PREVIEW: Workplace Problems At The SDDC


In 2016, our KELOLAND News investigation uncovered how a serious worker shortage and issues with management led to major turnover and injuries among employees at the South Dakota Development Center. Now, three years later, despite new management and the workers unionizing, the problems seem to continue. 

KELOLAND”s Angela Kennecke has an update on the home for people with severe developmental disabilities. 

Angela Kennecke: The employee turnover rate for the last year for the center in Redfield was more than 23 percent, although the state says in the first few weeks of 2019, it’s getting better. But there are still nearly 50 open positions, about the same as in 2016. 

Angela Kennecke: The problem is when the center is short-staffed, that can create dangerous situations, especially with people who are highly behavioral. Whitney Determan experienced that when she was attacked by a young man while on the job at SDDC. 

“He pulled my hair. I was kicked multiple times. He punched me multiple times. I couldn’t see out of my left eye for two days. I have a herniated disc and a cracked vertebre,” Determan said. 

Angela Kennecke: But it’s what happened after the attack that has the union that represents Determan and the other workers filing a charge of unfair labor practices with the South Dakota Department of Labor. 

We look into what happened at SDDC Wednesday on Eye on KELOLAND at 10. 

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