution of conflicts between the job and the alternative work schedule and inform the supervisor when coverage is not adequate.
  3. Be able to meet workload requirements and be available for scheduled conferences and meetings. The requirements of the job always take precedence over the alternative work schedule.
  4. Not engage in excessive socializing prior to the beginning of their workday when employees are already engaged in their work schedule. This can be disruptive to the work patterns of employees with earlier starting times.
  5. Record actual hours worked for each day on the time form.

Procedures for Requesting an Alternative Work Schedule:

A Request for an Alternative Work Schedule (AWS) form must be completed by the employee and submitted to the supervisor for approval if the employee wants to participate in a flexible work schedule, a permanent reduced work schedule or a compressed work schedule. A copy of this form should be sent to your Human Resource Manager to be placed in the employee’s personnel file. A form is not required to participate in occasional flex time.

Changes to Work Schedules:

Alternative schedules do not alter the responsibility and authority of supervisors to establish and change work schedules without prior notice. Supervisors may discontinue or temporarily suspend alternative work schedules when necessary. Alternative work schedules may also be altered if work needs change or if service is impaired.

To ensure an opportunity for all employees to request an alternative work schedule and to ensure the schedule remains workable for the employee and the agency, requests for flexible work schedules, permanent reduced work schedules, and compressed work schedules will be submitted and reevaluated at least every six months.

Please contact your agency human resource manager if you have any questions relating to the alternative work schedule policy.


Arrest Policy

Any employee who has been arrested or charged with or has reasonable knowledge to believe they will be arrested or charged with: 1.) any felony; or 2.) any crime (including misdemeanors) involving a sex offense or illegal drugs or illegal use of legal drugs shall immediately report this information to his or her supervisor. The supervisor is required to immediately report this information, through the chain of command, to the appropriate department secretary, bureau commissioner, or institution administrator who shall report it to the Commissioner of the Bureau of Human Resources.  Department Secretaries and Bureau Commissioners may approve more extensive reporting requirements.


Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy

The State of South Dakota will not tolerate harassment, discrimination or offensive behavior based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), age (40 years or older), genetic information, disability or any other legally protected status or characteristic.

Employees must not engage in harassment, discriminatory or offensive behavior. Additionally, because of the State's strong commitment to keeping the workplace free from harassing, discriminatory, and offensive behavior, employees must avoid any conduct that could be viewed as harassing, discriminatory, or offensive even if the conduct does not violate federal or state law.

Harassment includes conduct that creates a hostile work environment or that results in a "tangible employment action," such as hiring, firing, promotion or failure to promote, demotion, work assignments, benefits, or compensation decisions. This prohibition against harassment and discrimination also encompasses sexual harassment. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexually harassing nature, when: (1) submission to the harassment is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment; (2) submission to or rejection of the harassment is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an individual, or (3) the harassment has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Harassment, discriminatory, or offensive behavior may take different forms and may be verbal, nonverbal, or physical in nature. To aid employees in identifying inappropriate conduct, the following examples of harassment, discriminatory or offensive behavior are provided (these examples are not all-inclusive):

  • unwelcome physical contact such as kissing, fondling, hugging, or touching;
  • demands for sexual favors; sexual innuendoes, suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexist put-downs, or sexual remarks about a person's body; sexual propositions, or persistent unwanted courting;
  • swearing, offensive gestures, or graphic language made because of a person's race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability;
  • slurs, jokes, or derogatory remarks, email, or other communications relating to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability;
  • calendars, posters, pictures, drawings, display, cartoons, images, lists, e-mails, or computer activity that reflects disparagingly upon race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability; or
  • refusing to hire someone because you know the applicant has the breast cancer gene.

An employee who has a complaint of harassment, discriminatory, or offensive behavior by anyone, including supervisors, co-workers, or non-employees, should immediately notify his or her supervisor, a higher-level supervisor, the agency's human resource manager, or the EEO officer for the Bureau of Human Resources at 605.773.3148. The person who receives a harassment or discrimination complaint shall immediately report the matter to his or her supervisor (or a higher-level supervisor if his or her supervisor is allegedly involved in the harassment) and the agency's human resource manager. 

