Nevada Wage and Hour Laws
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Nevada Minimum Wage
Chapter 608 of Nevada Revised Statutes sets forth the state’s wage and hour laws. Nevada has a somewhat unique minimum wage law that sets applicable minimum wage rates depending on whether the employer provides “health benefits” to its employees as defined by law and the Nevada Constitution. See NRS 608.250; NRS 608.258. The Nevada minimum wage law is also structured to increase year-to-year for a period of time, like other state laws. NRS 608.250. For example, beginning July 1, 2020, employers who offer “health benefits” must pay a minimum wage rate of $8.00 per hour, whereas employers who do not offer such benefits must pay a minimum wage rate of $9.00 per hour. Id. These rates will increase incrementally each year as of July 1. Id.
An employee who is not paid the applicable minimum wage may bring a civil action against his or her employer. NRS 608.260.1. If the employee prevails in such an action, the employee is not only “entitled to all remedies available under the law or in equity [that are] appropriate to remedy the violation by the employer” which includes, but is not limited to “back pay, damages, reinstatement or injunctive relief,” but also a mandatory award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. NRS 608.260.2.
Chapter 608 also contains a law specific to payment of overtime. See NRS 608.018. Like the FLSA, this state law generally mandates the payment of overtime for any hours worked in excess of forty (40) hours in any given workweek. Id. However, with respect to employees who earn less than 1.5 times the Nevada minimum wage, Nevada law also requires the payment of overtime for any hours in excess of eight (8) hours worked in any workday, unless by mutual agreement the employee works a scheduled 10 hours per day four calendar days per scheduled workweek. Id.
Nevada overtime law contains similar, but distinct, exemptions from its overtime requirements. See NRS 608.018.3. These exemptions include many of the same exemptions recognized by the FLSA—such as the bona fide professional, executive, and administrative exemptions—but also its own unique ones—such as “[e]mployees of business enterprises having a gross sales volume of less than $250,000 per year.” Id.
Nevada also has statutes that specifically address the issue of misclassification in employment, an issue that directly bears on whether an employer has overtime payment and other obligations under the FLSA and/or Nevada wage and hour laws. See NRS 608.0155; NRS 608.400-.410.
Meal and Rest Periods
Nevada has laws specific to the compensability of meal breaks and rest periods. See NRS 608.019. While Nevada law does not require employers to pay for meal breaks, it does prohibit employers from having employees work for a continuous period of 8 hours without permitting the employees to have a meal break of at least one-half hour. NRS 608.019.1. With respect to rest breaks, Nevada laws requires employers to provide rest breaks of certain length or frequency depending on the length of the shift being worked. NRS 608.019.2. In general, ten (10) minutes of rest periods should be provided for each four (4) hours worked. Id.
However, these rules on meal and rest break periods do not necessarily apply to all working arrangements. For example, these rules do not apply to “[s]ituations where only one person is employed at a particular place of employment” or to “employees included within the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement.” NRS 608.019.3(a)-(b).
Nevada law also contains specific protections for mothers of infants who have a need for break time to express breast milk (i.e., NRS 608.0193) and certain employees who have a need to sleep while at work (i.e., NRS 608.0195).
In addition, Nevada wage and hour laws contain a paid leave requirement tied to the number of hours worked by employees. See NRS 608.0197. In general, for private employers who have 50 or more employees, employees must currently be given at least 0.01923 hours of paid leave for each hour of work performed. Id. Nonetheless, there are specific requirements and limitations applicable to such paid leave and its use; for example, “[a]n employer may limit the amount of paid leave an employee uses to 40 hours per benefit year.” NRS 608.0197.1(f). Further, “[f]or the first 2 years of operation, an employer is not required to comply with the provisions of this section.” NRS 608.0197.7.
Nevada also passed laws that impose rules on the timing of wage payments, especially at the end of employment. See NRS 608.020-.050. Failing to timely remit wage payments to a discharge employee could result in penalties such as an employee obtaining a lien against the employer. Id.
We are here to consult and advise you regarding your legal rights and obligations under applicable federal and state wage and hour laws in Nevada. If you are in or around Las Vegas or Clark, Washoe, Lyon, Carson City, or Elko counties, please call our office for further information about the potential legal help we can provide for your matter. We can be reached at (314) 645-4100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.