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State snapshot

Key considerations
Which issues would you most highlight to someone new to your state?

Nevada employment law has numerous unique provisions, some of which go beyond what is required by federal law. Highlights of some key state law differences include the following:

  • Nevada has two different minimum wage rates: an hourly rate for employees who receive qualified health benefits from their employer, and a higher hourly rate for employees who do not receive qualified employer-provided health benefits. There has been some controversy recently regarding the circumstances in which paying the lower minimum wage rate is permissible, and the Nevada Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision on this matter during 2016.
  • Nevada requires that employers provide a meal period of at least half an hour to employees working a continuous eight-hour period. Rest periods of at least 10 minutes are required for every four hours worked, or a major fraction of four hours (interpreted by regulation to mean at least three and a half continuous hours).
  • Overtime pay is required for non-exempt employees on a daily and weekly basis. Despite some overlap, Nevada’s overtime exemptions differ from the federal overtime exemptions, so both Nevada state and federal law must be analysed for exemption purposes.
  • No tip credit is permitted to offset the minimum wage.
  • Sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and the need to use a service animal at work are additional protected categories under the Nevada Fair Employment Practices Act.
  • Employers must not discriminate based on an employee’s use of a lawful product outside the employer’s premises during non-working hours, as long as the use does not affect the employee’s ability to perform his or her job or the safety of others.
  • The Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that safety training be provided to every new hire and that a safety person or committee be appointed (for employers of certain size).
  • Nevada’s medical marijuana law requires that employers make reasonable accommodations for the medical needs of employees who use medical marijuana with a valid registry identification card in certain circumstances.
  • Leave for school-related activities must be provided by employers of 50 or more employees.
  • Employers must provide required uniforms and accessories at no cost to employees, and if not easily laundered employers must clean them for free.

What do you consider unique to those doing business in your state?

Nevada is one of the few states with no corporate income tax, no personal income tax, and no estate or inheritance tax. There is also no franchise tax and relatively low start-up, regulatory, and licensing fees.

Nevada’s economy is led by tourism and gaming, with mining, warehousing and logistics, aerospace, and the military providing significant employment within the state. Northern Nevada has recently acquired recognition for being a good place for entrepreneurs, and it is actively striving to promote this image.

Is there any general advice you would give in the labor/employment area?

In the absence of a contract, employment relationships in Nevada are presumed to be at will, terminable with or without cause or notice. An implied contract may be created through written or oral statements, including oral representations made by managers or statements contained in employee handbooks or other materials. It is important that employee handbooks and other employment documents include express disclaimers that such handbooks or documents do not constitute a contract, either express or implied.

Nevada employment law differs from federal law and some other U.S. states’ employment laws in numerous ways:

  • Nevada has two different minimum wage rates: an hourly rate for employees who receive qualified health benefits from their employer, and a higher hourly rate for those who do not receive qualified employer-provided health benefits.
  • Nevada requires that employers provide a meal period of at least half an hour to employees working a continuous eight-hour period. Rest periods of at least 10 minutes are required for every four hours worked, or a major fraction of four hours (interpreted by regulation to mean at least three and a half continuous hours).
  • Overtime pay is required for non-exempt employees on a daily and weekly basis. Despite some overlap, Nevada’s overtime exemptions differ from federal overtime exemptions, so both Nevada state and federal law must be analysed for exemption purposes.
  • No tip credit is permitted to offset the minimum wage.
  • Sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and the need to use a service animal at work are additional protected categories under the Nevada Fair Employment Practices Act.
  • Employers may not discriminate based on an employee’s use of a lawful product outside the employer’s premises during non-working hours, as long as the use does not affect the employee’s ability to perform his or her job or the safety of others.
  • The Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that safety training be provided to every new hire and that a safety person or committee be appointed (depending on the size of the employer).
  • Nevada’s medical marijuana law requires that employers make reasonable accommodations for the medical needs of employees who use medical marijuana with a valid registry identification card in certain circumstances.
  • Leave for school-related activities must be provided by employers of 50 or more employees.
  • Employers must provide required uniforms and accessories at no cost to employees, and if not easily laundered, employers must clean them for free.