The State will investigate all complaints. If the investigation supports charges of harassment, discrimination, a violation of this policy, or inappropriate behavior, appropriate corrective action will take place. The employee engaging in the improper behavior will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.
The State will protect the confidentiality of harassment/discrimination allegations to the maximum extent possible, and information will only be shared with those individuals who need to know about it. While the State cannot guarantee complete confidentiality because it cannot conduct an effective investigation without revealing certain information to the alleged harasser and potential witnesses, it will keep information as confidential as possible.

The State will not tolerate adverse treatment of employees because they report harassment, oppose discrimination in the workplace, participate in the complaint process, or provide information related to complaints.  If an employee feels that he or she has been subjected to retaliation, the employee should immediately report the alleged retaliation to his or her supervisor, a higher-level supervisor, the agency's human resource manager, or the EEO officer for the Bureau of Human Resources.

In addition to reporting alleged harassment or discrimination to the State, an employee may file a charge of discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or protected activity with the South Dakota Division of Human Rights (Human Rights) or may file a charge of discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, or protected activity with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). A charge of discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or protected activity must be filed with Human Rights or with the EEOC within 300 days of the violation.  A charge of age discrimination or discrimination based on genetic information must be filed with the EEOC within 180 days of the violation. These deadlines run from the last date of unlawful conduct and not from the date of the complaint to the State if resolved. Please contact the EEO officer for the Bureau of Human Resources at 605.773.3148 if you have any questions about harassment, unlawful discrimination, or this policy.


Break Periods for Employees

It is the policy of the state of South Dakota to allow employees a 15 minute rest period every four hours if the work load permits.  The break, however, is not guaranteed. Supervisors may deny the break on any given day. Since this time is counted and paid as time worked, employees must not be absent from their work stations beyond the allotted time. Employees must be available and accessible during the rest period to provide for the needs of the department. Management retains the right to schedule work, work periods, and break times.

Employees may take one 15 minute break for each four hour block of work time. Breaks may not be accumulated and combined to make one long break or be broken into several small segments. Breaks may not be taken at the beginning or end of the day, attached to the lunch break or used to adjust the work schedule. Leave time may not be supplemented by break times.

Employees must notify the supervisor before leaving the workplace during work hours. This includes absences for breaks, if the break takes place outside of the immediate work area. Employees may leave the work area for their break, if the absence is for 15 minutes or less.


Bomb Threat Policy

The following policy and procedure was developed to provide direction in a time of crisis. The outline will assist the contacted individual to take the necessary steps in getting the affected employees to safety as soon as possible, and to contact the appropriate administrative and security agencies and provide them with the most detailed information possible regarding the bomb threat.

This document should be posted in a conspicuous place within each of the various offices and divisions. The below policy is the official policy to be followed in the event that a bomb threat is received.

This document is self-explanatory; however, persons within the office should be made aware of its location and be directed to read it.


  1. TAKE INFORMATION FROM CALLER (see form below).

(Click here for the PDF version.)

When receiving a bomb threat (or learning of a threat from another source) the staff member receiving the call or information should immediately complete the following checklist.

Exact time of call:__________________________________

Exact words of caller: ____________________________________________________




Questions to Ask:

  1. When is the bomb going to explode?____________________________________
  2. Where is the bomb?_________________________________________________
  3. What does it look like?_______________________________________________
  4. What kind of bomb is it?______________________________________________
  5. What will cause it to explode?_________________________________________
  6. Did you place the bomb?_____________________________________________
  7. Why?_____________________________________________________________
  8. Where are you calling from?___________________________________________
  9. What is your address?________________________________________________
  10. What is your name?_________________________________________________


**If possible, have a second person monitor the call; ask the caller to repeat the original message to permit possible correlation to the first copy to aid in possible identification of the caller.

