Who is an employee?
An “employee” is defined as a male or female person in the service of an employer under any appointment or contract for hire or apprenticeship, express or implied, oral or written, whether lawfully or unlawfully employed. (NRS 608.010)

Who is an employer?
An “employer” is defined as a person having control or custody of any employment, place of employment or any employee. (NRS 608.011)

What is included as wages?
(NRS 608.012) defines “wages” as the amount which an employer agrees to pay an employee for the time the employee has worked, computed in proportion to time and commissions owed the employee. (NRS 607.160) states that an employer shall pay an employee for all time worked by the employee.  For the purpose of a claim for wages, holidays, vacation days, sick days and any other days that an employee did not actually work are not counted as time worked by the employee.

Can an employer require an employee to work without pay during a trial or break-in period?
No, an employer shall pay to the employee wages for each hour the employee works. (NRS 608.016)

What is the Fair Labor Standards Act?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prescribes standards for the basic minimum wage and overtime pay, affects most private and public employment. It requires employers to pay covered employees who are not otherwise exempt at least the federal minimum wage and overtime pay of one-and-one-half-times the regular rate of pay.The FLSA also regulates Child Labor laws.  For nonagricultural operations, it restricts the hours that children under age 16 can work and forbids the employment of children under age 18 in certain jobs deemed too dangerous. For agricultural operations, it prohibits the employment of children under age 16 during school hours and in certain jobs deemed too dangerous. The Act is administered by the Employment Standards Administration’s Wage and Hour Division within the U.S. Department of Labor.

What is meant by “exempt” and “non-exempt”?
“Non-exempt” employees must be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. NOTE: please see the overtime requirements for Nevada.Section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA provides an “exemption” from both minimum wage and overtime pay for employees employed as bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees. Click here for more information.

Section 13(a)(1) and Section 13(a)(17) also exempt certain computer employees. To qualify for exemption, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be paid on a salary basis at not less than $ 455 per week. Job titles do not determine exempt status. In order for an exemption to apply, an employee’s specific job duties and salary must meet all the requirements of the Department’s regulations. NOTE: Nevada requirements for certain exemptions may differ from Federal requirements. Employers should check both State and Federal requirements before classifying employees as exempt. Click here for more information.

What is the current minimum wage?

An amendment to the Nevada Constitution sets up a two-tiered minimum wage system for Nevada.  In all cases, unless otherwise exempt employers must pay a minimum wage which is the higher of the lower tier state minimum wage or the federal minimum wage. The 2007 amendments increased the federal minimum wage to $5.85 per hour effective July 24, 2007; $6.55 per hour effective July 24, 2008; and $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.

Effective July 1, 2009, the Nevada minimum wage for employees is either $6.55 per hour or $7.55 per hour depending on whether the employer offers qualified health insurance to its employees and their dependents. These two rates will be adjusted every July 1st, and will be communicated in advance via an Annual Minimum Wage Bulletin on April 1st of the same year.

Effective July 1, 2010 pursuant to Article 15 section 16(A) the following minimum wage rates apply to all employees in the state of Nevada unless otherwise exempted of no less than $7.25 per hour for employees to whom qualifying health benefits have been made available by the employer and for all other employees no less than $8.25 per hour.

Regulations meant to clarify this amendment went into effect October 31, 2007. (NAC 608.100), (NAC 608.102), (NAC 608.104), (NAC 608.106), (NAC 608.108)

Can tips be applied toward an employee’s statutory minimum wage?

No, Nevada law does not allow tips to be applied as credit toward the payment of the statutory minimum wage. (NRS 608.160)

When is an employer required to pay an employee weekly overtime and/or daily overtime?

An employer must always pay a non-exempt employee overtime when he/she works over 40 hours in a workweek. Nevada law requires employers to pay daily overtime to employees who work more than 8 hours in a “workday” (as defined by Nevada Revised Statute) if they earn less than one and one-half times the minimum wage.