Emerging issues
What are the emerging trends in employment law in your state, including the interplay with other areas of law, such as firearms legislation, legalization of marijuana and privacy?

There is little guidance in Nevada to assist employers in determining their obligation to provide a reasonable accommodation of an employee’s use of marijuana for medical purposes under Nevada’s medical marijuana law. This emerging area of law will be key to watch in the future.

Proposals for reform
Are there any noteworthy proposals for reform in your state?

The Nevada legislature is not in session in 2016, but will be in session in 2017. 

Employment relationship

State-specific laws
What state-specific laws govern the employment relationship?

Title 53 of the Nevada Revised Statutes on Labor and Industrial Relations contains the majority of the laws governing employer-employee relationships. Chapter 608 addresses compensation, wages, and hours. Chapter 609 addresses employment of minors. Chapter 613 contains the state’s anti-discrimination and fair employment practices laws. Chapter 612 deals with unemployment compensation, and Chapter 616 addresses industrial insurance (workers’ compensation). 

Nevada’s Administrative Code includes rules governing employment-related matters. The chapter numbers for the code generally correspond to the related chapter of the Nevada Revised Statutes (e.g., Chapter 608 of the code contains compensation, wages, and hours rules to correspond with Chapter 608 of the statutes on those same topics).

Who do these cover, including categories of workers?

Depending on the specific provision, these laws generally cover employees. Some provisions, including fair employment practices laws, also apply to applicants for employment. Chapter 608 of the Nevada Revised Statutes does not apply to public employers.

Misclassification
Are there state-specific rules regarding employee/contractor misclassification?

Nevada sets forth different tests for independent contractor status under various employment laws.

For wage and hour purposes, a person is conclusively presumed to be an independent contractor if certain criteria are met (See S.B. 224, effective June 2 2015, amending Nev. Rev. Stat. Ch. 608).

For workers’ compensation purposes under Nevada’s Industrial Insurance Act, an “independent contractor” is defined as:

“any person who renders service for a specified recompense for a specified result, under the control of the person’s principal as to the result of the person’s work only and not as to the means by which such result is accomplished.” (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 616A.255).

The contractor must operate as an independent enterprise, which is not in the “same trade, business, profession or occupation” as the company. An “independent enterprise” is:

“a person who holds himself or herself out as being engaged in a separate business and: (a) [h]olds a business ... license in his own name; or (b) [o]wns, rents or leases property used in furtherance of his business.” (Hays Home Delivery, Inc. v. Employers Ins. Co. of Nevada, 31 P.3d 367, 370 (2001)).

A different test applies in construction cases.

For unemployment compensation purposes, Nevada uses an “ABC” test, pursuant to which “employment” excludes work performed as follows:

  • the person has been and will continue to be free from control or direction over the performance of the services, both by contract and in fact;
  • the service is either outside the usual course of the business for which the service is performed or that service is performed outside of all the places of business of the enterprises for which the service is performed; and
  • the service is performed in the course of an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business in which the person is customarily engaged, of the same nature as that involved in the contract of service (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 612.085).

Contracts
Must an employment contract be in writing?

No, an express contract for employment may be made either orally or in writing (Am. Bank Stationery v. Farmer, 799 P.2d 1100 (Nev. 1990); see also Ringle v. Bruton, 86 P.3d 1032 (Nev. 2004)).

An employer’s written materials, including employee handbooks and personnel policies, as well as oral representation made by the hiring authority or management may constitute an implied employment contract (Am. Bank Stationery v. Farmer, 799 P.2d 1100 (Nev. 1990)). However, an employer may avoid the inference of an implied contract by including an express disclaimer stating that the handbook and policies do not create an express or implied contract (D’Angelo v. Gardner, 819 P.2d 206 (Nev. 1991)).