CALLERS VOICE (circle)              Male                Female

Calm              Disguised        Nasal               Angry              Broken                        Stutter

Slow              Sincere                        Lisp                 Rapid              Giggling          Deep   

Crying           Squeaky          Excited            Stressed           Accent             Loud  

Slurred          Normal

Were there any background noises?__________________________________________

Your Name:___________________________        Date:_________________________



Court and Jury Leave Policy

Employees in permanent positions are eligible for court and jury leave. The employee shall immediately notify the employee's supervisor if the employee expects to be absent from work due to court and jury obligations. Absences will be administered as follows:

  1. Testifying in official capacity. If the employee is subpoenaed by either party to testify in any civil or criminal proceeding because of the employee's official capacity or is instructed by the supervisor to testify in an official capacity without being subpoenaed, the employee shall receive the employee's regular salary without loss of leave credits and may receive actual expenses according to state rates, but may not receive witness fees. The appointing authority and the Bureau of Human Resources shall determine if the employee is testifying in an official capacity.
  2. Testify in a non-official capacity. If an employee is a party to or a witness in private litigation not related to his or her official capacity, the employee shall use vacation leave or leave without pay.
  3. Party or witness not subpoenaed to testify. If an employee is a party to or witness who has not been subpoenaed, the employee must use vacation leave or leave without pay. This leave must be requested in advance and is subject to the supervisor's approval.
  4. Service on jury. If a state employee is summoned to serve on a jury, the employee shall receive the employee's regular salary without loss of leave credits for the time spent on jury duty during regular working hours and the per diem and mileage provided for by SDCL 16-13-46 or any comparable federal law.

The commissioner may decide any question as to whether an employee is eligible for court and jury leave.


Conflict of Interest Laws

There are laws associated with conflict of interests for state employees and officers in the area of contracts. These laws apply to state officers and employees who:

  • Approve, award or administer a contract
  • Recommend the approval or award of a contract
  • Supervise persons who approve, award or administer a contract
  • Former state officers and employees for a period of one year after they leave state employment

Those who fit within the categories above cannot:

  • Receive a benefit from a contract that is within that person’s scope of duties while in  office
  • Derive a benefit from a contract for a period of one year after they leave office
  • Enter into a contract with any state agency, except an employment contract for a period of one year after they leave office

The phrase administer a contract is decision making or substantive influence on decision making concerning the manner, method or means of a contract’s performance or enforcement. Administer a contract does not include performing clerical tasks such as posting payments or communicating decisions made by others.

What does derive a benefit mean? A state officer or employee or the officer’s or employee’s spouse, or other persons with whom the person lives and commingles or combines assets cannot:

  • Have more than a five percent ownership or other interest in an entity that is a party to the contract
  • Take income, compensation or commission directly from the contract or entity that is a party to the contract;
  • Acquire property under the contract
  • Serve on the board of a for-profit entity that derives income or commission directly from the contract oracquires property under the contract

Waiver Process: A waiver process has been set up, which if approved, would allow the state officer or employee to a contract with state government or benefit from a contract state agency. The waiver may be granted if:

  • A waiver is requested in writing. The form can be found in Conflict of Interest Waiver Instructions and Form document posted at BHR’s website;
  • The relevant terms of the contract or transaction are provided in writing;
  • The officer reviewing the waiver has reviewed the essential terms of the contract or transaction;
  • The officer reviewing the waiver has reviewed the requesting party’s role in the contract or transaction; and
  • The terms of the contract are fair, reasonable and not contrary to the public interest

An employee or officer who wants to request a waiver, must provide the waiver request to the cabinet secretary or commissioner with responsibility for the person’s agency (or the former agency for former officers and employees). The secretary or commissioner is to act on the request within five working days of receipt. If the state officer or employee disagrees with the secretary’s or commissioner’s decision, the state officer or employee can submit a written appeal to the Governor’s Office. A person can submit an appeal by hand delivering or emailing the request form, the secretary’s or commissioner’s decision and a short statement of your reason for disagreeing with the decision to Chris Houlette, Bureau of Human Resources, 500 East Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501-5070 or email Mallori.Barnett@state.sd.us. The Governor will act on all appeals within five working days of receipt. The request for waiver form will be filed with the Bureau of Human Resources and is a public record.

