Nevada: New Nursing Mothers’ Law, Employees’ Right to Discuss Wages, New Domestic Violence Victims’ Leave

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The Nevada legislature has been keeping busy over the past few months.  With the passage of several bills concerning pregnant worker’s rights, lactation accommodations, employee wage disclosures, and leave for victims of domestic violence, employers of individuals working in Nevada must keep abreast of many new procedural regulations.

REMINDER: Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act

The Nevada Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act (“NPWFA”) expands on federal anti-discrimination protections and applies to public and private employers of 15 or more employees. We reported on the act last month.  The notice and posting requirement has already gone into effect as of June 2, 2017, though the other provisions of the NPWFA go into effect October 1, 2017.

Nursing Mothers’ Law

As of July 1, 2017, employers have increased responsibilities to employees who are nursing mothers.  Employers must provide nursing mothers with a child less than one year of age: (1) reasonable break time, paid or unpaid, to express breast milk; and (2) a private, clean, non-restroom location to express milk.  Break time used to express milk must be compensated if it is required under a collective bargaining agreement.

Employers of fewer than 50 employees may not immediately be subject to these requirements if they pose an undue hardship on the employer when employee headcount, financial resources, and the nature and structure of the employer’s business are factored in.  The Nevada Department of Corrections and specific contractors under NRS Chapter 624 are also exempt from these requirements.

If meeting the above requirements poses an undue hardship, employers must engage in the interactive process to determine what reasonable alternative may be made.  If the employer and the nursing mother cannot reach an agreement, the employee may be required to accept a reasonable alternative of the employer’s choice.

New Wage Disclosure Law

Effective as of June 3, 2017, Nevada employers cannot discriminate against employees who inquire into, discuss, or voluntarily disclosure wage information.  The regulation applies to employers with 15 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the same or preceding calendar year.  Similarly, employment agencies are prohibited from discriminating against any “person,” and labor organizations may not discriminate against “any member” or “any applicant” for membership.

This rule does not apply to individuals with access to others’ wage information as part of their essential job functions (e.g., payroll administrators) who disclose wage information to another individual without access, unless the disclosure is required by law.

New Domestic Violence Victims’ Leave

Effective January 1, 2018, private Nevada employers of any size will be required to provide a leave of absence to employees who are victims of domestic violence.

  • Employees must have worked for the employer for at least 90 days.  “Victim of domestic violence” includes not only the employee, but the employee’s family or household members who are victims of domestic violence.
  • Amount of Leave. Up to 160 hours of paid or unpaid leave each 12-month period.  Leave may be used consecutively or intermittently, and if used for a reason that also falls under FMLA, the leave will run concurrently with FMLA.
  • Employees may use domestic violence leave to seek medical care or counseling, to participate in court proceedings, or to create a safety plan.  Employers may require employees to provide advance notice 48 hours before the employee intends to take the leave of absence.
  • Documentation. Employers may require employees to provide documentation supporting the need for leave, such as police reports, a copy of an application for an order for protection, a health care provider’s note, or an affidavit from an organization that provides services to victims of domestic violence.
  • Notice and Recordkeeping Requirements. Employers are required to post a notice informing employees of their rights under this leave in a conspicuous location in the workplace. The Labor Commissioner will prepare a bulletin that will satisfy the notice requirements. Employers may include the bulletin in the printed abstract they post for NRS Chapter 608.
    Leave usage must be tracked and records maintained for a period of two years.  Employers may redact the names of the employees from the records.
  • Reasonable Accommodation. In addition to providing time off, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to ensure the safety of the victim, other employees, and the workplace.  Examples of reasonable accommodations include transfer or reassignment, modified scheduling, a new work phone number, etc.
  • Anti-Retaliation. Employers may not discharge, discipline, discriminate, deny employment or promotion to, or threaten any other adverse employment action against an employee who requests leave or a reasonable accommodation, or an employee who participates as a witness or party in court proceedings related to domestic violence.

Action Items

  1. Have employee handbooks and procedures revised to implement the new domestic violence victims’ leave. Look for the Labor Commissioner’s bulletin and post once available.  ManagEase will provide an update on the notice when available.
  2. Have employee handbooks and policy documents reviewed to ensure employees’ right to discuss wage information is not limited.
  3. Review lactation policy and procedures for compliance with, and have supervisors trained on, the Nursing Mothers’ Law requirements.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2017 ManagEase, Incorporated.

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