Since the pandemic, dramatic changes to local, state, and federal laws have made payroll management more confusing than ever. Even for the most experienced employer, updated policies can turn payroll into a daunting process – especially with the threat of steep penalties.
To support Nevada business owners, CAVU HCM’s team of experts has created a comprehensive guide on the laws, regulations, and rules that impact payroll. We will explore various payroll, HR, and labor laws that every Nevada employer should know when managing their payroll.
In the United States, minimum wage laws establish a price floor for wages earned by hourly workers – enforced on the local, state, and federal levels. Under these laws, employers may not pay their employees below these set standards, regardless of their individual working status (full-time, part-time, piecework, seasonal, etc.).
As of 2023, there are two minimum wage standards in Nevada, which depend on whether or not an employer offers health benefits to its employees. The State of Nevada Department of Business & Industry defines the following minimum wage standards:
On July 1, 2023, the Nevada minimum wage will increase to the following:
Effective July 1, 2024, there will be a uniform minimum wage of $12.00 per hour for all employees.
Notably, these minimum wage standards do not include tips. As a result, employers are not allowed to apply tips as credit towards payment. Employees can still agree to divide tip income among themselves, however.
Because Nevada’s minimum wage exceeds the federal standard ($7.25 per hour), employers must adhere to their state’s requirements.
Set by laws on both the state and federal level, all Nevada employers are required to pay overtime wages for any time worked over 40 hours in a week – typically at a rate of at least one and a half times the employee’s standard hourly rate.
As an example, an hourly employee that earns $20 per hour would have an overtime rate of $30 per hour. Only non-exempt employees are eligible for overtime pay.
Along with the requirements set in the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Nevada sets additional parameters for overtime pay.
Nevada-based employees that earn more than one and one-half times the state’s minimum wage tiers are eligible for overtime pay for any time worked over 40 hours in a week. Plainly, this means that employees that earn greater than $14.25 per hour and receive health benefits, or earn greater than $15.75 without benefits, must be paid one and one-half times their hourly rate for any accrued overtime.
While this will seem relatively standard, Nevada has different rules for employees earning less than one and one-half times the state’s minimum wage. For employees that earn below $14.25 per hour (with benefits) or $15.75 per hour (without benefits), employers must pay overtime rates for any work exceeding 8 hours in a 24-hour period.
While a minor difference, employers that schedule long hours should be aware of this difference. The only exception is if an employee agrees to work four 10-hour days per workweek and signs a mutual written agreement.
Per NV Statute 608.120, there are five approved methods by which employers may pay their employees in Nevada.
The five approved methods for payment in Nevada are cash, check, direct deposit, and electronic card.
Per Nevada Admin. Code 608.135, an employer can only pay employees via direct deposit if:
The employee can obtain immediate payment in full;
The employee receives at least one free transaction per pay period and any fees or other charges are prominently disclosed to and subject to the written consent of the employee;
The location of payment is easily and readily accessible to the employee;
There are no other requirements or restrictions that a reasonable person would find to be an unreasonable burden or inconvenience; and
The use of an electronic payment system is optional at the election of the employee.
Similarly, there are requirements for electronic payment systems, outlined in NV Admin. Code 608.135:
As one can expect, payments made by cash and check must be made in full on the employee’s respective payday.
Currently, there is no federal law that requires employers to provide pay stubs. Many states, however, do have their own pay stub laws, including Nevada.
Per state law, Nevada employers must provide each employee with pay stub statements (written or printed) that detail their individual pay information. These ‘pay stubs’ must be accessible each scheduled pay day.
On these documents, employers must include the following information:
Under federal jurisdiction, there is currently no law that specifies minimum pay frequency. While this may seem like any pay frequency is legal, employers must still adhere to any local and state regulations.
As established by NV Statute 608.060, employers must, at minimum, have regular paydays on a semi-monthly basis. These paydays should adhere to the following schedule:
While business owners can institute their own schedules, state law states that they must establish and maintain regular paydays. In order to do so, employers must have posted notices in at least two conspicuous places that clearly state their employees’ pay frequency. Additionally, employers must provide written notice at least seven days before a change in pay frequency or place of payment.
Although it's generally best practice to pay all employees on the same consistent basis, a business owner and employee can enter a contractual agreement to establish a more frequent pay schedule. With that said, employers are not allowed to require employees to sign such an agreement as a term or condition of employment.
In the case that a Nevada-based employer has their principal place of business located outside of the state, then they may establish fixed pay days for certain employees, such as outside salesmen, supervisors, and bona fide executive, administrative, and professional roles.
Lastly, if an employee is absent during their scheduled payday, they must file a written demand for payment. After doing so, wages must be paid within five days of filing.
In terms of payroll, a deduction refers to any sum removed from a laborer’s paycheck – generally for taxes, benefits, damages, or losses.
In Nevada, statutes and administrative codes establish guidelines for paycheck deductions and protections for laborers.