Persons who on or after July 1, 2015, derive a benefit from a state contract in which they played a role prior to July 1, 2015, should go through the waiver process. These conflict of interest restrictions apply to those who administer contracts on or after July 1, 2015, even if the contract was awarded prior to July 1, 2015.

Transactions of $200.00 or Less: Effective July 1, 2015, the Governor granted a blanket waiver for all transactions of $200.00 or less. Therefore, it is not necessary to seek a waiver for otherwise covered transactions, as long as the amount is $200.00 or less.

However, purchasing card and other small transactions are reviewed from time to time. A series of pattern of transactions that would otherwise be covered by the law may result in further inquiry and possible disciplinary action if found to be inappropriate.

Agency Specific Conflict Statutes: There may be more specific conflict of interest statutes or regulations that are agency specific. Employees are encouraged to ask supervisors as to the existence of any such regulations.

Penalties for Noncompliance: There are penalties for not complying with these conflict of interest restrictions.  If a waiver is necessary but is not sought or granted, the contract that was involved may be voided and the state officer or employee may be subject to disciplinary action.  If the contract was the result of a quid pro quo, or promise for something such as a cash payment or promise of future employment, the current or former officer or employee may be removed from office and/or be subject to criminal prosecution.  If the current of former state officer or employee failed to seek and obtain a waiver knowing one was likely required, the person could be removed from his or her office or position, and/or be subject to criminal prosecution.

State officers and employees may not solicit or accept any gift, favor, reward, or promise of reward, including any promise of future employment, in exchange for recommending, influencing or attempting to influence the award of a state contract. This prohibition is absolute and cannot be waived.

Resources and Questions: For more information about these restrictions and the waiver process, please see the document Conflict of Interest Waiver Instructions and Form available on the BHR website at https://bhr.sd.gov/policies-forms/forms/. To assist present or past state officers or employees to determine whether it is necessary to seek a waiver, the person can answer questions in the Conflict of Interest Waiver Decision Matrix posted on the BHR website. The matrix serves as guide and not determinative of whether a conflict exists. A Conflict of Interest PowerPoint is also available on the BHR website. 

For questions about the applicability of the laws and the process for requesting a waiver, state officers and employees are encouraged to contact Bureau of Human Resources at 605.773.3148 or Mallori@barnett@state.sd.us. 


Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy

The State has implemented a drug testing procedure for applicants and employees in 1) safety sensitive positions and 2) positions requiring a commercial driver's license.

Under state law, a safety sensitive position is any law enforcement officer authorized to carry firearms and any custody staff employed by any agency responsible for the rehabilitation or treatment of any adjudicated adult or juvenile. State statutes and administrative rules govern the drug testing of persons in safety sensitive positions, and these statutes and rules may be obtained from your agency's human resource manager.

Federal law requires drug and alcohol testing of applicants and employees who must have a commercial driver's license (CDL) to perform their jobs. The State has implemented an alcohol and drug-testing program for CDL holders and has published a CDL drug-testing handbook and policy entitled "State of South Dakota CDL Policy, Rules and Educational Information." Your agency's human resource manager can answer questions about the program and provide you with a copy of the handbook and policy. 

Other employees may be tested for drugs and alcohol if the test does not violate federal or state law.


Drug Free Workplace Policy

The State of South Dakota has a drug free workplace policy for all state employees. As a condition of your employment with the state, you must agree to abide by the terms of this policy.

The dangers of drug abuse in the workplace include accidents and injuries; reduced productivity; absenteeism and increased healthcare costs; loss of public confidence in the State; and adverse effects on the abuser, family, friends, co-workers, and persons receiving services from the State.

