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December 4, 2019

Nevada’s “Leave for Any Purpose” Law Clarified

As summarized in our prior Benefit Beat article, eligible employees in Nevada are entitled to accrue 0.01923 hours of paid leave for each hour worked, up to 40 hours per benefit year that can be used for “any purpose”.  The law takes effect on January 1, 2020.

On October 4, 2019, the Nevada Labor Commissioner issued an advisory opinion together with FAQs (AO 2019-02 Paid Leave) to clarify certain aspects of this law.  Of particular note, this guidance addresses how to determine employer size and the requirement to include information about the leave benefit in the employer’s workplace policies.

The law applies to private sector employers employing 50 or more employees working 20 or more work weeks (which need not be consecutive) in the state of Nevada, including a joint employer or successor in interest.  To provide clarification on how to determine employer size, the Labor Commissioner uses a method similar to that used for FMLA purposes.  Specifically, all employees, both full-time and part-time, are counted.  Not counted are employees who work outside of Nevada, temporary, seasonal and on-call employees.  An FAQ clarifies that a temporary employee is one who works less than 90 days on an occasional or temporary basis, whether paid by the employer or a temporary employment agency or a training school.  A seasonal employee is one who typically works less than 90 days for a specific season, such as during a holiday season.  An “on-call employee” is one who works on an hourly or daily basis based on employer need; this also applies to per-diem employees.  However the Commissioner cautions that the employer should keep careful records of hours worked.  For example, if a project ends up lasting longer than originally anticipated, an individual thought to be temporary might, in fact, become entitled to the benefits of the law.

An employer who provides at least the same amount of paid leave for the same purposes, and under the same conditions as required by the law, will satisfy the requirements of the law. The Labor Commissioner advises those employers who do not offer comparable benefits to amend their current paid leave program information contained in existing handbook or other employment policy document by January 1, 2020 to reflect the changes.  Further, it is recommended to have employees sign a statement acknowledging receipt of the information. 

Employers are encouraged to maintain a basic recordkeeping system to track accrual of leave, leave taken by employees, hours worked, rates of pay, and other basic employee information in order to comply with the requirement to provide an accounting of the hours of paid leave available for use by an employee on each payday. 

With regard to notice obligations, employers are required to post information informing employees of the paid leave benefits in a conspicuous location in each workplace maintained by the employer. The Labor Commissioner provides a model workplace posting that can be used for this purpose.  Further, information about the paid leave program is included in Section 15 of the list of “Rules to Be Observed by Employers” which is required to be part of an employer’s workplace posting.

The information contained in this article is provided as general guidance and may be affected by changes in law or regulation. This article is not intended to replace or substitute for accounting or other professional advice. Please consult a CBIZ professional. This information is provided as-is with no warranties of any kind. CBIZ shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever in connection with its use and assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any changes in laws or other factors that could affect the information contained herein.

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