Are any terms implied into employment contracts?

Under Nevada law, each contract contains an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. An employer breaches that implied covenant when, acting in bad faith, it discharges an employee who has established contractual rights of continued employment and who has developed a relationship of trust, reliance and dependency with the employer (D’Angelo v. Gardner, 819 P.2d 206 (Nev. 1991)). Liability is typically limited to the rare cases where the party in the superior or entrusted position has engaged in “grievous and perfidious misconduct” (K Mart Corp. v. Ponsock, 732 P.2d 1364 (Nev. 1987), abrogated on other grounds by Ingersoll–Rand Co. v. McClendon, 498 U.S. 133, 111 S.Ct. 478, 112 L.Ed.2d 474 (1990)).

Are mandatory arbitration agreements enforceable?

Pursuant to Nevada’s Uniform Arbitration Act, an agreement to submit to arbitration any existing or subsequent controversy arising between the parties is valid, enforceable and irrevocable, except on certain grounds, such as where the agreement fails to include specific affirmative authorization to arbitrate, or on grounds to revoke the contract under established contractual principles (Nev. Rev. Stat. §38.219). As a matter of public policy, Nevada courts favor arbitration and liberally construe arbitration clauses in favor of granting arbitration (Tallman v. Eighth Jud. Dist. Ct., 359 P.3d 113 (Nev. 2015); Kindred v. Second Jud. Dist. Ct., 996 P.2d 903 (Nev. 2000)).

How can employers make changes to existing employment agreements?

Oral modifications of an existing contractual agreement are permissible (Silver Dollar Club v. Cosgriff Neon Co., Inc., 389 P.2d 923 (Nev. 1964)). However, best practice would be to record any contractual changes in writing, signed by both parties.

Hiring

Advertising
What are the requirements relating to advertising open positions?

It is unlawful to induce, influence, persuade or engage workers to change from one place to another through means of false or deceptive representations, false advertising, or false pretences concerning the character of the work, the amount of pay, sanitary or other work conditions, or the existence of a strike or other labor unrest (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 613.010). In addition, employment agencies may not knowingly send an applicant to any place where a strike, lockout or other labor trouble exists without providing the applicant with a written statement of that fact and retaining a copy signed by the applicant for one year (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 611.290). Employers must also comply with the anti-discrimination provisions of the Nevada Equal Opportunities for Employment Act (Nev. Rev. Stat. §613.310 et seq.).

Background checks
What can employers do with regard to background checks and inquiries?

(a) Criminal records and arrests
Nevada law does not restrict an employer’s use of criminal history records for arrests and convictions. However, the Nevada Equal Rights Commission pre-employment guidelines discourage inquiries regarding arrests that did not result in conviction.

(b) Medical history
It is unlawful for a Nevada employer to:

  • ask or encourage an employee or job applicant to submit to a genetic test;
  • require or administer a genetic test to a person as a condition of employment;
  • deny employment based on genetic information;
  • alter the terms, conditions or privileges of employment based on genetic information; or
  • terminate employment based on genetic information (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 613.345).

(c) Drug screening
Nevada has no state law regulating drug and alcohol testing by private employers. However, employers should note that Nevada’s medical marijuana statute provides that employers may need to accommodate the medical use of marijuana outside the workplace, so care should be exercised when denying employment due to a positive drug test for marijuana.

Covered public employers must comply with alcohol and drug-testing procedures set forth in Nev. Rev. Stat. § 284.406 et seq.

(d) Credit checks
Nevada restricts the use credit reports by employers. Generally, employers cannot require, request, suggest, or cause employees or applicants to submit to a credit report as a condition of employment, unless an exception exists. In addition, employers may not discipline, discharge, or discriminate against an employee or applicant on the basis of a credit report, or the failure to provide a credit report.

