Labor and Employment Law Overview: Nevada

This item is part of Labor and Employment Law Overview: Federal

Author: XpertHR Editorial Team

Summary

  • State law prohibits an employer from discriminating and retaliating against employees in a variety of protected classes. See EEO, Diversity and Employee Relations.
  • Nevada generally allows criminal background checks, but limits the use of credit checks and genetic testing for employment purposes. See Recruiting and Hiring.
  • In Nevada, there are many requirements relating to the minimum wage, overtime, meal and rest breaks and child labor. See Wage and Hour.
  • Nevada has a number of laws that relate to employee pay and benefits, including health care continuation, pay frequency, wage deductions and pay statements. See Pay and Benefits.
  • Under Nevada law, employees are entitled to certain leaves including jury duty leave, voting leave, military leave, school-related activities leave and volunteer emergency responder leave. See Attendance and Leave.
  • Nevada requires employers to provide a safe and smoke-free working environment for their employees. See Health and Safety.
  • A Nevada employer must abide by state laws regarding termination pay and service letters. See Organizational Exit.

Introduction to Employment Law in Nevada

Nevada is considered an employee-friendly state.

Select Nevada employment requirements are summarized below to help an employer understand the range of employment laws affecting the employer-employee relationship in the state. An employer must comply with both federal and state law.

An employer must also comply with applicable municipal law obligations affecting the employment relationship, in addition to complying with state and federal requirements.

EEO, Diversity and Employee Relations

Key Nevada requirements impacting EEO, diversity and employee relations are:

Nevada Fair Employment Practices Act

Nevada law establishes certain protected classes not recognized under federal antidiscrimination laws. Specifically, the Nevada Fair Employment Practices Act (NFEPA) prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from terminating, failing to hire or otherwise discriminating against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment on the basis of protected characteristics, including:

  • Race;
  • Color;
  • National origin;
  • Age;
  • Sex;
  • Religion;
  • Disability;
  • Genetic information;
  • Sexual orientation; and
  • Gender identity.

The law also prohibits discrimination against employees who engage in lawful use of lawful products (e.g., alcohol or tobacco) outside the employer's premises and during nonworking hours, which does not adversely affect job performance or other employees' safety.

Wage Discrimination

Nevada law prohibits discrimination in wages on the basis of sex for equal work on jobs that require equal skill, effort and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions.

Retaliation

Nevada employees are protected from retaliation under various laws, including:

  • Antidiscrimination;
  • Wage and hour; and
  • Safety and health.

Be aware that where there is overlap between federal, state and/or local law, complying with the law that offers the greatest rights or benefits to the employee will generally apply.

Additional information on EEO, diversity and employee relations practices in Nevada can be found in the Nevada Employee Handbook Table of Contents, EEO - Discrimination: Nevada, EEO - Harassment: Nevada, EEO - Retaliation: Nevada, Disabilities (ADA): Nevada and Employee Discipline: Nevada. Federal requirements can be found in EEO - Discrimination: Federal, EEO - Harassment: Federal, EEO - Retaliation: Federal, Disabilities (ADA): Federal and Employee Discipline: Federal.

Recruiting and Hiring

Key Nevada requirements impacting recruiting and hiring are:

Criminal Background Checks

A Nevada employer may consider a job applicant's criminal history as part of the preemployment screening process. An employer may make inquiries or obtain records about convictions and incidents for which a person is currently within the criminal justice system, including parole or probation.

Credit Checks

A Nevada employer is generally prohibited from conditioning a job offer based on a prospective employee's consumer credit report or other credit information. Also, an employer may not deny employment to an applicant who refuses, declines or fails to submit such credit information.

Nevada does provide limited exceptions for situations where:

  • The information is job-related;
  • The employer is required or authorized by state or federal law to obtain the information; or
  • The employer reasonably believes the individual has engaged in illegal activity.

Genetic Testing

A Nevada employer is prohibited from:

  • Asking or encouraging job applicants to submit to genetic testing;
  • Requiring or administering genetic tests as a condition of employment; and
  • Denying employment based on genetic information.

