2021 Nevada Legislature – Summary of New Labor & Employment Laws
June 9, 2021
On May 31, 2021, the Nevada Legislature ended its 81st Session with the passage of many bills affecting Nevada employers. Below is a summary of new laws that may impact Nevada’s private and public employers. For each, we have provided a link to Nevada’s legislative website where you can view the final text of the bill (click on “As Enrolled”). If you have questions about these bills, please contact a KZA attorney.
AB 190 & SB 209 – Changes to Paid Leave Law. AB 190 adds a new section to Nevada’s paid leave statute (NRS 608.0197) to provide for caregiver leave. It requires an employer that provides paid or unpaid sick leave to allow an employee to use any accrued sick leave to assist a member of the immediate family of the employee who has an illness, injury, medical appointment or other authorized medical need to the same extent and under the same conditions that apply to the employee when taking sick leave. Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement are exempt from this requirement. AB 190 becomes effective on October 1, 2021.
SB 209 also adds a new section to Nevada’s paid leave statute to require an employer to provide an additional amount of paid leave to employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine (unless the vaccine is given on the employer’s premises during the employee’s regular work hours). If the vaccine is administered in one dose, the employee must be given 2 consecutive hours of paid leave; if the vaccine is administered in two doses, the employee must be given a total of 4 hours of paid leave (2 consecutive hours per absence).
SB 209 also expands Nevada’s paid leave statute to provide that an employee must be allowed to use paid leave for any use. SB 209 became effective on June 8, 2021.
SB 293 – Limits to Hiring and Promotion Procedures. This bill prohibits all employers (private and public) from seeking the wage/salary history of an applicant for employment, relying on the wage/salary history of an applicant to determine whether to offer employment or to determine the rate of pay for the applicant, or refusing to interview, hire, promote or employ an applicant, or discriminate or retaliate against an applicant if the applicant does not provide wage/salary history. It also requires employers to provide an applicant who has completed an interview the wage/salary range/rate for the position, promotion or transfer at issue. This law becomes effective October 1, 2021.
SB 327 – Expansion of Race Discrimination. This bill expands the definition of race discrimination in numerous state statutes to include discrimination against traits associated with race, including, without limitation, hair texture and protective hairstyles. “Protective hairstyle” includes, without limitation, “hairstyles such as natural hairstyles, afros, bantu knots, curls, braids, locks and twists.” This bill applies to all employers, public and private (as well as schools). It became effective on June 2, 2021.
SB 245 – Private Right of Action for Failure to Pay Wages. This bill adds a new section to NRS 608 to provide that if an employer fails to pay wages, compensation or salary to an employee in accord with NRS 608.020-608.050, the employee may, at any time within 2 years, file a lawsuit against the employer. If such a lawsuit is filed, the Nevada Labor Commissioner is prohibited from taking jurisdiction of a claim for unpaid wages. The bill also revises the definition of “wages” in NRS 608.012 to include amounts owed to a discharged employee or an employee who resigns or quits and whose former employer fails to pay the employee by the statutory deadlines. This bill further requires the Nevada Labor Commissioner to decline jurisdiction over a complaint filed by a person covered by a CBA if and until the CBA provides a remedy or other relief for the complainant. If, however, the Labor Commissioner determines that the remedies or other relief provided to the claimant by the terms of the CBA are inadequate, unavailable or non-binding, he/she must take jurisdiction of the complaint. This bill becomes effective July 1, 2021.
AB 47 – Restriction on Noncompetition Provisions. A portion of this bill amends Nevada’s statute on noncompetition agreements/provisions, NRS 613.195, by banning noncompete agreements/provisions for hourly employees. It specifically provides: “A noncompetition covenant may not apply to an employee who is paid solely on an hourly wage basis, exclusive of any tips or gratuities.” The bill also expands the remedies available to parties who pursue litigation over noncompete agreements and restricts certain types of lawsuits. These changes to Nevada’s noncompete statute become effective October 1, 2021.
AB 60 – Restriction on Confidentiality Provisions. This bill prohibits the parties to a contract or settlement agreement from agreeing to restrict a party to the contract from testifying about another party’s criminal offense, sexual harassment, or an employer’s act of discrimination or retaliation. The new law adds to Chapter 50 of the Nevada Revised Statutes to provide that such a provision in a contract or settlement agreement is void and unenforceable. As we previously explained, this law became effective on May 21, 2021.
SB 75 – Unemployment. This bill makes several changes to Nevada’s unemployment statutes, including revising provisions regarding confidentiality, authorizing an extended benefit period under certain circumstances, changing eligibility provisions, revising the procedures related to judicial review, and expanding an employer’s ability to obtain a refund. The majority of these changes become effective on July 1, 2021.
SB 289 & SB 295 – Workers’ Compensation. SB 289 makes a variety of changes to Nevada’s worker’s compensation statutes, including enacting limits on the apportionment of a worker’s compensation award when more than one disability is involved, authorizing examination and treatment by physician assistants or advanced practice registered nurses, providing for electronic delivery of certain documentation, providing that compensation may be subject to an attorney’s lien, allowing an award of costs to a claimant in certain circumstances, and providing for the reservation of certain rights to a claimant who accepts a lump sum payment. These changes became effective on May 31, 2021.
SB 295 prohibits the termination or limitation of compensation paid to injured employees who are or were firefighters, arson investigators, police officers or emergency medical attendants for a permanent total disability on the basis that the injured employee earns income. This bill becomes effective October 1, 2021.
SB 55 – Employee Leasing Companies. This bill replaces the term “employee leasing company” in Nevada’s worker’s compensation statutes with the term “professional employer organization” (PEO) and includes within the definitions of “client company” and “professional employer organization” certain labor compliance services which a PEO may provide. The bill transfers the duty to license PEOs to the Labor Commissioner, makes changes to the licensing requirements, and gives the Labor Commissioner the ability to adopt regulations governing PEOs. These provisions, and others, become effective July 1, 2021.
AB 307 – Posting Requirements. This bill requires the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) to prepare one or more notices concerning its job training and employment programs designed to support employment and economic independence for Nevadans who are disadvantaged, displaced or disabled. These notices will be provided to the Labor Commissioner which will provide them to private employers. Employers are then required to post these new notices in the workplace in a conspicuous location at the place where notices to employees and applicants are customarily posted. This law becomes effective October 1, 2021.
AJR 10 – Changes to Minimum Wage. You may remember that the 2019 Legislature passed a resolution seeking to amend the Nevada Constitution to remove the two-tier minimum wage system. As required for a constitutional amendment, that resolution was again passed by the 2021 Legislature. It does not become effective, however, unless voters approve it during the 2022 general election. If it is approved by Nevada voters, the following changes would occur:
- the two-tiered system based upon an employer’s provision of health care benefits for determining minimum wage in Nevada would be removed as of July 1, 2024;
- the minimum wage in Nevada would be $12.00 an hour beginning July 1, 2024;
- if the federal minimum wage is increased beyond $12.00 an hour, Nevada’s minimum wage would also increase to match the federal minimum wage;
- the Nevada Legislature would now have the power to increase the minimum wage during any legislative session.
SCR 1 – PPE. This resolution provides that the “81st Session of the Nevada Legislature . . . urges employers in this State to provide personal protective equipment to employees.” It became effective on March 30, 2021.
KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.