NV Statute 608.110 and Nev. Admin. Code 608.160, for example, establish that an employer has a right to deduct pay from their employee’s wages for:
It is important to note, however, that these guidelines do not provide employers with blanket authorization to withhold wages.
Instead, an employer can only withhold or deduct wages if it is required and/or permitted by state and federal law, or if the deductions were agreed upon in writing. Similarly, if the deductions are required by law or are a part of a benefit program, then the employer can make deductions without written authorization.
As an added protection for employees, NV Statute 608.165 and NV Admin. Code 608.090, employers may not require their workers to pay for a uniform or its cleaning. A uniform is defined as “distinctive clothing which an employee of a business is required to wear and which serves as a clear means of identifying the employee with the business.”
Regardless of the type of deduction, all withdrawals must be itemized and listed on the employee’s pay stub.
In the US, final paycheck laws establish a timeframe in which employees must receive pay for their services from their former employers. Under federal regulations, final pay is expected by the next regular payday, though states typically have different requirements.
In Nevada, if an employee is terminated, then the employer must pay all wages immediately (NV Statute 608.020; NV Statute 608.050).
Nevada does not have any specific laws that address the payment of wages to employees who leave due to a labor dispute, however. As a result, in order to maintain compliance employers should pay all wages by:
In regards to record and document storage, employers must adhere to both the FLSA and Nevada Statute 608.115.
Per both federal and state regulations, the following information is required to be recorded and stored:
In Nevada, employers are required to store records for up to two years. Federal law, however, requires all payroll records to be stored for at least three years and all records for wages to be stored for two years.
In 1998, both federal and state laws established that employers must report all new and rehired employees. In Nevada, new hire information must be sent to the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.
According to state law, a newly hired employee is defined as:
For Nevada-based employers, business owners must report newly hired and rehired employees within 20 days of their hire date. Typically, any employee who has to file a W-4 should be reported, regardless of work status (full-time, part-time, seasonal, piecework, etc.).
Employers can report their new hires via the Secure File Transfer Protocol (preferred), mail, or fax.
When new hires are reported to the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, Nevada employers must submit the following:
In the US, there are no federal laws that mandate employers to provide Paid Time Off (PTO) to employees – though it is a common benefit.
The state of Nevada, however, does have regulations that guarantee eligible employees the ability to accrue PTO.
According to NV Statute 608.0197, employers with 50 or more employees must provide their laborers with at least 0.01923 hours of paid leave per hour worked during a calendar year. For a typical 40-hour-per-week employee, this accrued time should come to approximately 40 hours of paid leave by the end of the year. Part-time employees must also accrue paid leave at the same rate.
Employers with less than 50 employees are not required to provide any paid leave. This applies to full-time, part-time, seasonal, and contract employees.
Regardless of the amount of employees, however, business owners must adhere to their own internal PTO policies. Employers who do not meet their stated promises could face legal action.
In Nevada, employers are not required to provide employees with paid leave specifically for medical purposes. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), however, does require employers with at least 50 employees to provide 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave.
Still, many Nevada business owners choose to provide their employees with the opportunity to accrue paid sick leave.
Importantly, a Nevada employer is not obligated to pay a terminated employee for accrued sick leave, unless it is explicitly stated in the laborer’s contract or an established policy.
Since October 1st, 2021, employers have been required to allow employees to use a portion of their accrued sick leave (paid or unpaid) to provide care to immediate family members suffering from illness or injury – including for attending medical appointments and other authorized needs.
Nicknamed the “Kin Care” law, Assembly Bill 190 (AB190) states that employers may not deny employees the right to use their leave, or retaliate against them for doing so.
Importantly, however, AB190 does allow employers to limit the amount of “Kin Care” leave to the amount of sick leave an employee has accrued during a six month period. In practice, this means that an employee who accrues 40 hours of sick leave in a year may only use 20 hours for Kin Care in a year.
Established by NRS 392.4577, employers with 50 or more employees during 20 or more weeks of a calendar year must grant leave to the guardian of a child who is enrolled in a public school in order to attend:
Eligible employees are entitled to up to four hours of ‘school activities leave’ per year. All leave taken must be done in one hour increments at minimum, with all time mutually agreed upon between the employer and employee.
There is no requirement that this leave is paid.
While employees are entitled to this leave, employers do have the right to require written requests at least five school days in advance. Employers can also require the employee to provide documentation to confirm the leave was taken for the stated reasons.
Under no circumstances may an employer penalize or retaliate against an employee who chooses to use their leave for school-related activities.
Put into effect on January 1st, 2018, Nevada employees are entitled to 160 hours of leave in order to address needs associated with domestic violence. According to NRS 608.0198, employees must have worked for their current employer for at least 90 days in order to be eligible for this particular leave.
