COVID-19 & the South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation

By May 11, 2020August 7th, 2020COVID-19

Mass Layoff Reporting:

The South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation will allow employers to file mass unemployment claims on behalf of their associates who have been laid off as a result of COVID-19. The state advises that employers may file en masse if over 50 associates were laid off. Please be aware that associates will not have to file initial claims but must complete their weekly requests to receive payments. Also, bulk claim services will eliminate the need for an employer to complete a Request for Separation Notice for each employee individually. Employers can view instructions on the state website here:

Work Refusals:

Individuals who are on a temporary layoff due to COVID-19 and who refuse to return to work when recalled will lose unemployment benefits. There are some instances where individuals may have good reason to refuse to return to work. Employers may review state guidance on the state’s website at Employers must report any of their associates who refuse to return to work without good reason or who quit their jobs to as soon as possible. The CARES Act states that there for serious consequences for fraudulent unemployment cases and that individuals are responsible for paying back benefits deemed as overpayments.

Employee Notification Requirement:

State law requires employers to provide information to their associates about availability of unemployment benefits. This notice must be provided to associates at the time of separation. Employers can provide their associates with this notice via letters, emails, text messages, or flyers. The state notes that their notice has been updated to include additional Department of Labor requirements, UIPL 13-20. UIPL 13-20 can be found here: Download English and Spanish postings or request a hard copy from by calling 605.626.2312.


Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at too.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.



Mike Parker

Author Mike Parker

Mike has 30 years of experience in unemployment cost control management, and has been with Thomas & Company for 25 years. He is the primary contact with state agencies building strong relationships, lobbying for opportunities that increase quality of service and efficiencies, and insuring compliance with state specific requirements. He works with the client service team, answering technical questions related to the unemployment insurance programs administered by the individual states and oversees the processes associated with wage audits and fraudulent claim inquiries. Mike is a member of the SIDES Operations Committee and currently sits on four Operations Committee subcommittees.

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