Minimum Wage: Nevada
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: William R. Dabney and Dora V. Lane, Holland & Hart LLP
- Nevada's state minimum wage is calculated annually based on inflation statistics, and may be more than the current federal minimum wage in any given year. See Minimum Wage.
- Deductions from wages are prohibited for any reason unless required or permitted by law (such as tax withholding) or court order (such as garnishment) or authorized in writing by the employee. See Deductions Above the Minimum Wage.
- An employer may not use any tip income as an offset to the requirement to pay minimum wages. See Tip Credit.
- Nevada's Constitution has a provision analogous to the federal Youth Opportunity Wage. See Subminimum Wages.
The Minimum Wage Amendment (MWA) to the Nevada Constitution, +Nev. Const. Art. 15, § 16, requires employers to pay a minimum wage of $8.25 per hour. An employer that provides health benefits may pay a minimum wage of one dollar per hour less than an employer that does not provide health benefits, or $7.25 per hour.
Under statutory amendments enacted June 12, 2019, the minimum wage will increase according to the following schedule:
|Date||Without Health Benefits||With Health Benefits|
|July 1, 2020||$9.00||$8.00|
|July 1, 2021||$9.75||$8.75|
|July 1, 2022||$10.50||$9.50|
|July 1, 2023||$11.25||$10.25|
|July 1, 2024||$12.00||$11.00|
|July 1, 2025 (and every July 1 thereafter)||Adjusted for inflation||$1.00 less|
The minimum wage figure may be adjusted for inflation on July 1 of each year. The adjustment, if any, is to be based on the cumulative change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers between December 31, 2004, and December 31 of the previous year, but may not be greater than 3 percent or the cumulative increase in the federal minimum wage from $5.15 per hour in 2004 to present ($7.25 per hour). Nevada has not adjusted its minimum wage since 2009 and, because of the scheduled statutory increases, is unlikely to do so before 2025.
If the applicable federal minimum wage is higher than that required under state law, then payment of the higher federal wage is required instead.
Provision of Health Benefits
NOTE: Effective January 1, 2020, Nevada's minimum wage law will be amended to establish criteria for what constitutes health benefits. See Future Developments.
Providing health benefits means "making health insurance available to the employee for the employee and the employee's dependents at a total cost to the employee for premiums of not more than 10 percent of the employee's gross taxable income from the employer." +Nev. Const. Art. 15, § 16.
An employer that pays one dollar per hour less in wages must provide a benefit in the form of health insurance at least equivalent to the one dollar per hour in wages that the employee would otherwise receive. To pay the lower-tier minimum wage, an employer need not necessarily comply with provisions in Chapters 608, 689A, and 689B of the Nevada Revised Statutes mandating substantive requirements for health insurance - including when certain coverage for certain expenses such as hospice care, prescription drugs, cancer treatment, the management and treatment of diabetes, severe mental illness, and alcohol or drug abuse must be covered - because those provisions do not set the constitutional standard for the quality of health insurance under the MWA. Mdc Rests. v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court, +2018 Nev. LEXIS 42 (Nev. 2018).
Employers need only to offer a qualifying health plan to pay the lower wage; they need not necessarily enroll an employee in a qualifying health benefit plan to pay the lower wage. Employees' tips may not be included in the calculation of gross taxable income. The 10 percent cost cap on insurance premiums must be computed solely on taxable income from the employer and must exclude tips. MDC Rests., LLC v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court, +383 P.3d 262 (Nev. 2016).
The provision of qualifying health insurance is further described in +NAC 608.102 and +NAC 608.104. The interpretation of these regulations has varied with the different Labor Commissioners. Employers are advised to consult Nevada counsel experienced with practicing before the Nevada Labor Commissioner for the latest developments and interpretations in this area.
Deductions Above the Minimum Wage
Deductions from wages generally must be authorized by law or by the employee in writing. A blanket pre-authorization for deductions is not permitted. Rather, deductions authorized by an employee must be for a specific purpose, amount, and payroll period. Deductions are expressly allowed for dues, rates, or assessments due to any hospital association or relief, savings, or other department or association maintained by the employer or employees for the benefit of the employee. All deductions must be shown on an itemized monthly statement. +Nev. Rev. Stat. § 608.110; +NAC 608.160.
