Labor and Employment Law Overview: Nevada

Labor and Employment Law Overview requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: XpertHR Editorial Team

Summary

  • Nevada law prohibits an employer from discriminating and retaliating against employees in a variety of protected classes. Employers must also provide pregnancy accommodations, allow employees to access their personnel files and allow wage discussions. See EEO, Diversity and Employee Relations.
  • Nevada permits preemployment criminal background checks, but limits credit checks. See Recruiting and Hiring.
  • In Nevada, there are requirements relating to the minimum wage, overtime, meal and rest breaks, breastfeeding breaks and child labor. See Wage and Hour.
  • Nevada has laws that relate to employee pay and benefits, including health care continuation, pay frequency, wage deductions, pay statements and wage notice requirements. See Pay and Benefits.
  • Under Nevada law, employees are entitled to certain leaves or time off, including school activities leave, witness leave, domestic violence leave, legislative leave and volunteer emergency responder leave. See Time Off and Leaves of Absence.
  • Nevada law requires employers to provide a safe working environment for their employees, including establishing written safety programs and safety committees. Nevada also prohibits smoking in the workplace and using a handheld cell phone while driving. See Health and Safety.
  • When employment ends, Nevada employers must comply with applicable final pay and job reference requirements. See Organizational Exit.

Introduction to Employment Law in Nevada

Nevada has laws that provide greater protections to employees than federal law, including pregnancy accommodation rights, a higher minimum wage and school activities leave, but generally follows federal law with respect to topics such as equal pay and military leave.

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:

Fair Employment Practices

The Nevada Fair Employment Practices Act (NFEPA) prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating on the basis of protected characteristics, including:

  • Race;
  • Color;
  • National origin;
  • Age;
  • Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions);
  • 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.

Harassment and retaliation are forms of discrimination also prohibited by the NFEPA.

Equal Pay

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. An employer may pay different wages if based upon a seniority system, a merit system, a compensation system under which wages are determined by the quality or quantity of production or factors other than sex.

Discussion of Wages

Under the NFEPA, an employer may not discriminate or take any other prohibited actions against an employee or applicant for inquiring about, discussing or voluntarily disclosing his or her wages or the wages of another employee or applicant.

Pregnancy Accommodation

The Nevada Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act requires an employer with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations to employees and applicants for a condition related to pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition. Examples of reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to:

  • Modifying the application process;
  • Modifying equipment;
  • Providing different seating;
  • Modifying work or break schedules;
  • Providing space forexpressing breast milk;
  • Providing assistance with manual labor;
  • Authorizing light duty;
  • Temporarily transferring the employee to a less-strenuous or less-hazardous position; or
  • Restructuring a position.

Access to Personnel Files

Employees who have been employed for at least 60 days have the right to inspect and copy personnel records used to determine the employee's qualifications or used as a basis for any disciplinary action taken against the employee, including termination. An employer may charge the employee only for the actual cost associated with copying the documents.

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, HR Management: Nevada, Nevada Workplace Labor and Employment Law Posters and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Nevada? Federal requirements can be found in EEO - Discrimination: Federal, EEO - Harassment: Federal, EEO - Retaliation: Federal, Disabilities (ADA): Federal and HR Management: Federal.

Recruiting and Hiring

Key Nevada requirements impacting recruiting and hiring are:

Criminal 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.

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 and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in 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 Breaks

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

Rest Breaks

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.

Breastfeeding Breaks

A Nevada employer must provide employees who are the mothers of children under one year of age reasonable break time and a clean, private place, other than a bathroom, to express breast milk. This break time may be unpaid, unless payment is required by a collective bargaining agreement.

An employer may be exempt from these requirements it has fewer than 50 employees and complying with the requirements would cause an undue hardship.

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.

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, Nevada Workplace Labor and Employment Law Posters and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Nevada? 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 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.

Payment of Wages

Nevada law requires that employees be paid in cash or by check or draft payable only to the employee. Exceptions apply. An employer may pay wages by direct deposit or electronic paycard if certain conditions are met.

Pay Frequency

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.

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

Wage Notices

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.

Wage Deductions

An employer may make deductions from employees' wages that are:

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

An employer may not make deductions 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, Involuntary and Voluntary Pay Deductions: Nevada and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Nevada? Federal requirements can be found in Health Care Continuation (COBRA): Federal, Payment of Wages: Federal and Involuntary and Voluntary Pay Deductions: Federal.

Time Off and Leaves of Absence

Nevada has several laws relating to required time off and leaves of absence for employees. These laws include:

  • School activities leave (covering employers with 50 or more employees);
  • Jury duty leave;
  • Witness leave;
  • Juvenile proceedings leave;
  • Domestic violence leave;
  • Voting leave;
  • Legislative leave (covering employers with 50 or more employees);
  • 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 time off and leave of absence practices in Nevada can be found in the Nevada Employee Handbook Table of Contents, Jury Duty: Nevada, Other Leaves: Nevada, USERRA: Nevada, Nevada Workplace Labor and Employment Law Posters and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in 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:

Occupational Safety and Health

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 more than 10 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.

An employer with more than 25 employees must establish a safety committee consisting of representatives of employees.

Smoke-Free Workplace

The Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act prohibits smoking in virtually all indoor places of employment. "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.

Safe Driving Practices

Nevada prohibits the use of handheld cellular or other wireless communication devices while operating a motor vehicle.

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 Pay

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

When an employee voluntarily quits or resigns, final wages must be paid the earlier of:

  • The employee's next regular payday; or
  • Within seven days.

Employers may pay up to $20,000 of wages owed to a deceased employee to the surviving spouse or dependent children after 40 days from the date of the employee's death. The recipient must provide affidavits and certified copies of the death certificate to the employer at the time of payment.

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 termination.

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, Employee Communications: Nevada and Does This Law Apply to My Organization in Nevada? Federal requirements can be found in Payment of Wages: Federal and Employee Communications: Federal.