Walt Disney Co.’s $3.8 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) should serve as a reminder to Nevada employers to carefully review state and federal wage and hour laws before making deductions from employee paychecks for uniforms or other expenses. The settlement will provide back pay to 16,339 employees of Disney Vacation Club Management Corp. and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S. Inc.

A DOL investigation concluded that two Disney subsidiaries in Florida violated the minimum wage, overtime pay and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In addition to other missteps, the department found that Disney impermissibly paid some employees less than minimum wage after payroll deductions were made for costume costs.

“These violations are not uncommon and are found in other industries, as well,” said Daniel White, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Jacksonville, Fla. “Employers cannot make deductions that take workers below the minimum wage and must accurately track and pay for all the hours their employees work, including any time they work before or after their scheduled shifts.”

The Disney resorts could have been on the hook for more than just federal law violations if the properties were located in a different state. Florida law allows employers to require workers to purchase uniforms—except in certain situations involving day laborers. But that’s not the case in Nevada.

Nevada law requires that all uniforms or accessories distinctive in style, color, or material to be furnished, without cost, to employees by their employer. Further, any deductions from an employee’s pay, other than those required by state or federal law, are prohibited by NRS 608.110 unless the employee specifically consents to the deduction in writing. However, in no case can the deduction, even if authorized, result in the employee being paid less than minimum wage for all hours worked.

Nevada Association of Employers (NAE) is here to assist Nevada employers and HR professionals with these types of wage and hour questions so that Nevada employers do not find themselves subject to a state or federal wage and hour complaint or worse, a lawsuit.

Check out our frequently asked questions for more wage and hour guidance. To learn more about what the Nevada Association of Employers can do for you as a Nevada employer, contact us at (775) 329-4241 or membership@nevadaemployers.org.