Exceptions that allow the use of credit reports in the employment context include:

  • when required or authorized by state or federal law;
  • when based on reasonable belief, the individual has engaged in specific activity that may constitute a violation of law; and
  • when credit information is reasonably related to the position for which the employee or applicant is being considered.

The information in the consumer credit report or other credit information shall be deemed reasonably related to such an evaluation if the duties of the position involve:

  • the care, custody and handling of, or responsibility for, money, financial accounts, corporate credit or debit cards, or other assets;
  • access to trade secrets or other proprietary or confidential information;
  • managerial or supervisory responsibility;
  • the direct exercise of law enforcement authority as an employee of a state or local law enforcement agency;
  • the care, custody and handling of, or responsibility for, the personal information of another person;
  • access to the personal financial information of another person;
  • employment with a financial institution that is chartered under state or federal law, including a subsidiary or affiliate of such a financial institution; or
  • employment with a licensed gaming establishment (Nev. Rev. Stat. §613.520 et seq.).

(e) Immigration status
There is no Nevada law regarding immigration or employment eligibility verification. However, if the U.S. Attorney General finds that a person who holds a state business license has engaged in the unlawful hiring or employment of an unauthorized alien, the Nevada Tax Commission will hold a hearing to determine whether to take action against the person, which may include administrative fines. Evidence that the business attempted to verify the social security number of the unauthorized alien within six months of the hire date may be used as prima facie evidence that the violation was not willful, flagrant or otherwise egregious (Nev. Rev. Stat. §360.796).

(f) Social media
Nevada employers may not directly or indirectly require, request, suggest, or cause any employee or applicant to disclose the user name, password, or any other information that provides access to the individual’s personal social media account. Employers also may not discharge, discipline, or discriminate against any employee or applicant for refusing or failing to disclose such information (Nev. Rev. Stat. §613.135).

(g) Other
Under Nevada Law, employers cannot discriminate based on an employee’s use of a lawful product outside the employer’s premises during non-working hours, as long as the use does not affect the employee’s ability to perform his or her job or the safety of others (Nev. Rev. Stat. §613.333). Consequently, employers should be careful when inquiring about off-duty use of lawful products, such as tobacco.

Wage and hour

Pay
What are the main sources of wage and hour laws in your state?

Nevada Revised Statutes, Chapter 608, Compensation, Wages and Hours; and the Nevada Constitution, Article XV, Section 16.

What is the minimum hourly wage?

Nevada has two different minimum wage rates, depending on whether the employer provides qualified health benefits. As of January 1 2016, the minimum wage for employees who receive qualified health benefits from their employers is $7.25 per hour. The minimum wage rate for employees who do not receive qualified health benefits is $8.25 per hour. Pursuant to the Nevada Constitution, the minimum wage rate is reviewed each year and can be adjusted each July.

Nevada employers may not use any tip income to offset the minimum wage requirement (Nev. Rev. Stat. §608.160).

What are the rules applicable to final pay and deductions from wages?

An employee who is terminated must be paid all earned wages immediately (Nev. Rev. Stat. §608.020). When an employee resigns or quits his or her employment, the wages and compensation earned must be paid no later than the day on which the employee would have been regularly paid, or seven days after the resignation, whichever is earlier (Nev. Rev. Stat. §§608.020; 608.030). If an employee’s wages are not paid in a timely manner, employers may be liable for a waiting time penalty of up to 30 days’ wages.

Generally, deductions from wages are permitted for any dues, rates or assessments becoming due to any hospital association or relief, savings or other department or association maintained by the employer or employees for the benefit of employees, or other deductions authorized by written order of an employee. The authorization from the employee must be specific to the circumstance leading to the deduction (i.e., specific purpose of the withholding, amount to be withheld, and pay period for which the withholding is to be made). Blanket pre-authorizations are not permitted (Nev. Admin. Code 608.160). Employers must provide an itemized list showing the deductions from the total amount of wages (Nev. Rev. Stat. §608.110).

