Leave for Domestic Violence Victims Available Effective January 1, 2018

On June 8, 2017, Governor Sandoval signed Senate Bill 361, which adds a new section to NRS 608 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. This new requirement goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

Eligibility for Domestic Violence Leave

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. An employee who is the alleged perpetrator is not eligible for leave under this new section of NRS 608.

Family or household member, as defined in this section, is a spouse, domestic partner, minor child or parent, or other adult who is or was actually residing with the employee at the time of the act of domestic violence.

Domestic violence has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 33.018.

Use of Leave for Domestic Violence

Any leave taken pursuant to this new law may be paid or unpaid and may be used consecutively or intermittently. If the reason for the leave qualifies under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the leave can run concurrently with any leave the employee is entitled to under FMLA. Leave must be taken within 12 months immediately following the date on which the act of domestic violence occurred.

An eligible employee may only take leave pursuant to this new law for one of the following reasons:

  1. For the diagnosis, care, or treatment of a health condition related to an act of domestic violence
  2. To obtain counseling or assistance related to an act of domestic violence
  3. To participate in court proceedings related to an act of domestic violence
  4. 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

After taking any leave for domestic violence, an employee shall give at least 48 hours advance notice of the need to take additional leave for any of the reasons listed above. Additionally, 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.

Your Obligations as an Employer

This new law created several obligations for employers.

Under this new law, employers may not (1) deny an employee the right to use leave; (2) require an employee to find a replacement worker as a condition of using leave; or (3) retaliate or discriminate against an employee for exercising their rights.

Further, employers must make reasonable accommodations for an employee who is a victim of domestic violence or whose family or household member is a victim of domestic violence so long as doing so is not an undue hardship for the employer. A reasonable accommodation might include modifying the employee’s schedule, providing the employee a new telephone number at work, a transfer or reassignment, or any other reasonable accommodation necessary to ensure the safety of the employee and the workplace.

Employers are also obligated to maintain a record of any leave taken pursuant to this new law for each employee for a period of two (2) years from the entry of such information in the record and make the record available for inspection by the Labor Commissioner.

Further, 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. A copy of this bulletin is available for download from our website.

The Nevada Association of Employers (NAE) is uniquely situated to keep our members appraised for what is happening at the state and federal level. We monitor legislative process, administrative policies, and proposed agency rules to ensure our members receive accurate and up-to-date information regarding their obligations as employers in Nevada. For more information about NAE and what we do for Nevada employers, visit our website. If you are a Nevada employer interested in membership, please contact membership@nevadaemployers.org or join today!