Discipline and termination

State procedures

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

If an employer has an established discipline procedure and policy, it must be followed (Beales v. Hillhaven, 825 P.2d 212 (1992)).

At-will or notice

At-will status and/or notice period?

Nevada is an at-will state.

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 or placed on a “nonworking status” must be paid all earned wages immediately (Nev. Rev. Stat. §608.020). “Nonworking status” means a temporary layoff during which the employee remains employed and may be called back to work at some point in the future. “Nonworking status” does not include circumstances where: (i) the employer places the employee on an investigatory or disciplinary suspension; (ii) the employer places the employee “on call”; or (iii) the employee is on an approved leave of absence. 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).