Hours and overtime
What are the requirements for meal and rest breaks?

Nevada requires that employers provide a meal period of at least half an hour to employees working a continuous eight-hour period. Rest periods of at least 10 minutes are required for every four hours worked, or a major fraction of four hours (interpreted by regulation to mean at least three and a half continuous hours) (Nev. Rev. Stat. §608.019; Nev. Admin. Code §608.145).

Pursuant to Section 608.145 of the Nevada Administrative Code, employees are entitled to the following rest periods:

  • one 10-minute rest period if the employee works at least three-and-a-half continuous hours and less than seven continuous hours;
  • two 10-minute rest periods if the employee works at least seven continuous hours and less than 11 continuous hours;
  • three 10-minute rest periods if the employee works at least 11 continuous hours and less than 15 continuous hours; or
  • four 10-minute rest periods if the employee works at least 15 continuous hours and less than 19 continuous hours.

Employees may agree to voluntarily forgo any rest period or meal period, but the employer must be able to show the existence of such an agreement. 

What are the maximum hour rules?

Nevada employees engaged in work in underground mines cannot work more than eight hours within any 24-hour period (Nev. Rev. Stat. §608.200).

With limited exceptions, minors under the age of 16 may not work more than 48 hours in any week, or more than eight hours in any day (Nev. Rev. Stat. §609.240).

For overtime purposes, unless an exception applies, Nevada requires that overtime pay be paid to non-exempt employees at one-and-a-half times their regular hourly rate for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per working week, and on a daily basis for hours worked over eight hours per day (Nev. Rev. Stat. §608.018).

How should overtime be calculated?

Nevada requires that overtime pay be paid to non-exempt employees at one-and-a-half times their regular hourly rate for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per working week, and on a daily basis for hours worked over eight hours per day. Daily overtime is calculated based on the 24-hour period beginning at the start of each shift, not based on a calendar day. Employers and employees may agree to a schedule of four 10-hour shifts that will not trigger the daily overtime requirement (Nev. Rev. Stat. §608.018).

What exemptions are there from overtime?

Nevada exemptions from overtime include:

  • employees not covered by the state minimum wage provisions (this provision is controversial, as it refers to minimum wage exemptions that are no longer in effect);
  • outside buyers;
  • employees in a retail or service business if their regular rate is more than one-and-a-half times the minimum wage and more than half of their compensation is from commission;
  • employees in executive, administrative, and professional capacities;
  • employees covered by collective bargaining agreements which otherwise provide for overtime;
  • employees of businesses with a gross sales volume of less than $250,000 per year; and
  • additional categories for employees in particular industries (Nev. Rev. Stat. §608.018).

Record keeping
What payroll and payment records must be maintained?

Nevada requires that the following records be kept by employers for two years for each pay period for each employee:

  • gross wage or salary other than compensation for services, food, housing or clothing;
  • deductions;
  • net case wage or salary;
  • total hours employed in the pay period by noting the number of hours per day; and
  • date of payment (Nev. Rev. Stat. §608.115).

Federal payroll record-keeping requirements exist under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Discrimination, harassment and family leave

What is the state law in relation to:
Protected categories

(a) Age?
It is unlawful for a Nevada employer to fail or refuse to hire, or to discharge or otherwise discriminate against any person with respect to the person’s compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of age (Nev. Rev. Stat. §613.330).

(b) Race?
It is unlawful for a Nevada employer to fail or refuse to hire, or to discharge or otherwise discriminate against any person with respect to the person’s compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of race or color (Nev. Rev. Stat. §613.330).

(c) Disability?
It is unlawful for a Nevada employer to fail or refuse to hire, or to discharge or otherwise discriminate against any person with respect to the person’s compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of disability (Nev. Rev. Stat. §613.330). In addition, it is unlawful for an employer to refuse to permit an employee with a disability to keep the employee’s service animal with him or her at all times in the place of employment (Id.).