Effective July 1, 2009 the following amounts are the wage rates which daily overtime may be applicable.  For employees to whom qualifying health benefits have been made available by the employer if the employee is paid less than $9.825 per hour.  For all other employees if they employee is paid less than $11.325 per hour.

Effective July 1, 2010 the following amounts are the wage rates which daily overtime may be applicable. For employees to whom qualifying health benefits have been made available by the employer if the employee is paid less than $10.875 per hour.  For all other employees if they employee is paid less than $12.375 per hour.

What are the required periods for rest breaks?

Unless an employee is exempt pursuant to NRS 608.019 Nevada law requires employers to permit their employees to take at least one paid 10-minute rest period for every 4 hours worked, or major fraction thereof. The rest periods, which, insofar as practicable, must be in the middle of each work period. Authorized rest period shall be counted as hours worked, for which there shall be no deduction from wages.

NAC 608.145 According to the adopted regulations of the Labor Commissioner (effective 08/25/04), the number of rest periods are as follows:

If the employee works: They must be permitted:
Less than 3 ½ hours No rest period required
3 ½ continuous hours and less than 7 continuous hours One 10-minute rest period
7 continuous hours and less than 11 continuous hours Two 10-minute rest periods
11 continuous hours and less than 15 continuous hours Three 10-minute rest periods
15 continuous hours and less than 19 continuous hours Four 10-minute rest periods

An unpaid lunch break is not considered when determining the number of hours worked by an employee for the purposes of this subsection.  NOTE: An employee may voluntarily agree to forego any rest period or meal period. The employer has the burden to prove the existence of any such agreement. (NRS 608.019)

This section does not apply to:

(a) Situations where only one person is employed at a particular place of employment.

(b) Employees included within the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement.

An employer may apply to the Labor Commissioner for an exemption from providing to all or to one or more defined categories of his or her employees one or more of the benefits conferred by this section. The Labor Commissioner may grant the exemption if the Labor Commissioner believes the employer has shown sufficient evidence that business necessity precludes providing such benefits. Any exemption so granted shall apply to members of either sex.

The Labor Commissioner may by regulation exempt a defined category of employers from providing to all or to one or more defined categories of their employees one or more of the benefits conferred by this section, upon the Labor Commissioner’s own motion or upon the application of an association of employers. Each such application shall be considered at a hearing and may be granted if the Labor Commissioner finds that business necessity precludes providing that particular benefit or benefits to the employees affected. Any exemption so granted shall apply to members of either sex.  (Added to NRS by 1975, 1583; A 1977, 82)

Are employers required to give their employees lunch breaks?

Yes, in Nevada an employer shall not employ an employee for a continuous period of 8 hours without permitting the employee to have an uninterrupted meal period of at least 30 minutes. Lunch breaks need not be paid. (NRS 608.019)  No less than 30 minutes interrupts a continuous period of work for the purposes of this subsection.

How often must employees be paid?

Wages must be paid at least semi-monthly (twice a month) or more often. Wages or compensation earned and unpaid before the first day of any month is due not later than 8 a.m. on the 15th day of the month following that in which the wages or compensation was earned. Wages or compensation earned and unpaid before the 16th day of any month is due not later than 8 a.m. on the last day of the same month. (NRS 608.060)

Does an employer need to establish regular Paydays and time and place of payment.

(NRS 608.080) Yes, every employer shall establish and maintain regular paydays and shall post in at least two conspicuous places a notice where it can be seen by the employees.  The employer shall not change a regular payday or the place of payment unless they give the employees at least seven days written notice before the change is made.

The notice may include alternative paydays for use if a regular payday occurs on a non-business day, including a Saturday, Sunday or Holiday.  Information may include alternate pay methods including electronic payment systems, direct deposit, debit card or similar payment systems. (NAC 608.135)

Under what circumstances may an employer withhold a portion of an employee’s paycheck?