The policy prohibits the unlawful manufacture, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance by an employee in the workplace. If you are convicted of a violation of a criminal drug law or admit in court to a criminal drug law violation, you will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, which includes termination. You must comply with the arrest policy if you are arrested, charged, or believe you may be charged with any crime involving illegal drugs.


Fraud or Theft in the Workplace

The State of South Dakota prohibits fraud and theft in the workplace. 

Fraud or fraudulent means an intentional deception designed to obtain a benefit or advantage or to cause denial of some benefit that is lawfully due. Examples of fraud include:

  • Forgery or alteration of a check, bank draft, or any other financial document;
  • Theft of a check or other diversion of a payment made to the State;
  • Improper or dishonest handling of funds, supplies, or other assets;
  • Improper handling or reporting of financial transactions;
  • Profiteering as a result of insider knowledge of State operations; and
  • Selling or using confidential State information in the conduct of an outside business activity.

Theft means the act of taking something from someone unlawfully. An example of theft is taking equipment or supplies belonging to the State and keeping it for personal use.

The Bureau of Human Resources relies on South Dakota Codified Law and the Administrative Rules of discipline regarding what constitutes fraud in the workplace.  These laws establish control and aid in the prevention and detection of fraud against State property. These laws apply to any actual or suspected fraud or theft an employee. These laws include: salaried state officers are prohibited from retaining money received by theft (SDCL 3-8-3); dual salaries for state employees are prohibited with limited exceptions (SDCL 3-8-4);  dual compensation for state duties is also prohibited (ARSD 55:10:01:07);  outside employment for state employees may occur with proper approval (ARSD:10:01:06); and employees who are negligent with money or other state property belonging to any person receiving services from the state or have stolen or attempted to steal money or property of the state or property belonging to any person receiving services from the state will be disciplined and or terminated (ARSD 55:10:07:04).

Responsibility to Report
Employees who suspect fraud or theft is happening in the workplace should report the matter immediately to their supervisor or the attorney general’s office. SDCL 3-6D-22 provides whistleblower protections for the employee who reports fraud in the workplace.

3-6D-22. Grievance for retaliation against whistleblower. An employee may file a grievance with the Civil Service Commission if the employee believes that there has been retaliation because of reporting a violation of state law through the chain of command of the employee's department or to the attorney general's office or because the employee has filed a suggestion pursuant to this section.


Emergency Office Closing Policy

State employees will always be expected to deliver service because state government cannot close completely; it must continue to provide emergency services, coordinate government responses to disasters, and care for citizens who are entrusted to our institutions. State government will do whatever possible to accommodate state employees during emergency events, however, it does need to maintain adequate staffing to ensure the safety of citizens and continue state operations. 

This policy does not mean employees should take undue risks during inclement weather. Employees who believe they cannot safely reach the worksite or travel home at the end of the scheduled work day should make arrangements with their supervisor to be absent from work.

Outlined below is the process for executive branch agencies under the direction of the Governor to follow when determining whether to close operations of a state office due to natural, man-made, or health-related emergencies which disrupts state government facilities or operations. An emergency includes but is not limited to; inclement weather, utility failure, fire, terrorism, or other forced evacuations.   

  1. The Governor or his designee can close any state office or offices in any location.
  2. A Cabinet member has the authority to close their state office in any location for an isolated incident.

A cabinet member or their designee may close a specific office when they have met the following criteria:

  1. Verify the office either lacks sufficient staff to adequately function or the closing emergency prevents the office from safely functioning.
  2. Ask BHR to coordinate the closure of the office with agencies that have employees in the same building, geographic or affected area.
  3. Consult the Governor’s Office on the office closure prior to final decision and sending a notice to employees.
  4. Communicate and/or coordinate office closure with local government as needed.  
  5. Notify media covering the affected area as soon as possible. However, do not rely upon media announcements as the sole means of communication. If possible, clients with scheduled appointments should be contacted to cancel the appointment. Voice mail systems should be updated to reflect the office closing.

