Nevada Enacts Paid Leave, Minimum Wage Increases and More

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

June 13, 2019

New laws in Nevada will:

  • Require employers with 50 or more workers to provide paid leave;
  • Increase the minimum wage by 75 cents per year, until it reaches $12 per hour in 2020; and
  • Prohibit employers from refusing to hire applicants who fail a marijuana screening test.

Under SB 312, an employer that has 50 or more employees in Nevada will be required to provide employees 0.01923 hours of paid leave for each hour worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of paid leave per benefit year. At that rate, employees would accrue the maximum 40 hours of paid leave if they work 2,080 hours (or 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year).

The law permits employees to use leave beginning on the 90th calendar day of their employment. It also requires them to give their employers notice "as soon as practicable" before taking leave, but does not compel employees to give a reason for using leave.

Employers may set a 40-hour limit on the amount of paid leave that an employee may carry over from one benefit year to another, and may require employees to use accrued leave in any increment of at least four hours.

The new paid leave law takes effect January 1, 2020.

Minimum Wage

Under AB 456, the minimum wage in Nevada will increase from its current rate of $8.25 per hour to:

  • $9.00, effective July 1, 2020;
  • $9.75, effective July 1, 2021;
  • $10.50, effective July 1, 2022;
  • $11.25, effective July 1, 2023; and
  • $12.00, effective July 1, 2024;

As with the current law, the minimum wage will continue to be $1.00 less for employers that provide qualifying health benefits.

Effective July 1, 2019, AB 456 also will repeal certain minimum wage exemptions - for employees such as outside salespersons whose earnings are based on commissions; taxicab and limousine drivers; and certain agricultural employees - that the Nevada Supreme Court has held to be unconstitutional but are still technically "on the books."

Marijuana Screening

Under AB 132, Nevada employers will be prohibited from failing or refusing to hire a prospective employee because the prospective employee submitted to a screening test and the results indicated the presence of marijuana. However, certain safety-sensitive positions will be exempt.

If a Nevada employer requires a new hire to submit to a screening test within the first 30 days of employment, the employee will have the right to submit to an additional screening test, at his or her own expense, to rebut the results of the initial screening test, absent certain exemptions. The employer will be required to accept and give appropriate consideration to the results of such a screening test.

The new law takes effect January 1, 2020. Unless leapfrogged by another state before then, Nevada will become the first state to ban preemployment drug screening for marijuana.

Other Laws

Other new laws recently enacted in Nevada will:

  • Prohibit employers from requiring employees to have a microchip or other permanent identification marker implanted (AB 226, effective October 1, 2019);
  • Prohibit employers from requiring employees to be physically present at work to notify the employer that they cannot attend work due to illness or injury (AB 181, effective May 15, 2019);
  • Amend enforcement procedures for discrimination claims (SB 177, effective May 15, 2019);
  • Amended the state medical marijuana law to include additional conditions - such as an anxiety disorder, an autism disorder or an autoimmune disease - under the definition of a chronic or debilitating medical condition (SB 430, effective July 1, 2019);
  • Expand the state internet privacy notice law to require websites and online services that collect certain information from consumers to establish a designated request address through which a consumer may submit a verified request not to sell the information it has collected or will collect about that consumer (SB 220, effective October 1.