Nevada’s new paid leave law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020, and state officials have provided guidance for employers.
The Nevada law is unique in that it allows employees to use the time off for any reason. But there are other provisions of the bill employers must be aware of, and an advisory opinion the Nevada Labor Commissioner issued last month looked to clarify some of the finer points of the legislation.
Nevada Paid Leave Law
Here’s how the paid leave law works:
It’s based on an accrual system — 0.01923 hours of paid leave for each hour of work. That generally translates to 40 hours of paid leave per year for full-time employees. Companies may also frontload the paid leave.
It applies to employers with at least 50 workers. There are exceptions, however:
- Employers who provide equivalent paid time off
- Companies in their first two years of operation
- Temporary, seasonal and on-call employees
There are also recordkeeping requirements, fines for company infractions (up to $,5000) and a posting requirement. Employees may begin using paid leave after the 90th day of their employment.
Guidance for Employers
Meanwhile, the guidance from state officials tackles several aspects of the Nevada paid leave law. The advisory opinion notes “multiple inquires, comments, suggestions and proposals” came in regarding the bill and its implementation.
Of note, the memo does not fully define who qualifies as an employee. But it does define seasonal employees as those working fewer than 90 days in a year. Such seasonal employees also do not count against the 50-employee threshold. Those who work more than 90 days will “probably” have to be provided with paid leave.
Related: Asked and Answered – Your Paid Leave Compliance Questions
For businesses with multiple entities, franchises, etc., the 50-employee threshold is less clear. The advisory opinion suggests employers contact the agency for specific questions.
The advisory letter also includes information on:
- Time off notification from employees
- Circumstances for denying paid leave
- Calculating accrual rates for salary or exempt employees
The upshot is that the labor commissioner often suggests companies anticipate potential pitfalls and outline specifics in an employee handbook, contract or agreement.
Paid Leave Laws
Following Maine, Nevada was the second state to enact a paid leave law that allows employees to use it for any reason. Bernalillo County, N.M., also has a similar law on the books. (The Maine paid leave law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2021.)
Paid leave laws continue to sprout up across the country.
Many cities and counties have enacted paid sick leave laws, along with 11 states and Washington, D.C. The most common accrual rate is one hour for every 30 hours worked, but there are various requirements by jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, paid family and medical leave is also gaining traction. Eight states and D.C. have enacted such legislation.
These additional layers of employee rights beyond federal statutes means employers must examine their policies and procedures to remain compliant with the latest employment laws.