Other than deductions required by federal and state law, employee contributions to a benefit program, such as health insurance or a pension plan an employer may not withhold, deduct, or divert any part of an employee’s earned wages unless the deduction is for the benefit of the employee.  Except as otherwise noted above an employer may not deduct any amount unless the employer has a reasonable basis to believe that the employee is responsible for the amount being deducted by the employer, the deduction is for a specific purpose, pay period and amount and the employee voluntarily authorizes the employer, in writing, to deduct the amount from the wages. (NRS 608.110)

What pay records must an employer keep?

It is the responsibility of the employer, to keep accurate records of the wages it pays its employees. This would include the total number of hours worked per day in the pay period. The records must be maintained by the employer for a 2-year period following the entry of information in the record. (NRS 608.115)  The employer is required to provide the records of wages to the employee within 10 days after a request by an employee.

How soon must an employer pay an employee who is discharged or laid off?

Wages and compensation earned and unpaid at the time of termination shall become due and payable immediately. However, employers are not penalized for delaying payment for up to three days after the discharge or lay off. )(NRS 608.020) and (NRS 608.040)

How soon must an employer pay an employee who quits or resigns?

(NRS 608.030)  Wages and compensation earned and unpaid at the time of the employee’s resignation must be paid no later than the day on which they would have regularly been paid the wages or compensation or within 7 days, whichever is earlier. Commissions are to be paid at the regularly scheduled time.

Is an employer required to pay an employee unused vacation or other accrued leave upon termination of employment?

No, FLSA does not regulate non-work pay and Nevada law requires payment only for time worked and does not require payment for vacation or sick time. However, employers should use caution not to conflict with their existing policies or past practices. (NRS 608.016)  Employers may craft a company policy defining how and when the company pays out accrued vacation and sick pay.

Can an employer require an employee to purchase a distinctive uniform, or charge them for special cleaning of the uniform?

No, all uniforms or accessories distinctive as to style, color or material shall be furnished, without cost, to the employee by the employer.  If a uniform or accessory requires special cleaning process, and cannot be easily laundered by an employee, the employer shall clean the uniform or accessory without cost to the employee. (NRS 608.165)

Is Nevada an “employment-at-will” state, and what does that mean?

Yes, Nevada is considered an employment-at-will state. This means that an employee or employer may terminate services with or without notice and with or without causes.  Employers should use caution when applying this doctrine so that you do not conflict with the company’s progressive disciplinary policies or past practices, or conflict with anti-discrimination or contractual laws.  Discretion and caution should be used whenever terminating an employee and proper documentation should be used to support your reason for termination.

Can an employer require an employee to belong to a labor organization?

No, Nevada is considered a “Right to Work State”.  No person shall be denied to opportunity to obtain or retain employment because of non-membership in a labor organization, nor shall the State, or any subdivision thereof or any corporation, individual or association of any kind enter into any agreement, written or oral, which excludes any person from employment or continuation of employment because of non-membership in a labor organization. (NRS 613.250, NRS 613.260, NRS 613.270 and NRS 613.280)

Is an employer required to allow employees to leave work to vote?

Yes. Any registered voter may absent himself from his place of employment at a time to be designated by the employer for a sufficient time to vote, if it is impracticable for him to vote before or after his hours of employment (must be liberally construed to achieve its purpose of ensuring that employees have an opportunity to vote). Such voter may not, because of such absence, be discharged, disciplined or penalized, nor shall any deduction be made from his usual salary or wages by reason of such absence. Application for leave of absence to vote shall be made to the employer or person authorized to grant such leave prior to the day of the election. A sufficient time to vote shall be determined as follows (distance between the place of employment and the polling place where employee votes/time allowed to vote): (NRS 293.463)

Distance Time Allowed to Vote
2 miles or less 1 hour
More than 2 miles, but no more than 10 miles 2 hours
More than 10 miles 3 hours

Is an employer required to give employees time off for jury duty?

