In 2009, Nevada implemented mandatory safety training for employees performing work on construction sites. In 2017, Nevada expanded that mandatory safety training to include employees involved in the presentation or production of live entertainment, filmmaking or photography, television programs, sporting events, or theatrical performance. Through the recent passage of Senate Bill No. 119, the Nevada Legislature once again expanded mandatory safety training — this time to now include employees performing work at sites primarily used for trade shows, conventions and related activities. Senate Bill No. 119 overwhelmingly passed both the Nevada Senate and Assembly and was signed into law by Governor Sisolak on May 21, 2019.
The new law requires affected employers to provide certain training to covered workers, and more extensive training to supervisors. The bill differentiates between a “worker” and a “supervisory employee” and explicitly does not apply to a volunteer or any person who is not paid to perform work. Any “person whose primary occupation is to perform convention services work at a site” is a “worker.” The definition expressly excludes any person whose primary occupation is to perform catering, janitorial, photography, or security services, or to provide, maintain or arrange floral decorations or displays. “Convention services work” is described as constructing, installing, maintaining, operating or removing trade show or exhibition displays, loading or unloading equipment and materials, erecting or dismantling booths and structures, rigging display areas, and installing temporary electrical power for use in display areas. By contrast, “any person having authority in the interest of the employer to hire, transfer, suspend, layoff, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward or discipline other employees, or responsibility to direct them, to adjust their grievances, or effectively to recommend such action” is a “supervisory employee,” if the employee’s exercise of authority requires independent judgment and occupies a significant portion of the person’s workday.
The new law requires all “workers” to complete an OSHA-10 course, which is a 10-hour course in construction industry or general industry safety and health hazard recognition and prevention, developed by the Occupation Safety and Health Administration of the United States Department of Labor (“OSHA”), within fifteen (15) days of hire. The law requires all “supervisory employees” to complete an OSHA-30 course, which is a 30-hour course in construction industry or general industry safety and health hazard recognition and prevention developed by OSHA, within fifteen (15) days of hire. The Nevada Division of Industrial Relations of the Department of Business and Industry (hereinafter “the Division”) must pre-approve the courses taken by workers and supervisory employees to ensure they comply with the requirements of Senate Bill No. 119.
The Division will issue completion cards to employees who successfully complete the required courses. Completion cards are valid for five (5) years, and must be renewed thereafter. Employers are required to suspend or terminate any employee who fails to present a valid completion card within fifteen (15) days of hire. If an employer fails to suspend or terminate an employee, the Division is authorized to impose an administrative fine of not more than $500 for the first violation, and not more than $1,000 for the second violation. Third or subsequent violations are considered willful, and are punishable by a fine of between $5,000-$70,000 for each violation, so long as the employer is provided notice and a hearing to contest the violation.
Employers with convention services operations in Nevada should review their policies and practices to ensure compliance with the new law, which takes effect on January 1, 2021.