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Developments in Paid Sick Leave in Nevada

Developments in Paid Sick Leave in Nevada
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.

Important Features of the FMLA Explained

Important Features of the FMLA Explained
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, or FMLA, 29 U.S.C. 2601 et seq., is one of the important federal laws designed to protect the job security of workers faced with difficult personal circumstances. Employers and employees in Las Vegas should take the time to understand what the FMLA covers, and its limitations.

The FMLA applies only to certain employers and employees

The FMLA’s rules apply to all public agencies and private employers who had at least 50 employees for at least 20 workweeks in the current or previous year. To be eligible for FMLA benefits, an employee of one of the covered employers must have been employed for at least 12 months, consecutively or otherwise, and worked at least 1,250 hours during that time before taking leave. The employee’s job also needs to be at or within 75 miles of a location with at least 50 employees.

When can an employee take leave under the FMLA?

The FMLA requires covered employers to grant up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave each year to qualified employees when their circumstances fall within one of five situations:
  1. A serious medical condition prevents the employee from working.
  2. An immediate family member of the employee has a serious medical condition that requires the employee’s care. Note that “immediate family” includes only blood relatives; relatives by marriage are not covered. Also bear in mind that time off to care for an adult child is only covered if has a serious disability that renders the child unable to care for him or herself.
  3. The employee’s child is born, or the employee needs to take time to care for his or her newborn child.
  4. The employee needs time for the placement or care of an adopted or foster care child.
  5. The employee’s spouse, child, or parent who requires the employee’s care for a serious injury or illness is a member of the military, including in an active role for the National Guard or as a reservist. In this circumstance, the FMLA requires employers to allow up to 26 weeks of leave.

The FMLA doesn’t require paid leave, but protects the employee’s job

A central feature of the FMLA is that it prohibits employers from making any employment decisions based only on an employee’s decision to take FMLA leave. This includes firing or demoting the employee, or changing the employee’s job responsibilities. The FMLA also protects employees from retaliation if they file a complaint abut an employer’s violation of the law. Another important feature of the FMLA is that it does not require employees to pay their employees who are on leave. Some employers offer paid FMLA leave as an incentive, but a more common practice allows employees to draw down their accumulated paid time off (PTO) while on leave. An employer can require its employees to use their PTO for FMLA leave, but to do so it must first provide ample notice of the requirement.

Injury and FMLA leave

The relationship between FMLA leave and other types of leave often leads to confusion. One example of this is when a worker is forced to take time off work due to a work-related injury and the employee has rights under workers’ compensation laws as well as the FMLA. In such circumstances. employers are required to provide whichever law’s benefits are greater. Workers’ compensation laws require a wide range of benefits, including some paid leave and medical reimbursement, but employers typically can also draw down the employee’s annual FMLA leave allotment while the employee is off work on a workers’ comp claim.

GGRM can help you understand the FMLA

Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped Las Vegas employees protect their rights for more than 45 years. If you are faced with difficult circumstances and have questions about how the FMLA affects your rights, our experienced team of attorneys is here to help. For a free consultation reach out to us today at 702-388-4476, or contact us through our website.