Nevada does not require employers to provide paid sick leave. Our state’s lawmakers have debated in the issue, but for now, state law leaves the question of paid sick leave to be negotiated between employers and employees. Nonetheless, there are a few important legal rules that give sick employees some protections even without legally mandated paid sick leave.
Employers can opt-in to an obligation to provide paid sick leave
Employees can negotiate to have their employment contracts provide for a certain amount of paid sick leave, and some employers offer paid sick leave as part of their incentive packages. In Nevada, employers are required to have clear policies regarding paid time off. Employers can unwittingly create an implied contract to provide paid sick leave by having policies (such as an employee handbook, or official information on a corporate intraweb) that promise paid leave even if individual employment contracts are silent on the subject. A manager who promises paid leave can also create an obligation on the part of the employer.
Federal contractors are required to provide sick leave
Executive Order 13706, which went into effect on January 1, 2017, requires many federal contractors to provide their employees with up to seven days of paid sick leave each year. The order applies to large categories of contractors, including those who provide services to federal employees or conduct activities on federal lands. The order’s scope permits employees to take sick leave to care for themselves or a member of their family. Employees who qualify for paid sick leave under Executive Order 13706 accrue 1 hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked in connection with a covered contract.
Workers’ compensation and paid leave
Although insurance that covers lost wages is not quite the same as paid leave, it can offer equivalent benefits. Nevada employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Reimbursement for some lost wages is among the benefits that workers’ comp coverage can provide a worker who is injured on the job and temporarily unable to work. However, the reimbursement is generally only a percentage of the worker’s usual wage.
The right to take unpaid leave
Workers who need to take time off to deal with an illness or injury are often entitled to take unpaid leave without retaliation from their employer. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), 29 U.S.C. 2601 et seq., requires employers with at least 50 employees to give qualified employees up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave each year. FMLA leave is available to employees who need to take time off to recover from a serious medical condition that prevents them from working, take care of an immediate family member, or take care of a newborn child or a newly adopted child. The law requires employers to grant leave only to employees who have worked for at least 1,250 hours and been employed for at least 12 months. The FMLA also protects employees who take leave from losing their job or having it significantly changed solely as a consequence of taking advantage of the rights granted by the law.
Talk to a Las Vegas attorney about your legal options
At GGRM we are proud of the work we do helping workers who are recovering from an injury or illness protect their rights and get compensated for wrongful behavior by employers. If you have questions about your options for taking leave from work, call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476, or send us a request through our contact page.