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SB 109: Nesiba Seeks Pay Transparency for South Dakota

It’s kind of tough to determine whether employers are paying women and minorities less than they pay the privileged members of the white patriarchy if employers are keeping their payscales secret. That’s why many states are adopting pay transparency laws to require employers to publish their pay ranges. Pay transparency laws cover about a quarter of American workers.

Economist and Senator Reynold Nesiba (D-15/Sioux Falls) would like to add a few more workers to that roll. He proposes Senate Bill 109, which would require private employers to publish the minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly rate, plus a general description of benefits and other compensation, for any job posted for hire, promotion, or transfer.

SB 109 requires employers to keep records supporting the pay info they publish for as long as the people hired from the job listings containing that information work for their firm.

People who suspect an employer isn’t following the pay transparency requirement would have one year from the time an infractory job posting is published to report the violation to the Department of Labor and Regulation. If the DLR Secretary finds an employer has not posted accurate pay data, the Secretary may go after pay-opaque employer for up to a $500 civil penalty.

This sensible Democratic bill goes before Senate Commerce and Energy this morning. The Republicans surrounding Nesiba on that committee will blast the bill as more liberal paperwork and bureaucracy attempting to hamstring the sacred work of capitalist job creators and give it a swift killing before returning to their Boobgate, because the last thing Republicans want to hear is good ideas from Democrats to help us keep up with positive labor trends in other states. Like exempting food from sales tax, South Dakota won’t adopt a pay transparency law until pretty much every other state has them and until Republicans propose the law themselves.


  1. John 2023-01-31 08:53

    It ought be unlawful to list or advertise a job without listing its pay and benefits. Colorado is leading the way.
    And unpaid internships ought be banned.

  2. P. Aitch 2023-01-31 13:08

    Senator Reynold Nesiba is often portrayed on this BlueBlog as a levelheaded, common sensical, and dedicated citizen of the citizenry. Even if the majority of the citizenry are a decade or so behind in adopting his suggestions. Mark it down. Everything Sen. Nesiba proposes will happen eventually in your state.

  3. Edwin Arndt 2023-01-31 13:15

    I’m not sure a 500 dollar penalty will deter a whole lot of employers from
    breaking such a law. When considering the cost of following the law or
    the cost of breaking the law, I suspect for a certain number of employers
    it will be a wash.

  4. P. Aitch 2023-01-31 13:33

    On the subject of company manipulation of employees’ wages:
    – Colorado’s Uber-Lyft and delivery ride-hail drivers appear to be nearing a breaking point, frustrated by an opaque pricing algorithm that’s constantly changing and an adjudication system that gives them no explanation for why they might be barred from giving rides.

    Now a trio of Democrats at the state Capitol want the big tech companies to show their math.

    The Gig Work Transparency bill, introduced in the Senate on Monday, seeks to open the books for drivers and customers who use Uber, Lyft and other app-based delivery platforms. SB23-098 would mandate that tech companies show how much drivers earn on each ride and how much the business takes. The legislation would also require gig companies to give drivers more information related to wages, time worked and expenses,

  5. Mark Anderson 2023-01-31 13:57

    You need to check out a lawmaker from Idaho who’s written a children’s book entitled Why Feminism is Silly. Stated within, working women make the same amount of money as working men. There you have it. Just guess what party the bald shave your head and grow a beard to pretend you control your baldness is? Brian Lenney has also written a children’s book entitled Why Everyone Needs an AR-15. It’s another level of doozy.

  6. All Mammal 2023-01-31 14:39

    P. Aitch- I doubt the creators of the algorithms can fully explain the formulas used by their system prior to selling it on the market. If it can’t take the stand to testify and explain it’s reasoning and cannot be cross examined, it should be disqualified from going to work. The legislation you mention hopefully passes because it reminds me of yummy cheese… it’s Gouda Ü

  7. P. Aitch 2023-01-31 17:05

    All Mammal – Every day in Colorado there’s news of good bills like this being presented for debate, passage, and signage. I post one once in a while just to show your legislators, who read this blog faithfully especially in January, what an innovative group can accomplish. And, in Colorado, a state that thinks it’s proper to regulate businesses often, our economy is top ten and often top five. But, in your state that, legislates corporate freedom at will, businesses shy away from moving to and the ones that are there and are allowed to operate freely can only attain a bottom twenty five economy.
    In short, the “free market” thrives under regulations and withers and runs away from unregulated freedom. Smart businesspeople know this.

  8. Son of the Prairie 2023-02-01 13:31

    Are Democrats and Independents in South Dakota secretly accomplishing good things for the people, or are they just a few loners occasionally tossing out bills as symbolic gestures that are pre-destined for the legislative scrap heap? Are they organized and working between sessions building coalitions with Republicans to craft meaningful bills that can then be introduced by and enacted by Republicans if that’s what it takes? Are they personally connecting with a broad range of voters across the state building support for a clear realistic agenda that most people can get behind, and which can move the state forward over the long term? Is there a strategy to support and bring up new leaders in communities where they can get elected? Or is everyone who cares huddling helplessly in a corner of the House or Senate chamber, quitting in disgust or frustration, aged out, or moved away years ago like me?

  9. P. Aitch 2023-02-01 17:13

    @Son of the Prairie – You bet your bippy they are. Democrats and Independents, not to be thwarted by Republican fascist tactics among their legislators, use the referendum and initiative process to accomplish everything you listed. And, about 1 in 5 actually go into effect despite Republicans overriding the will of the people.

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