Yes. It is illegal for an employer to discharge, or threaten to discharge an employee as a consequence of his/her service as a juror or prospective juror. Although an employee’s position and benefits must be maintained, an employer is not required to pay wages during his/her service as a juror or prospective juror. Also, an employer may not require the employee to use sick leave or vacation time; or, require the employee to work: (1) within 8 hours before the time at which he is to appear for jury duty; or (2) if his service has lasted for 4 hours or more on the day of his appearance for jury duty, including his time going to and returning from the place where the court is held, between 5 p.m. on the day of his appearance for jury duty and 3 a.m. the following day. (NRS 6.190)

Is an employer required to give employees time off to attend school conferences?

Yes, Assembly Bill 243 requires employers with 50 or more employees to grant 4 hours of unpaid leave per school year, per child, to parents, guardians and custodians of children to participate in certain school activities.

The employer may require an employee to provide a written request at least 5 school days before the leave is taken and to provide proof that the employee attended or was involved at the school or school-related activity.

If the employee is notified by the school of an emergency regarding the child, attends a conference at the request of a school administrator or takes leave to attend school-related activities it is unlawful for an employer to terminate, demote, suspend or otherwise discriminate against the employee.

Is an employer required to give employees time off when they have been summoned to attend a court proceeding?

Yes. It is unlawful for an employer to terminate or threaten to terminate the employment of a person who is a witness or who has received a summons to appear as a witness in a judicial or administrative proceeding. (NRS 50.070)

Under what circumstances may an employer decrease the employee’s rate of compensation?

An employer may decrease an employee’s wage, salary or compensation as long as they notify the employee in writing at least seven days prior to the decrease and before any work was performed.  (NRS 608.100)

What pay obligations does an employer have when the time changes in the Spring and Fall?

Where an employee works at the beginning of the change to daylight saving time, only a seven-hour shift but receives pay for an additional hour, the payment for the hour not worked need not be included in computing the employee’s regular rate and may not be credited toward overtime compensation due under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) if overtime is worked during the other days in the week. Shift workers on duty at this time who normally work an eight-hour shift will actually work an extra our, for a total of nine hours of work on that day. Employees MUST be paid for all nine hours of work under the FLSA. They are also entitled to overtime for all hours worked in excess of 40 worked during the week, including the extra hour worked during the conversion to standard time.

What employment laws do employers have to comply with?

Employers are subject to Federal as well as State employment laws. The following information is a brief description of these laws so keep in mind that these requirements may have additional stipulations not listed here. Nevada generally mirrors these federal laws with the noted exceptions below. Again, this list is not all inclusive and should not be interpreted as legal advice and should only be used as a general description of the law or regulation.