Other offices should not be closed unless the above conditions have been met.

In coordination with BHR, the affected cabinet member should regularly reevaluate emergency conditions so that the office can resume the normal schedule as soon as is reasonable.



General Reference Policy

References for Employers Outside of State Government
One person in the agency, typically the human resource manager, is designated to respond to all requests for information on current and former employees (including interns). More than one person may be designated to provide responses to requests, however person(s) responding should be the human resource manager or someone at a managerial level within the agency such as program directors, division directors, or department secretaries. If two or more people are responding to requests, the human resource manager should coordinate the response.

According to state law, written references given in response to written requests are presumed to be given in good faith. This means if a former employee files a lawsuit regarding giving of bad references, the agency can rely on a defense of good faith if the reference was in writing. Telephone inquiries are answered by telling the caller that it is the policy of the state to respond only to written requests. Written requests should be accompanied by an authorization, release and waiver.

Employees must not give references on inmates or former inmates. These references must be handled by the appropriate person at the Department of Corrections.

References within State Government
If a reference request comes from another state agency, the designated person may respond either in writing, verbally or over the e-mail system. A signed authorization, release and waiver is not necessary. All other guidelines apply to giving references within state government.

Intern References
Human resource managers may authorize those persons who supervise interns to respond in writing to written reference requests relating to those interns that they have supervised.


Policy on Acceptance of Gratuities, Rebates, Reward Points and Other Perquisites by State Employees

This policy prohibits the acceptance of personal gratuities, rebates, reward points and perquisites by state government employees in the performance of their duties. 


  1. State employees shall not accept gratuities, money, or any type of gift or service from a company that does business or that actively aspires to do business with the state of South Dakota. This section does not apply to promotional items or activities associated with business conferences where vendors provide promotional gifts and food.
  1. State employees shall not accumulate reward points or receive rebates, from any source, related to the purchase of goods or services from any vendor which can be redeemed for the employee’s personal use. 
  1. Any vendor program offering rebates or award points to the State of South Dakota related to the purchase of goods and services must be reviewed and approved by the Bureau of Administration.  Rebate payments and award program points must be made payable to the “State of South Dakota”, or otherwise as determined by the Commissioner of Administration.
  1. This policy does not apply to frequent flier miles or lodging reward points accumulated by state employees for their State sponsored or reimbursed travel expenses. State employees using a personal credit card to pay travel expenses may accumulate frequent flier miles, reward points and rebates offered by their credit card company. In making travel decisions however, state employees must make arrangements that provide the best value for the State of South Dakota.

Rewards offered to a State officer or employee for purchasing supplies or services for the agency could reasonably be viewed as a means of influencing or rewarding the State officer or employee in how he or she carries out his or her official duties for the agency. Under these circumstances, such rewards would constitute gifts that influence or reward a State officer or employee for his or her official actions. Therefore, the redemption of these rewards by a State employee eligible to receive them as a result of their responsibilities on behalf of the State agency would violate this policy and state law.   (See SDCL 3-8-3; SDCL 4-3-9)


Seat Belt Policy

All state employees who are driving or are passengers in state-owned vehicles covered by the state's automobile liability insurance policy are required to wear seat belts, both in the front and back seats. (SDCL 32-38-5; Executive Order 88-7)


Solicitations on State Premises

It is the policy of the state of South Dakota that commercial vendors may not solicit business on state property or solicit state employees during working hours. Working hours include breaks and lunch periods if the employee is on state grounds.

Subject to prior approval by management, employees may solicit for charitable purposes using their own time by adjusting their work week to make up the time or by using vacation leave or leave without pay. Activities should be scheduled so that the soliciting employee does not interfere with co-workers' performance. Agency human resource managers will not assume responsibility for coordination of charitable activities.

Please contact your human resource manager if you have any questions regarding this policy.