Be aware that where there is overlap between federal, state and/or local law, complying with the law that offers the greatest rights or benefits to the employee will generally apply.

Additional information on recruiting and hiring practices in Nevada can be found in Preemployment Screening and Testing: Nevada. Federal requirements can be found in Preemployment Screening and Testing: Federal.

Wage and Hour

Key Nevada requirements impacting wages and hours are:

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage rate in Nevada depends on whether a covered employer offers qualifying health benefits to employees:

  • The minimum wage is $7.25 per hour if the employer offers health benefits.
  • The minimum wage is $8.25 per hour if the employer does not provide health benefits.

The minimum wage rate may be adjusted for inflation on July 1 of each year.

Tips may not be applied as credit toward payment of the minimum wage. However, employees may agree to divide tip income among themselves.

Overtime

Generally, Nevada employers must pay one and one-half times a nonexempt employee's regular wage rate whenever the employee works more than 40 hours in any scheduled workweek.

In addition, employees who are paid a base rate of less than one and one-half times the state minimum wage are entitled to overtime when they work more than eight hours in any workday, unless by mutual written agreement the employee works four 10-hour days within any scheduled workweek.

Meal and Rest Breaks

An employee working a continuous eight-hour period is allowed one unpaid meal period of 30 minutes of uninterrupted time.

An employee who works for a period greater than three and one-half hours must be permitted rest periods equal to 10 minutes for every four hours worked, or major fractions of four hours. Whenever practical, rest breaks should be taken in the middle of each work period. Authorized rest periods are counted as hours worked.

Child Labor

Child labor laws in Nevada restrict the occupations in which minors may be employed and the number of hours and times during which they may work.

All minors are prohibited from working in certain occupations, such as:

  • In begging, receiving alms or in any mendicant occupation;
  • In any indecent or immoral exhibition or practice;
  • In any practice or exhibition dangerous or injurious to life, limb, health or morals;
  • As a messenger for delivering letters, telegrams, packages or bundles to any house of prostitution or assignation;
  • In any public dance hall where alcoholic beverages are dispensed; or
  • In any area of a casino where there is gaming or where the sale of alcoholic beverages is the primary commercial activity (unless the minor is in the casino area to provide entertainment pursuant to an employment contract).

Minors under the age of 16 are prohibited from working in additional occupations.

With some exceptions, minors under the age of 16 may not work:

  • More than eight hours in a day;
  • More than 48 hours in a week; or
  • During school hours (unless the child is older than 13 or has been excused from attendance by the school district or by court order).

Be aware that where there is overlap between federal, state and/or local law, complying with the law that offers the greatest rights or benefits to the employee will generally apply.

Additional information on wage and hour practices in Nevada can be found in the Nevada Employee Handbook Table of Contents, Minimum Wage: Nevada, Overtime: Nevada, Hours Worked: Nevada, Child Labor: Nevada and Nevada Workplace Labor and Employment Law Posters. Federal requirements can be found in Minimum Wage: Federal, Overtime: Federal, Hours Worked: Federal and Child Labor: Federal.

Pay and Benefits

Key Nevada requirements impacting pay and benefits are:

Health Care Continuation

Unlike federal COBRA, group policies in Nevada must provide health care continuation coverage to employees and their spouses and dependents for 12 months if the employee is on leave without pay due to a total disability. The coverage must be at least equal to the coverage provided before the disability and must be for an injury or illness that is not related to the total disability.

Paydays

Employees must be paid on regular paydays established in advance at least semimonthly, according to the following schedule:

  • All wages earned before the first day of any month must be paid by 8 a.m. of the 15th day of the following month; and
  • All wages earned before the 16th day of any month must be paid by 8 a.m. on the last day of the same month.

An employer must post notices in at least two conspicuous places describing its regular paydays and the place of payment. Employees must receive written notice at least seven days before a change in payday or place of payment.

If an employee is absent on payday, wages must be paid within five days after the employee makes a written demand for payment.

Wage Deductions

Employers are permitted to make the following types of deductions from employees' wages:

  • Deductions required by law (e.g., child support withholding, creditor garnishment, tax levy);
  • Deductions for dues, rates or assessments payable to a hospital association;
  • Deductions to any relief, savings or other department or association maintained by employers or employees for employees' benefit; and
  • Deductions employees authorize in writing.