(d) Gender?
It is unlawful for a Nevada employer to fail or refuse to hire, or to discharge or otherwise discriminate against any person with respect to the person’s compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of gender (Nev. Rev. Stat. §613.330).

(e) Sexual orientation?
It is unlawful for a Nevada employer to fail or refuse to hire, or to discharge or otherwise discriminate against any person with respect to the person’s compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (Nev. Rev. Stat. §613.330).

(f) Religion?
It is unlawful for a Nevada employer to fail or refuse to hire, or to discharge or otherwise discriminate against any person with respect to the person’s compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of religion (Nev. Rev. Stat. §613.330).

(g) Medical?
It is unlawful for a Nevada employer to ask or encourage an employee or applicant to submit to a genetic test, require or administer a genetic test to a person as a condition of employment or deny employment, alter the terms, conditions or privileges of employment, or terminate employment based on genetic information (Nev. Rev. Stat. §613.345).

(h) Other?
An additional protected class under Nevada law is national origin (Nev. Rev. Stat. §613.330).

Employers are prohibited from refusing to grant leave to pregnant employees on the same terms as are otherwise offered to employees with other medical conditions (Nev. Rev. Stat. §613.335).

Under Nevada Law, employers may not discriminate based on an employee’s use of a lawful product outside the employer’s premises during non-working hours, as long as the use does not affect the employee’s ability to perform his or her job or the safety of others (Nev. Rev. Stat. §613.333).

Harassment
What is the state law in relation to harassment?

Nevada’s Fair Employment Practices Act does not specifically mention or address harassment in the workplace. However, Nevada courts typically follow federal law (e.g., Title VII) when interpreting claims of workplace harassment (e.g., Chavez v. Sievers, 43 P.3d 1022 (Nev. 2002)). 

Family and medical leave
What is the state law in relation to family and medical leave?

Nevada has no state family and medical leave law. 

Privacy in the workplace

Privacy and monitoring
What are employees’ rights with regard to privacy and monitoring?

Nevada law on privacy in the employment context is not well developed. However, Nevada courts have given private employers wide latitude in monitoring thier workplace and facilities, especially where employer policies provide for such monitoring (common sense must be followed with respect to areas where privacy can legitimately be expected – e.g., restrooms and changing rooms).

Nevada law requires two-party consent before recording telephone conversations or other wire communications, but only one-party consent is required for recording “in-person” conversations (Nev. Rev. Stat. §§200.620; 200.650).

Are there state rules protecting social media passwords in the employment context and/or on employer monitoring of employee social media accounts?

Nevada employers may not directly or indirectly require, request, suggest, or cause any employee or applicant to disclose the user name, password, or any other information that provides access to the individual’s personal social media account. Employers also may not discharge, discipline, or discriminate against any employee or applicant for refusing or failing to disclose such information (Nev. Rev. Stat. §613.135).

Bring your own device
What is the latest position in relation to bring your own device?

Nevada law does not address the issue of bring your own device.

Off-duty
To what extent can employers regulate off-duty conduct?

Under Nevada Law, employers cannot discriminate based on an employee’s use of a lawful product outside the employer’s premises during non-working hours, as long as the use does not affect the employee’s ability to perform his or her job or the safety of others (Nev. Rev. Stat. §613.333).

Gun rights
Are there state rules protecting gun rights in the employment context?

Nevada law does not directly address guns or weapons in the workplace, or an employer’s right to ban weapons in the workplace. 

Trade secrets and restrictive covenants

Intellectual Property
Who owns IP rights created by employees during the course of their employment?

Except as otherwise provided by an express written agreement, an employer is the sole owner of any patentable invention or trade secret developed during the course and scope of the employment that relates directly to work performed by an employee (Nev. Rev. Stat. §600.500).

Restrictive covenants
What types of restrictive covenants are recognized and enforceable?