Nevada’s Domestic Violence Leave covers direct victims of domestic violence, as well as employees whose family members have been victimized. Importantly, however, this provision does not apply to employees or family members facing allegations of domestic violence – only victims.
Under NRS 608.0198, a family or household member is defined as “a spouse; domestic partner; minor child, either natural or adopted; or any adult residing with the person requesting leave at the time of the act of domestic violence.”
In line with the severity of the situation, employers may not deny Domestic Violence Leave under any circumstances, regardless of their company’s size. As one can expect, employers may not retaliate against workers seeking Domestic Violence Leave, including requiring they find a replacement worker. Employees may use unpaid or paid leave for these periods at their own discretion.
As outlined by state law, this type of leave can be taken consecutively or intermittently, though it must be used within a 12-month period of the alleged domestic violence. In either case, leave must fit in one of the following categories:
Consistent with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employers must provide reasonable accommodations for victims of domestic violence, including modified work schedules, new work contact information, transfers and reassignment, etc.
While employers must maintain confidentiality, they may require documentation prior to providing leave, such as a police report, a copy of a protective order, an affidavit from a service provider, or a doctor’s note.
Offering protections to employees who participate in their civic duty, Nevada law states that employees must receive unpaid time off in order to report to jury selection or jury duty. Employers can require proof of jury selection, however, prior to providing leave.
At their own discretion, employees may use their PTO while on jury leave – but, they cannot be required to do so.
Importantly, this law protects workers from retaliation and undue harm for attending jury duty. As a result, under no circumstances may an employer punish or terminate an employee for attending jury duty.
Established on the state level, Witness Leave grants Nevada employees the right to take leave in order to serve as a witness in a judicial or administrative proceeding.
If a witness meets certain criteria, they may be eligible to receive “civil leave,” which provides paid leave that is not taken from the employee’s accrued leave balance. According to Nevada’s Department of Administration Human Resource Management, that criteria is:
In Nevada, employees are entitled to receive “voting leave” in order to participate in local, state, and federal elections. On a federal level, however, there are no such provisions.
Established by Nevada Statute 293.463, employees are entitled to paid civil leave (leave not taken from the employee’s accrued leave balance) if they meet the following requirements:
Notably, state law establishes a different amount of leave for employees, dependent on how far their worksite is from a polling place. If the employee’s worksite is less than or equal to 2 miles away, then they are entitled to one hour of paid civil leave. If the distance is greater than 2 miles and equal to or less than 10 miles, then the employee is entitled to 2 hours of paid leave. Lastly, if the employee’s workplace is more than 10 miles from the polling location, then they are entitled to 3 hours of paid civil leave.
In the case that an employee fails to request leave prior to voting day, or it is practical for them to vote before or after their work day, then they may use a different type of leave (PTO, unpaid leave, etc.).
In Nevada, employees who are members of the Armed Forces Reserves or National Guard are entitled to up to 15 days of paid leave while serving under orders – including for training and deployment.
Both federal and state law provide employees performing military service with such job protected leave, including the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. On the state level, NRS 412.139 also makes terminating a National Guard member for reasons relating to their service a misdemeanor.
On a federal level, employers are not required to provide volunteer emergency responders with paid or unpaid leave. However, over 30 states do have their own policies.
In Nevada, employees may take job protected leave in order to serve as in a volunteer emergency responder role – including firefighters, ambulance drivers, and attendants. As a result, employers may not terminate workers for requesting or taking time off for eligible emergency responder duties.
Like all other states, Nevada establishes a series of guidelines to protect working minors with NRS 609. These regulations are in addition to those set forth by the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Under state and federal laws, Nevada all minors below that age of 18 are prohibited from the working the following occupations:
Additionally, minors under the age of 16 may not work more than 8 hours in a day, 48 hours in a week, or during regular school hours. In line with Federal Child Labor Laws, however, Nevada does not have limits on the hours a 16 or 17 year old can work.
Established with NRS 608.019, employees are entitled to one 30 minute, uninterrupted, unpaid meal break if they are working a continuous eight-hour period. Whenever possible, these rest breaks should occur during the middle of a work period.
In addition to this guideline, any employee that works for more than three and one-half hours is entitled to rest periods – specifically 10 minutes for every four hours worked.
In Nevada, mothers of children under the age of one years old are entitled to reasonable break times to express and store their breast milk. For these break periods, employers must provide a clean, private space – which cannot be a standard bathroom. These regulations are set on a federal level by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Under these regulations, this break time can be unpaid, unless a contractual or collective bargaining agreement guarantees paid breastfeeding breaks.
If an employer has less than 50 employees, they may be exempt from providing breastfeeding breaks. In order to be exempt, however, employers must be able to prove that compliance would “undue hardship” upon the company.
Under the Nevada Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act, businesses with 15 or more employees are required to provide reasonable accommodations for workers and applicants with conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.
Outlined in NRS 613.335, examples of “reasonable accommodations” include, but are not limited to: