Under Nevada law, public and private employers who have at least 50 employees are obligated to provide up to 40 hours of paid leave. This law covers eligible employees for whatever purpose it may serve. However, the law exempts new employers who have not yet been in operation for more than two years.
Additionally, the Nevada sick leave law does not apply to employers who already provide paid leaves to their employees. This will only apply if the paid leave grants the employee equal to or more than 40 hours of paid leave per year.
No state or federal law requires public or private employers with less than 50 employees to provide any form of leave, whether it be paid or unpaid. This means an employer with 1-49 employees may terminate the contract with employees who can’t go to work because of illnesses.
Being employed by a covered employer does not automatically mean you are eligible for sick leave. Only full-time and part-time employees are eligible for paid leave. This means the Nevada sick leave law exempts on-call, seasonal, and temporary employees.
What does this mean for employees that aren’t covered? Nevada employees are still protected by a federal law called FMLA. This law allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a serious health condition and/or up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave for military reasons.
Eligible employees for the FMLA leave include:
- Employees who have been employed in the company for a total of 12 months, regardless of the succession
- Employees who have worked at least 1,250 hours for the past 12 months
- Employees who work for companies with at least 50 other workers within a 75-mile radius
Full-time or not, you can apply for FMLA leave as long as you meet these requirements.
Sick and Safe Leave Accrual
There are two options for Nevada employers when granting the sick leave policy to employees. One is through accrual basis, while the other is through frontloading.
Through the accrual basis, every hour worked earns the employee 0.01923 hours of paid leave. Note that this only applies unless an existing company policy allows him or her to earn more. However, it’s also important to remember that the maximum amount of paid leave an employee can earn is only 40 hours per benefit year.
On the other hand, companies may also opt to frontload the benefit by providing the employees with a total of 40 hours of paid leave the employees are expected to accrue for the year. That said, the Nevada sick leave law does not include a clause on how employers should address the matter if an employee was unable to earn the 40 hours of expected paid leave for the year.
Carry Over from Year to Year
The Nevada sick leave law allows employers to limit paid leave to 40 hours per year, regardless of the carryover.
Under the Assembly Bill 190, employers are required to permit employees to use the accrued sick leave for himself or herself or to assist a family member for the following reasons:
- An injury
- An illness
- Access to medical care and/or medical appointment
- Other medical needs, as long as it’s authorized by a professional
Under the Senate Bill 209, medical purposes include but are not limited to the following:
- Treatment of mental and/or physical illness
- Receipt of a medical diagnosis or COVID-19 vaccination
- Receipt or provision of preventive care
- Any other personal needs related to health
Family Member Defined
Contrary to the family members defined in the FMLA law, wherein the benefit is limited only to immediate family members, the Nevada sick leave law is more inclusive. Under the bill, an “immediate family member” is defined as any of the following:
- Domestic partner
- Foster child
- Mother-in-law or father-in-law
- Any other family member for whom the employee acts as the legal guardian
New Employees Wait-to-Use Period
New employees may only use the paid leave after 90 calendar days from their employment unless an existing company policy allows them to use the leave at an earlier date.
Alternative Eligible Leave Policies
Nevada employees may also exercise their right to take any of the following leaves:
Family and Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law that allows eligible employees to take 12 to 26 weeks of unpaid leave for a serious health condition or for military reasons.
Domestic Violence Leave
All Nevada employers are required to provide up to 160 hours of unpaid leaves to an employee or an employee’s family member who is a victim of domestic violence. However, the act must have been perpetrated in the past 12 months.
Filing a Complaint, Complaint Procedure, and Penalties
Under Senate Bill 312, the Nevada Labor Commissioner enforces the provision of the Nevada sick leave law. Employers who violate any of the policies listed in the law, including but not limited to the provision of paid leave, may receive administrative penalties, among other repercussions.
Employers who are found guilty of misdemeanor will be fined $5,000 for every violation incurred. This is in addition to other remedies and penalties that the Labor Commissioner has found the employer guilty of.
Relationships with Other Laws
In relation to the FMLA, the Nevada sick leave law provides a broader spectrum of family members that the employee may use the leave. However, the FMLA allows the employee to take 12 to 26 weeks of unpaid leave.
In comparison, the Nevada law for paid leave only provides the employee up to 40 hours of paid leave for employees in the private sector.
Additionally, the recordkeeping requirements of the FMLA states that employers must keep documents relating to an employee’s use of unpaid leave for informational purposes, while the Nevada law for paid leave does not.
Nonetheless, the Nevada Labor Commissioner encourages employers to maintain the records in the event that an investigation is deemed necessary for potential misuse of the law.