Report: South Dakota has worst whistleblower laws in the country

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As whistleblower laws become a topic of discussion across the country, KELOLAND News looked at the laws in South Dakota.

According to a report from Public Employees For Environmental Responsibility, the state has 23 out of 100 points in a 2018 report card.

The organization ranked South Dakota 51st out of 50 states and Washington D.C.

The term “whistleblower” only appears in the South Dakota Codified Laws once. It allows for the protection of state employees from retaliation after reporting a violation of state law through the chain of command, the attorney general’s office or the State Government Accountability Board.

The PEER report looks at South Dakota’s laws on four different factors: breadth of coverage, usability strength and posting.

Compare that to neighboring states, Minnesota is ranked 19th and Iowa is ranked 29th. The top-ranked is Washington D.C.

PEER completed the rankings by analyzing the text of every state’s whistleblower laws and using a 100-point rubric for each state.

PEER non-partisan group focused on helping state and federal employees blow the whistle on activity related to the environment. The organization’s rankings are not enviornmental-related but encompass each state’s respective whistleblower policies.