Nevada Wage Law explained
Nevada has labor laws that provide greater protections to employees than the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, including a higher minimum wage, and daily overtime pay in certain circumstances. On the whole, however, the state’s labor laws generally align with federal law.
Nevada’s minimum wage will increase as of July 1, 2020 to $9.00 per hour for employers who do not offer health insurance and $8.00 for those who do. It will continue to increase until it reaches $12 for jobs with no health insurance and $11 for jobs with health insurance, by 2024.
The employee does not have to accept the insurance to be paid at the lower tier. The employer is only required to offer it.
The prior minimum wage rate for 2017 up to July 1, 2020 was $8.25 per hour for employers who did not offer health insurance and $7.25 for those who did.
While minimum wage applies to most occupations and employees, there are a few exceptions. Nevada law exempts the following from both its minimum wage requirements:
- Casual babysitters
- Domestic service employees who reside in the household where they work
- Employees engaged in an agricultural pursuit for an employer who did not use more than 500 days of agricultural labor in any calendar quarter of the preceding calendar year
- Taxicab and limousine drivers
In Nevada, an employer that either requires or permits an employee to work overtime is generally required to pay that employee overtime for those hours. Overtime is considered any hours worked over 40 hours per workweek, or over 8 hours per workday if the employee’s regular pay rate is less than 1.5 times the Nevada minimum wage, and the pay for overtime hours is at least one-and-a-half times an employee’s regular pay rate.
So, if a worker makes less than one and one half times the state minimum wage ($12.375/$10.875) per hour, they are entitled to be paid overtime for time worked over 8 hours in a 24-hour period. If an employee makes more than one and one half times minimum wage, the employee would only be entitled to overtime pay for hours worked over 40 per week.
There is an exception to the daily overtime rule for employees who agree to work 4, 10 hour shifts. Even though they work more than 8 hours per day, the employer is not required to pay them time and a-half for overtime.
An employer doesn’t violate overtime laws by requiring employees to work overtime, (ie “mandatory overtime”), as long as they are properly compensated at the premium rate required by law.
While many workers in Nevada are entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours per week, there are a few exceptions.
Which workers are considered exempt or non-exempt in Nevada is largely consistent with federal law. Exempt employees are those who, due to their job duties and pay, are not legally entitled to overtime and are, therefore, “exempt” from the laws regarding overtime pay. Non-exempt employees are those whose job duties do not fit within any of the exemptions provided for under the FLSA or Nevada’s labor laws and are, therefore, entitled to overtime pay.
Most employers in Nevada must provide employees with insurance coverage, including worker’s compensation, unemployment, and temporary disability insurance. They also must pay a portion of the employment taxes related to workers’ wages and overtime pay for any non-exempt employee.
Independent contractors, on the other hand, are only entitled to the specific compensation bargained for in a contract and are not legally required to be paid a premium for overtime hours. As a result, there is a strong economic incentive for employers to misclassify employees as independent contractors in order to save on benefits and overtime pay.
Merely labeling a worker as an independent contractor, or even entering into a written agreement, is not enough to avoid the labor laws on overtime pay. There are several factors to be considered in determining if a worker in Nevada is an employee or independent contractor (a/k/a 1099 employee)
Under state law, workers in Nevada are considered independent contractors, rather than employees, if:
- They have applied for a federal employer tax identification number or Social Security number, or has filed a federal income tax return for a business or earnings for self-employment, in the previous year;
- They are working under a contract that requires them to hold a state or local business license and to maintain any necessary occupational license, insurance, or bonding for the term of the contract; and
- They meet at least three of the following criteria:
- The worker has control and discretion over the means and manner of performance of the work
- The worker has control over the time the work is performed, unless agreed to in the contract
- The worker is not required to work solely for one employer, unless required by law or agreed to in a written contract with a limited term
- The worker is free to hire employees to assist with the work
- The worker has invested in the worker’s own business by, for example, buying or leasing tools and equipment, obtaining necessary licenses, or leasing workspace
While Nevada and federal labor laws have minimum wage and overtime provisions, many factors can contribute to determining whether your employer owes you additional compensation for overtime hours. Avoid being cheated out of benefits you deserve by discussing your options with an attorney at the Lore Law Firm.
Meals and breaks
Employers in Nevada are required to provide employees with one meal period of at least 30 minutes when working for a continuous period of eight hours. Employers must provide employees a break of at least 10 minutes for every four hours worked. Those working less than three-and-a-half hours are not required to receive a break, but if one is given, it must be paid.
While meal and break requirements apply to most occupations and employees, there are a few exceptions. These include situations where only one person is employed at a particular place of employment or when employees are included within the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement. Also, exemptions are granted by the state’s labor commission when an employer shows sufficient evidence that business necessity precludes providing such benefits.
Statute of limitations
The Nevada deadline for filing an overtime claim adheres to the FLSA, which requires those seeking to recover unpaid back overtime wages file a lawsuit within two years from the date of the employer’s wage violation. So a lawsuit filed today would be able to seek recovery of back overtime for only the prior 2 (sometimes 3) years.
As an example, suppose you believe that your employer has failed to pay you proper overtime wages since January 1, 2016. Waiting until June 1, 2019, to file your lawsuit means you are only allowed to seek unpaid wages from June 1, 2017, to June 1, 2019.
The statute of limitations may be extended to three years if an employer’s violation of the FLSA was willful. An FLSA violation is deemed willful if the employer knew that its conduct was prohibited by the FLSA or showed reckless disregard.
Here for you
Understanding how your situation impacts your compensation will help you fight against unfair payment practices, and the experts at the Lore Law Firm are on your side.
We represent employees in all industries, and at all employment levels, in workplace litigation matters, including unpaid overtime compensation claims. Our attorneys are ardent supporters of workers’ rights and know what it takes to settle a claim or take a case to trial.