The majority of employment relationships in South Dakota fall into the category of "at-will" employment. This type of setup means that either employer or the employee is free to end the employment at any time they desire. The only exception to "at-will" employment is that the employment may not be terminated in a manner that violates the law.
Employment not falling in the "at will" category is subject to different limitations and requirements, so you should be sure to learn the classification of your work setup. If an employment contract specifying a time for employment is involved for your work arrangements, then employment is not "at will", and termination can only be done following the terms of the contract.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in South Dakota?
Discrimination is the most common illegal grounds for terminating an employee in South Dakota. Employers are not allowed to terminate an employee because of their race, religion, nationality, or gender. An employer also may not fire an at-will employee in retaliation for the employee initiating an investigation into discrimination or filing a legal claim of discrimination against the Watertown employer.
Additionally, the Family and Medical Leave act makes it illegal for employers to terminate any of their employees who have taken leave based upon family or medical needs. Lastly, employers cannot fire employees who are simply exercising a legal right, performing an obligation under law, or refusing to do an illegal act.
Do I Need a South Dakota Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Watertown, South Dakota attorney can better inform you about whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and will also help in gathering the appropriate documents for your case. There may also be unique procedures that an attorney can shepherd you through.