Uniforms and Uniform Allowances
Deductions are not allowed for uniforms or accessories required by the employer, or for the cost of cleaning uniforms that cannot be easily cleaned by the employee. +Nev. Rev. Stat. § 608.165.
An employer may not use any tip income as an offset to the requirement to pay minimum wages. However, employees may agree to divide tip income among themselves. +Nev. Rev. Stat. § 608.160.
Tip pools are not expressly addressed in Nevada's laws or regulations. However, the statute prohibiting the use of tip credits by employers also states that the law shall not be construed to prevent employees from entering into an agreement to divide tips or gratuities among themselves. +Nev. Rev. Stat. § 608.160.
The Supreme Court of Nevada has held that Nevada law allows an employer to require employees to pool tips, including with employees of a different rank, as long as the employer does not keep any of the tips from the pool. Alford v. Harolds Club, +99 Nev. 670 (Nev. 1983); Wynn Las Vegas, LLC v. Baldonado, +129 Nev. 734 (Nev. 2013).
Credit for Board and Lodging
The cost of meals provided to the employee may be counted as wages, and thus deducted from paychecks, with a limit of $1.50 per day if all three meals are provided and actually consumed. +Nev. Rev. Stat. § 608.155.
Restrictions on the amount of wage garnishment allowed under a court order are described in +Nev. Rev. Stat. § 31.295. In general, the maximum amount of aggregate disposable earnings of a judgment debtor for any workweek that may be subjected to garnishment may not exceed the lesser of:
- The amount by which the debtor's disposable earnings for the week exceed 50 times the federal minimum hourly wage in effect at the time the earnings are payable; or
- 25 percent of the debtor's disposable earnings for that week.
However, these restrictions do not apply in the case of a court order for maintenance or child support; a bankruptcy court order; or a tax lien.
The maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of a judgment debtor for any workweek that is subject to garnishment to enforce an order for support may not exceed:
- 50 percent of the person's disposable earnings for that week if the person is supporting a spouse or child other than the spouse or child for whom the order of support was rendered; or
- 60 percent of the person's disposable earnings for that week if the person is not supporting such a spouse or child.
However, if the garnishment is to enforce a previous order of support with respect to a period occurring at least 12 weeks before the beginning of the workweek, the limits that apply to the situations described above are 55 percent and 65 percent, respectively. "Disposable earnings" means that part of the earnings of any person remaining after the deduction from those earnings of any amounts required by law to be withheld.
The Nevada Constitution exempts minors under 18 years old from the state minimum wage requirements when they are trainees during the first 90 days of employment. +Nev. Const. Art. 15, § 16. This exemption is analogous to the federal Youth Opportunity Wage. See Employee Compensation > Minimum Wage > Youth Opportunity Wage.
Also exempt are minors under the age of 18 who are employed by nonprofit organizations in after-school or summer employment. The minimum wage requirement may also be waived in a bona fide collective bargaining agreement, but only if the waiver is explicitly set forth in such agreement in clear and unambiguous terms.
Communications in Postings Required by Nevada Law
Effective January 1, 2020, to pay an employee the lower minimum wage rate, an employer must make available to the employee and the employee's dependents at least one health benefit plan that provides:
- Coverage for services in each of 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 and vision care;
- Any other health care service or coverage level required to be included in an individual or group health benefit plan under Nevada's insurance code (+Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 679A.010 et seq.); and
- A level of coverage that is designed to provide benefits that are actuarially equivalent to at least 60 percent of the full actuarial value of the benefits provided under the plan.
Alternatively, an employer may provide health benefits pursuant to a Taft-Hartley trust that qualifies as an employee welfare benefit plan under either the federal Employee Retirement Security Act (+29 USC § 1001 et seq.) or the Internal Revenue Code.
An employer may not pay the lower minimum wage if it offers a hospital-indemnity insurance plan or fixed-indemnity insurance plan, unless the employer separately makes available to the employee and the employee's dependents at least one health benefit plan that complies with the above requirements.
Chapter 608 of the Nevada Revised Statutes, as amended by +2019 Bill Text NV S.B. 192.
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