UPDATE FROM THE 2019 NEVADA LEGISLATIVE SESSION
The 2019 Nevada Legislative Session ended on Monday, June 3rd with many bills heading to Governor Sisolak’s desk for signature. Below is a summary of some of the latest on new laws affecting Nevada employers, including when they will go into effect so you can prepare.
AB456 – Minimum Wage
Effective July 1, 2019
Minimum wage will increase $0.75 each year until it reaches $11 per hour (when you offer qualified health benefits) and $12 per hour (when you do not offer qualifying health benefits).
July 1, 2019 – $7.25 / $8.25
July 1, 2020 – $8.00 / $9.00
July 1, 2021 – $8.75 / $9.75
July 1, 2022 – $9.50 / $10.50
July 1, 2023 – $10.25 / $11.25
July 1, 2024 – $11.00 / $12.00
Employees can bring civil actions against an employer for failing to pay minimum wage appropriately. If successful, employees can recover back pay, damages, reinstatement, injunctive relief, and the court must award the employee’s attorney’s fees.
SB312 – Paid Time Off
Effective January 1, 2020
Private employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide paid time off to their employees. Covered employers must provide at least 0.01923 hours of paid time off for each hour worked; an equivalent of 40 hours each year (assuming 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year).
- First 2 years of operation of an employers
- Temporary, seasonal, or on-call employees
- Employer provides “to all scheduled employees” at least 0.01923 hours of paid time office for each hour worked
Paid time off can be used for any reason and that reason does not have to be disclosed to the employer. However, the employee must provide notice of the intent to take paid leave as soon as practicable. Paid time office becomes available for use upon the 90th day of employment. Employers may set a minimum of paid time off that an employee can use at any one time, but it cannot exceed 4 hours (i.e. cannot require an employee take a full day paid leave). Employers cannot deny use of paid time off or require the employee to find a replacement in order to utilize paid time off.
Employers can provide the PTO at the beginning of the benefit year or require employees to accrue the leave over time. Benefit year is defined as the 365 days used by the employer to calculate accrual. If an employer uses accrual, employers must allow employees to rollover any accrued, but unused paid time off into the following year; with a cap on roll over of 40 hours.
Employers are not required to pay unused paid time off upon separation of employment, but if the person is re-hired within 90 days and the reason for separation is not because the employee left voluntarily, employer must reinstate unused paid time off. Failure to comply with the requirements of this law could result in administrative penalties of up to $5,000 per violation.
SB192 – Qualifying Health Benefits for Minimum Wage
Effective May 21, 2019 (definition effective January 1, 2020)
In order to pay the lower tier minimum wage, employers must make health benefits available to the employee and the employee’s dependents that provides:
(1) Coverage for services in the following categories and the items and services covered within the following categories:
- Ambulatory patient services
- Emergency services
- Maternity and newborn care
- Mental health and substance use disorder services, including, without limitation, behavioral health treatment
- prescription drugs
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
- Laboratory services
- Preventative and wellness services and chronic disease management
- Pediatric services, which are not required to include oral or vision care; and
- Any other health care service or coverage level required to be included in an individual or group health benefit plan required by NRS 57.
(2) A level of health coverage that is designed to provide benefits equivalent to at least 60% of a Taft-Hartley plan
(3) A Taft-Hartley plan
AB132 – Prohibitions Regarding Marijuana
Effective January 1, 2020
Employers cannot fail or refuse to hire a prospective employee because he/she tested positive for marijuana during a pre-employment drug screen.
- Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)
- Anyone required by law to submit to a drug screen (i.e. DOT)
- Anyone “in the determination of the employer” could adversely affect the safety of others
For employers who require a screening test within the first 30 days of employment, the employee has a right to submit an additional drug screening test (at the employee’s expense) to rebut the results of the initial test. Employers must give appropriate consideration to the results.
This law does not apply: (1) where it conflicts with an employment contract or a collective bargaining agreement (CBA); (2) where it conflicts with federal law; or (3) where the position is funded by a federal grant.
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