Nevada allows non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants provided that they are reasonably necessary to protect the employer’s business and goodwill (Hansen v. Edwards, 426 P.2d 792 (Nev. 1967)). In fact, by statute, companies are permitted to negotiate, execute and enforce an agreement with an employee which, on termination of employment, prohibits the employee from pursuing a similar vocation in competition with or becoming employed by a competitor, or from disclosing any trade secrets, business methods, lists of customers, secret formulas, or confidential information learned or obtained during the course of employment, so long as the agreement is supported by valuable consideration and is otherwise reasonable in its scope and duration (Nev. Rev. Stat. §613.200). In determining reasonableness, Nevada courts will consider the duration of the restraint and the territory of the restriction, among other important factors (Camco v. Baker, 936 P.2d 829 (Nev. 1997)). Special rules apply with respect to the assignability of restrictive covenants.

Nevada has adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (Nev. Rev. Stat. §600A.010 et seq.).

Non-compete
Are there any special rules on non-competes for particular classes of employee?

Nevada does not prohibit non-competes for particular classes of employees or professions. However, ethics rules may prohibit (or discourage) such non-competes for certain professions (e.g., lawyers or physicians).

Labor relations

Right to work
Is the state a “right to work” state?

Yes, Nevada is a “right to work” state.

Unions and layoffs
Is the state (or a particular area) known to be heavily unionized?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, union members account for approximately 14% of wage and salary workers in Nevada. Workers in the hotel and casino industry account for a high concentration of union workers.

What rules apply to layoffs? Are there particular rules for plant closures/mass layoffs?

Nevada has no law regarding plant closures or mass layoffs for private employers. 

Discipline and termination

State procedures
Are there state-specific laws on the procedures employers must follow with regard to discipline and grievance procedures?

Nevada has no law governing private employers with regard to discipline and grievance procedures.

At-will or notice
At-will status and/or notice period?

Nevada is an at-will state, meaning that the employer or employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time with or without notice or cause. 

What restrictions apply to the above?

The at-will status can be modified by an express or implied contract.

An employer’s written materials, including employee handbooks and personnel policies, as well as oral representation made by the hiring authority or management, may constitute an implied employment contract (Am. Bank Stationery v. Farmer, 799 P.2d 1100 (Nev. 1990)). However, an employer can avoid the inference of an implied contract by including an express disclaimer that the employee handbook or policies do not establish an express or implied contract (D’Angelo v. Gardner, 819 P.2d 206 (Nev. 1991)).

In addition, Nevada recognizes a public policy exception to the at-will employment relationship in certain circumstances, such as when an employee is terminated for:

  • filing a workers’ compensation claim (Hansen v. Harrah's, 675 P.2d 394, 396-97 (Nev. 1984));
  • performing jury duty (Nev. Rev. Stat. §6.190);
  • refusing to engage in illegal conduct (Allum v. Valley Bank of Nevada, 970 P.2d 1062, 1068 (Nev. 1998)) ;
  • refusing to work in unreasonably dangerous conditions (D'Angelo v. Gardner (Western States v. Jones), 819 P.2d 206, 216 (Nev. 1991)); and
  • exposing the illegal activities of the employer to the appropriate government agency (i.e., whistleblowing) (Wiltsie v. Baby Grand Corp., 774 P.2d 432, 433 (Nev. 1989)).  

Final paychecks
Are there state-specific rules on when final paychecks are due after termination?

An employee who is fired must be paid all earned wages immediately (Nev. Rev. Stat. §608.020). When an employee resigns or quits his or her employment, the wages and compensation earned must be paid no later than the day on which the employee would have regularly been paid, or seven days after resignation, whichever is earlier (Nev. Rev. Stat. §§608.020; 608.030). Waiting time penalties may apply where final wages are not paid in a timely manner (Nev. Rev. Stat. §§608.040, 608.050).