State Employee Bloodborne Pathogen Procedures - Short Guide

Time is critical with Bloodborne exposures.  When in doubt, report the exposure right away to your supervisor and seek guidance.  If your supervisor is not available, SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY.

A Significant Bloodborne Exposure is an occupational risk exposure to blood or potentially infectious body fluid by:  

  1. needle stick, puncture or cut by an object through the skin
  2. direct contact of mucous membrane (eyes, mouth, nasal, etc)
  3. exposure of broken skin to blood or other potentially infectious body fluids such as:
    • semen
    • vaginal secretions
    • any body fluid visibly contaminated with blood
    • human tissues (including dental extractions)

If a Significant Exposure Occurs:

Employee’s Immediate Responsibility

  • Needle-sticks, cuts and skin exposures should be washed with soap and water. (Do NOT use bleach)
  • Splashes to the nose, mouth, or skin should be flushed with water.
  • Splashes to the eyes should be irrigated with sterile irrigants, saline or clean water.
  • Report the exposure to your supervisor right away. If HIV Post-exposure treatment is recommended, you should start treatment within 1-2 hours after the exposure or as soon as possible. (This can reduce HIV infection by up to 79%)

Supervisor’s Immediate Responsibility

  • Without Delay – If a significant blood borne exposure has occurred, get the exposed individual to the nearest Emergency Room for evaluation. Supervisor should call the emergency room and inform them that they are sending an employee to the emergency room for evaluation and follow-up to a bloodborne exposure.
  • Testing the employee and the source is strongly recommended when a high risk exposure has occurred.  The employee has the right to request or decline testing. The source fluid/object should be collected (if possible) for testing. If the source is a person, they cannot be tested without consent, except under the circumstances described in SDCL 23A-35B (laws dealing with sexual assault and exposure to law enforcement personnel). The exposure to the employee should be explained to the source and testing of the source requested.
  • Complete a First Report of Injury and an Employee Accident Report for all bloodborne pathogen exposures.  This form must be completed and filed with the Workers Compensation office/Bureau of Human Resources within seven (7) days of the exposure/incident.  An official written report is necessary for reporting the incident and to claim worker’s compensation benefits for initial treatment and post exposure testing.  If testing is declined this should also be reported. 
  • Consult the comprehensive “Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Guidelines” for the complete policy, testing, and forms required for this event.  These guidelines can be found on the Department of Health’s website at http://doh.sd.gov/resources/assets/DOHBloodbornePathogens.pdf.
  • Complete and forward the “Occupational Risk Exposure Form” and the “Bloodborne Exposure Medical Follow-up Sheet” to the personnel office for inclusion in the employee’s personnel file.
  • Ensure that the employee complete any follow up testing required in the comprehensive guidelines. If you have questions, you can contact the Department of Health at 1-800-592-1861 can provide you with the guidelines, additional information, assistance & guidance.
  • Report exposure to your next level supervisor.

Healthcare Provider’s Responsibility

  • Determine the nature & severity of the exposure.
  • Evaluate source patient (if information is available).
  • Counsel/treat exposed employee as applicable.
  • Also evaluate employee for Hepatitis B & C as applicable.

**Know what you are going to do before an exposure occurs. 


Technology Use Policy

Employees shall use state technology (telephones, computers, Internet, email, etc.) at their disposal in an appropriate manner. As it applies to the state’s e-mail and phone system(s), emergency communications are allowed. Reasonable and appropriate personal communications are allowed. Under no circumstances are employees allowed to use the state’s technology to engage in outside business interests, inappropriate, offensive, or illegal activities. Abuse of the system is not acceptable. Employees should not expect privacy or confidentiality when using state resources. Use common sense. If in doubt, do not use state resources.