Employment Law: Definition:
Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)1986 Prohibits employers from hiring illegal aliens and requires them to verify that employees are legally entitled to work in this country. It also bans discrimination based on national origin or citizenship status. All employers
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) Requires safe and healthful working conditions. It authorizes enforcement of certain standards, assists and encourages the states in their efforts to assure safe and healthful working conditions, and provides research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health. All employers
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act Prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.  It covers both intentional discrimination or discrimination in effect and considers sexual harassment a form of sex discrimination. 15 or more employees
Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) Prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. It does not require pregnancy leave, but does require that any employer short-term disability plans apply to pregnancy 15 or more employees
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals with disabilities in all aspects of employment. It requires employers to “reasonably accommodate” qualified disabled applicants and employees unless it would impose an “undue hardship” to do so. 15 or more employees
Amendment to Chapter 613 of the Nevada Revised Statutes Adds “sexual orientation” to the list of protected classifications for Nevada employers 15 or more employees
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) Prohibits employment practices that discriminate on basis of age, unless age is a bona fide occupational qualification or the practice is based on “reasonable factors other than age.” 20 or more employees labor unions with 25 or more members, local and state governments, and employment agencies.
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) Applies to employers that offer group health coverage. They must offer separated employees (and dependents) the option of retaining the employer’s health insurance coverage at their own expense for a period of up to 18 months (36 months for certain dependents). Employers that offer a health plan and have 20 or more employees
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Requires employers to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period. Employee jobs and benefits are protected during these leaves, which may be granted for the birth or adoption of a child, for the employee’s serious health condition, or to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition. 50 or more employees in a 75 mile radius
Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) Imposes restrictions on the way layoffs are handled. It is designed to give employees advance notice of the layoff in order to find another job, to seek retraining in a new occupation, and to give state dislocated-worker units adequate preparation to assist affected workers. 100 or more employees
Executive Order 11246 (written Affirmative Action Plan) Requires nondiscriminatory employment practices and implementation of a written affirmative action plan for women and minorities by all government contractors and sub-contractors. Non-construction (i.e., supply and service) contractors and subcontractors with 50 or more employees AND at least one government contract for $50,000 or more
EEO-1 Reporting 100 or more employees OR contractors and subcontractors with 50 or more employees AND at least one government contract for $50,000 or more
Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) Protects employees from being discharged by their employers because their wages have been garnished for any one debt and limits the amount of employees’ earnings which may be garnished in any one week. All employers
Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994 Regulates third-party access to individual driving record information. All employers
Employee Polygraph Protection Act Prohibits employers from requiring employees or prospective employees to submit to lie detector tests and makes it illegal to use or inquire about a lie detector test conducted by someone else. All employers
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Ensures that employees get pension and other benefits promised by their employers. It also requires tax-favored pension plans to provide benefits in a way that doesn’t favor the highest-paid employees. All employers
Equal Pay Act Requires all employers engaged in interstate commerce to pay men and women equal wages for work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions. All employers
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Allows credit-reporting agencies to provide background financial and personal information on prospective and current employees to employers. All employers
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA, or Wage and Hour Law) Applies to employers engaged in interstate commerce, which means virtually all employers. It sets minimum hourly wages (usually the federal minimum wage), training wages, overtime hours and rates (generally one-and-a-half times the regular pay for work in excess of 40 hours per week for non-salaried employees), and regulates the employment of children under 18. If state and federal law conflict, employers must follow the one most favorable to the employee. All employers
Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) Requires that taxes be collected from both employers and employees to fund the Social Security program. All employers
Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) Together with state unemployment systems, provides temporary benefits for discharged employees who earned a minimum weekly amount for a specified period preceding the claim. Employees usually can’t claim benefits if they lost the job due to misconduct, quit without good cause, or refuse an offer of suitable employment without good cause. All employers
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Creates national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and gives patients more control over their health information. All employers
Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA) Prohibits most group health plans with more than 50 workers from imposing annual or lifetime dollar limits on mental health benefits that are lowerless favorable-than the annual or lifetime dollar limits for medical and surgical benefits offered under the plan.
National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935 (also known as the Wagner Act) Designed to promote collective bargaining between labor and management and to assure workers the right to organize and join a union without fear of reprisal. All employers
Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act Requires health-insurance plans to cover post delivery hospitalization for at least 48 hours following a normal delivery and 96 hours following a cesarean section.
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 Requires every state to operate a child support enforcement program. Employers must report each newly hired worker to a state “directory of new hires” within 20 days of hiring by submitting the employee’s W-4 form or equivalent document containing the worker’s name, address, and Social Security number. All employers
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Prohibits employers who receive federal government contracts or financial assistance from practicing employment discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 Requires notices of 401(k) blackout periods, bars directors and executives from trading employer stock during blackout periods, and increases the criminal penalties for ERISA violations. All employers
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) Is intended to minimize the disadvantages to an individual that occur when that person needs to be absent from his or her civilian employment to serve in this country’s uniformed services. All employers
Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974 Requires covered contractors and subcontractors to take affirmative steps to employ qualified Vietnam era, special disabled, recently separated, and other protected veterans. This obligation covers the full range of employment and personnel practices, such as recruitment, hiring, rates of pay, upgrading, and selection for training.