South Dakota Bill Would Establish Worker Safety Requirements and Rights for Meatpacking Employees

South Dakota Senate Bill 145 would establish protections and workplace safety requirements for meat and poultry processing workers. The bill would direct the South Dakota Secretary of the Department of Labor and Regulation to appoint a meatpacking industry worker rights coordinator who must be allowed access to processing facilities whenever workers are present. The bill also provides that workers have the right to refuse to work under conditions that they reasonably believe would create an unreasonable risk of illness or injury to themselves, their coworkers, or the public. The bill would prohibit employers from discriminating against workers who exercise their meatpacking workplace safety rights. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce and Energy.