Statewide Remote Technology Access Policy

  • Hourly employees are not required or expected to check email while outside normal or assigned working hours.  Unless hourly employees are directed to provide an immediate response, emails or phone calls should be responded to only during the individual’s normal working hours.
  • Hourly employees, who are required to work outside of their normal work hours using mobile technology, are required to record and submit to their manager all time spent responding to emails or answering phone calls while out of the office. This must be reported to the manager the next business day.
  • Hourly employees must have overtime approved by their manager. If overtime is not approved, the employees are required to flex the time.
  • Employees must receive pre-approval from their manager for remotely accessing any non-public state government technology resource during the individuals’ non-standard business hours. This includes state-owned or non-state owned devices. (Once approved by manager, all employees must submit a Remote Access Device (RAD) approval form for having this privilege during the individuals’ non-standard business hours. The form is submitted to the BIT Service Desk.)


Tobacco Free Environment Policy

The State of South Dakota is dedicated to providing a healthy, comfortable, and productive environment for employees, clients, and visitors.

Smoking, e-cigarettes, and the use of all tobacco products is prohibited on all real property or portions thereof owned by the Executive Branch of state government under the direction and control of the Governor and all real property leased by the state where the state is sole occupant.

This policy applies to employees and visitors, and includes all vehicles, parking lots, and walkways leading into state buildings throughout South Dakota. The following are exceptions: visitors to campsites in state parks and upon state highways and outdoors at state highway rest stops. The Bureau of Administration and/or appropriate Department Secretary may grant limited exceptions for specific special events.

Enforcement of this policy is the shared responsibility of all Executive branch personnel. All employees are encouraged to communicate this policy with courtesy, respect, and diplomacy. Incidents of smoking and/or tobacco use by employees will be documented for supervisor follow-up.


Use of Video, Recording Devices or Still Cameras by State Employees in the Workplace

Purpose:  The purpose of this policy is to set out the allowable uses of video, recording devices, or still photography by state employees and to protect the right of privacy of patients, inmates, coworkers, and the public.

State Owned Cameras, Video or Recording Devices for Authorized uses:  Employees are allowed to use state owned video, recording devices or still cameras (including camera phones) when authorized as part of their job duties.  Such usage should be with the knowledge and consent of the employee’s supervisor. 

Personal Video, Recording Devices or Cameras at Work: Personal video, recording devices or still cameras may be used to commemorate awards, retirements or similar events when authorized by the employee’s supervisor or department head.  The use of personal video, recording devices or still cameras, (including camera phones) by state employees at work for any other purpose is prohibited.

Other prohibited uses:
The use of any video, recording devices or still cameras (including camera phones) is prohibited by state employees while at work for any of the following purposes:

  1. As part of or in furtherance of any illegal activity.
  2. For recording any image which is lewd, obscene, or pornographic.
  3. For taking any image or recording of any patient, inmate, or other person without their express written consent unless taken for an authorized purpose within the scope of the employee’s duties.   
  4. Any purpose that reflects unfavorably on the state, destroys confidence in the operation of state services, or adversely affects the public trust in the state.


Workplace Safety Policy

It is the policy of the State of South Dakota to promote a safe environment for its employees. The State is committed to working with our employees to maintain a work environment free from violence, threats of violence, harassment, intimidation, and other disruptive behavior. 

Violence, threats, harassment, intimidation, and other disruptive behavior that affect the working environment will not be tolerated. All reports of such incidents will be taken seriously and will be dealt with appropriately. Such behavior can include oral or written statements, gestures, expressions or any other behavior that communicates a direct or indirect threat of physical harm or damage to state or personal property, either on duty or off-duty. Individuals who commit such acts may be removed from the premises and may be subject to disciplinary action, criminal penalties, or both. 

All employees shall cooperate to implement this policy effectively and maintain a safe working environment. Do not ignore violent, threatening, harassing, intimidating, or other disruptive behavior. If you observe or experience such behavior by any state employee on or off state premises, report it immediately to a supervisor or manager. Supervisors and managers who receive such reports shall contact the agency human resource manager or the Bureau of Human Resources at 605.773.3148. Severe threats or assaults that require immediate attention shall be reported to police by calling 911.

Employee handbook