Employers may not make deductions from employees' pay for the cost of uniforms.

Pay Statements

With each payment of wages, an employer must provide each employee with an itemized statement showing deductions made from the employee's total wages.

Be aware that where there is overlap between federal, state and/or local law, complying with the law that offers the greatest rights or benefits to the employee will generally apply.

Additional information on pay and benefits practices in Nevada can be found in Health Care Continuation (COBRA): Nevada, Payment of Wages: Nevada and Involuntary and Voluntary Pay Deductions: Nevada. Federal requirements can be found in Health Care Continuation (COBRA): Federal, Payment of Wages: Federal and Involuntary and Voluntary Pay Deductions: Federal.

Attendance and Leave

Nevada has fewer laws relating to required leaves for employees than many other states, but does have mandated leave laws such as:

  • School-related activities leave (covering employers with 50 or more employees);
  • Jury duty leave;
  • Witness leave;
  • Voting leave;
  • Legislative leave (covering employers with 50 or more employees);
  • Volunteer emergency responder leave; and
  • Military leave.

Be aware that where there is overlap between federal, state and/or local law, complying with the law that offers the greatest rights or benefits to the employee will generally apply.

Additional information on attendance and leave practices in Nevada can be found in the Nevada Employee Handbook Table of Contents, Jury Duty: Nevada, Other Leaves: Nevada and USERRA: Nevada. Federal requirements can be found in Jury Duty: Federal, Other Leaves: Federal and USERRA: Federal.

Health and Safety

Key Nevada requirements impacting health and safety are:

Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Act

Under the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Act, a Nevada employer must:

  • Furnish employment and a place of employment free of recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees;
  • Furnish and use safety devices and safeguards, and adopt and use practices, means, methods and process that are reasonably adequate to render employment safe;
  • Post posters and information informing employees of their rights and obligations;
  • Assign at least one person to be in charge of occupational safety and health; and
  • Do "every other thing reasonably necessary" to protect employees' lives, safety and health.

An employer with 10 or more employees must establish a written safety program that includes establishment of a safety training program, particularly in those areas of the workplace where there have been recurring injuries.

Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act

The Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act prohibits smoking in virtually all indoor places of employment and all government buildings. "No Smoking" signs or symbols must be conspicuously posted in each place of employment, and all ashtrays and smoking paraphernalia must be removed from those places.

Be aware that where there is overlap between federal, state and/or local law, complying with the law that offers the greatest rights or benefits to the employee will generally apply.

Additional information on health and safety practices in Nevada can be found in the Nevada Employee Handbook Table of Contents, HR and Workplace Safety: Nevada, Employee Health: Nevada, Nevada Workplace Labor and Employment Law Posters and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Nevada? Federal requirements can be found in HR and Workplace Safety (OSHA Compliance): Federal and Employee Health: Federal.

Organizational Exit

Key Nevada requirements impacting organizational exit are:

Final Paycheck

When an employee is fired or laid off, final wages must be paid immediately or within three days.

If an employee voluntarily terminates his or her employment, final wages must be paid the earlier of:

  • The next regular payday; or
  • Within seven calendar days.

References

An employee who has been employed for 60 days or more may ask his or her employer to provide a service letter, comprised of a truthful statement of the reason for the employee's employment termination, e.g., resignation, and any meritorious services rendered.

A Nevada employer enjoys qualified immunity from legal claims when providing information regarding:

  • An employee's ability to perform his or her job;
  • An employee's diligence, skill or reliability; and
  • An illegal or wrongful act committed by the employee.

An employee may lose immunity if it acts maliciously or intentionally discloses inaccurate or misleading information.

Be aware that where there is overlap between federal, state and/or local law, complying with the law that offers the greatest rights or benefits to the employee will generally apply.

Additional information on organizational exit practices in Nevada can be found in Payment of Wages: Nevada and Employee Communications: Nevada. Federal requirements can be found in Payment of Wages: Federal and Employee Communications: Federal.