Start Off the New Year Right — Make Sure You are in Compliance

The 2017 Nevada Legislative Session was a busy one for those who follow developments in labor and employment law. Bills to raise the minimum wage, provide paid sick leave to employees, and allow for triple the amount in damages on wage claims were introduced. These bills ultimately failed, but made for an eventful legislative session.

Several bills did become law and may affect how employers operate in the state of Nevada. To ensure every Nevada employer starts the year off on the right foot, we wanted to review (again) the new laws that went into effect following the 2017 Nevada Legislative Session.

Leave for Domestic Violence Victimseffective January 1, 2018
As we told you last summer, NRS 608 was revised to add a section requiring employers to provide leave for employees who are victims of domestic violence or whose family or household member is a victim of domestic violence.

An employee who has been employed for at least 90 days and who is a victim of domestic violence or whose family or household member is a victim of domestic violence is entitled to up to 160 hours of leave in one 12-month period. Any leave taken pursuant to this new law may be paid or unpaid and may be used consecutively or intermittently.

An eligible employee may only take leave pursuant to this new law for one of the following reasons: for the diagnosis, care, or treatment of a health condition related to an act of domestic violence; to obtain counseling or assistance related to an act of domestic violence; to participate in court proceedings related to an act of domestic violence; or to establish a safety plan, including without limitation, any action to increase the safety of the employee or the family or household member from a future act of domestic violence. Employers may require an employee who requests leave for any of the reasons above to provide documentation that confirms or supports the leave request. Documentation can include, but is not limited to, police reports, application for a restraining order, documentation from a physician or an organization that provides services to domestic violence victims.

Employers are required to post the bulletin prepared by the Labor Commissioner outlining the right to benefits created by this new law in a conspicuous place in each workplace maintained by the employer. This bulletin is included in our All-In-One Labor Law Poster or can be downloaded from our Members Portal.

Nevada Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Acteffective October 1, 2017
Signed by Governor Sandoval in June 2017, the Nevada Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act requires employers with 15 or more employees to treat female employees and applicants for employment who are affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions the same as other employees and applicants who have similar abilities or limitations.

The Nevada Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act makes certain actions by an employer unlawful as they relate to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to: (1) Refuse to provide a reasonable accommodation to a female employee or applicant for employment upon request for a condition relating to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the business of the employer; (2) Take an adverse employment action against a female employee because the employee requests or uses a reasonable accommodation for a condition relating to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition; (3) Deny an employment opportunity to an otherwise qualified female employee or applicant for employment based on the need of the employee or applicant for a reasonable accommodation for a condition relating to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition; (4) Require a female employee or applicant for employment who is affected by a condition relating to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition to accept an accommodation that the employee or applicant did not request or chooses not to accept; and (5) Require a female employee who is affected by a condition relating to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition to take leave from employment is a reasonable accommodation for any such condition is available that would allow the employee to continue to work.

Nevada employers are required to provide notice to employees of their rights under the Nevada Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act. The notice must be provided to new employees upon beginning employment with the employer and within 10 days after an employee notifies her immediate supervisor of her pregnancy. The notice must include a statement that: (1) she has the right to be free from discriminatory or unlawful employment practices pursuant to the Nevada Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act and (2) she has the right to a reasonable accommodation for a condition relating to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. Employers will also be required to post the notice in a conspicuous  place at their business in an area which is accessible to employees. This notice is included in our All-In-One Labor Law Poster or can be downloaded from our Members Portal.

Accident Reportingeffective October 1, 2017
NRS 618.378 was amended to require an employer to report any accident or motor vehicle crash resulting in the inpatient hospitalization of one or more employees, the amputation of a part of an employee’s body, or an employee’s loss of an eye to the Division of Industrial Relations within 24 hours after receiving notice of the accident or crash. The requirement that an employer report any accident or motor vehicle crash resulting in a fatality within 8 hours was retained.

Read more for details about the change to this requirement.

Nursing Mothers’ Accommodation Acteffective July 1, 2017
Assembly Bill 113 added a new section to NRS 608 requiring private employers to provide an employee who is a mother of a child under the age of one with reasonable break time for the employee to express breast milk as needed and a place, other than a bathroom, that is reasonably free from dirt or pollution, protected from the view of others, and free from intrusion to do so. This time can be compensated or uncompensated.

Employers are prohibited from retaliating against an employee who exercises their rights under this act or takes any action to require the employer to comply with this act.

NOTE: The Labor Commissioner has issued a bulletin outlining the requirements of this act. While the Labor Commissioner recommends employers post the bulletin to inform their employees of their rights under this act, the law does not require employers to do so.

Non-Compete Agreementseffective June 3, 2017
Assembly Bill 276, which was signed into law by Governor Sandoval on June 3, 2017, set new standards for non-compete agreements. Under this new Nevada law, a non-compete agreement is void and unenforceable unless (1) it is supported by valuable consideration; (2) it does not impose any restraint that is greater than is required for the protection of the employer; (3) it does not impose any undue hardship on the employee; and (4) it imposes restrictions that are appropriate in relation to the consideration supporting the restriction.

The new standards do not prohibit agreements regarding confidentiality and trade secrets. So long as any confidentiality or trade secrets agreement is supported by valuable consideration and is otherwise reasonable in scope and duration, it will be enforceable.

A non-compete agreement, under the new law, may not restrict a former employee from providing services to a former customer in three specific instances: when the former employee did not solicit the former customer; when the customer voluntarily chose to leave and seek services from the former employee; or when the former employee is otherwise complying with the limitations in the agreement as to time, geographical area and scope, other than any limitation on providing services to a former customer who seeks services without any contact instigated by the former employee.

If the court finds that the non-compete agreement is supported by valuable consideration, but otherwise imposes a greater restraint than necessary or  imposes an undue burden on the employee, the court will revise the non-compete agreement to the extent necessary to make it enforceable.

Have questions about any of these laws? Contact Nevada Association of Employers and speak with one of our knowledge HR consultants. We are here to help you navigate through Nevada’s employment laws. For 80 years, the Nevada Association of Employers has been providing Nevada companies with services and support to help them successfully operate and grow their businesses. NAE continues to offer time-tested services and support for our members. All the while, we employ innovative practices that keep our clients at the forefront of the ever-changing business climate.