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Measure Details

An Act Lowering the State Minimum Wage for Non- tipped employees under age 18

South Dakota Ballot Measure - Referred Law 20

Election: Nov. 8, 2016 (General)
Outcome: Failed

Minors and Children
Employment and Affirmative Action


Argument For


Argument Against


State law requires employers to pay all non-tipped employees a minimum wage, with limited exceptions. Currently, that amount is $8.55 per hour. State law also requires that the minimum wage be adjusted, effective on January 1 of each year, by any increase in the cost of living as measured by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index.

Referred Law 20, if approved, would lower the existing State minimum wage to $7.50 per hour for non-tipped employees under age 18. In addition, no annual cost-of-living wage adjustment would be required for the youth minimum wage.

The referred law would also prohibit employers from taking any action to displace an employee or reduce an employee’s hours, wages, or benefits, in order to hire someone at the youth minimum wage.

A vote “Yes” is for lowering the minimum wage to $7.50 per hour for non-tipped employees under age 18.

A vote “No” is against the referred law.

Measure Text


Section 1. That § 60-11-3 be amended to read as follows:

60-11-3. Every employer shall pay to each employee wages at a rate of not less than eight dollars and fifty cents an hour. Violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor. The provisions of this section do not apply to certain employees being paid an opportunity wage pursuant to § 60-11-4.1, babysitters, employees under age eighteen, or outside salespersons. The provisions of this section also do not apply to employees employed by an amusement or recreational establishment, an organized camp, or a religious or nonprofit educational conference center if one of the following apply:

(1) The establishment, camp, or center does not operate for more than seven months in any calendar year; or

(2) During the preceding calendar year, the average receipts of the establishment, camp, or center for any six months of the calendar year were not more than thirty-three and one-third percent of its average receipts for the other six months of the year.

Section 2. That chapter 60-11 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:

An employer shall pay an employee under the age of eighteen at least seven dollars and fifty cents an hour. This wage is not subject to the annual minimum wage adjustment pursuant to § 60-11-3.2. No employer may take any action to displace an employee, including a partial displacement through a reduction in hours, wages, or employment benefits, in order to hire an employee at the wage authorized in this Act.

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