Nevada’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period to bond with a new child, to treat themselves or a family member with a serious health condition, or to tend to certain military-related “qualifying exigencies”. You also get to keep your group health insurance during your leave.
In order to obtain FMLA benefits, you must abide by certain rules such as giving adequate notice and getting a doctor’s certification when necessary. Once you return to work, you should be restored to the same (or equivalent) job you had before and with the same benefits.
In this article, our Las Vegas family law attorneys discuss how the Family Medical Leave laws operate in Nevada:
- 1. What is the FMLA in Nevada?
- 2. Does the FMLA cover my employer?
- 3. What conditions qualify for FMLA?
- 4. How many weeks is FMLA in Nevada?
- 5. What are the notice requirements?
- 6. Can my employer ask for medical certification?
- 7. Do I get to keep my job?
- 8. Do you get paid for FMLA in Nevada?
- 9. What can you not do while on FMLA?
- 10. What if my employer ignores my FMLA rights?
- 11. Additional FMLA provisions
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) permits you (if eligible) to temporarily take time off of work to tend to your own or your family’s health issues. This time off is unpaid but job-protected, and your group health insurance coverage continues throughout your leave.1
Your employer is covered by the FMLA if it is:
- A private employer, with 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year;
- A public agency, including a local, state, or federal government agency, regardless of the number of employees; or
- A public or private elementary or secondary school, regardless of the number of employees.
If your employer is covered, you are eligible for FMLA leave if you:
- Have worked for your employer for at least 12 months;
- Have a minimum of 1,250 hours of service for your employer during the 12-month period immediately preceding the leave; and
- Work at a location where your employer has a minimum of 50 employees within 75 miles.2
You can take FMLA leave for:
- the birth of a new baby, and to bond with the baby;
- the placement of an adopted child or foster care child (which may include traveling overseas), and to bond with that child;
- care-taking for your spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition;
- care-taking for your next of kin who is a covered service member with a serious health condition;
- recovering from your own serious health condition that makes you unable to perform the essential functions of your position (this can also include pregnancy-related conditions and injuries that would be covered by workers’ compensation); or
- dealing with issues arising out of your spouse, child, or parent being a military member on qualifying active duty (or being called to qualifying active duty).
FMLA defines “serious health condition” as “an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves
- inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; or
- continuing treatment by a health care provider.”3
FMLA leave last a maximum of 12 weeks per year. Though you can take 26 weeks in one year to care for your spouse, child, parent, or next of kin who is a servicemember with a serious injury or illness.4
Generally, you must abide by your employer’s usual requirements for requesting time off. The purpose is to provide your employer with enough information to determine whether FMLA will be applied to your request.
Typically, you must give your employer 30 days notice when the need for time off is foreseeable. If 30 days notice is not possible, you must give notice as soon as you can under the circumstances.
When you are requesting time off for an FMLA-qualifying purpose for the first time, you do not have to expressly assert FMLA rights. If you request additional leave for the same qualifying condition, you must specifically make reference to either the qualifying reason for time off or the need for FMLA leave.
In order for this process to work, your employer is required, under the law, to:
- Post a notice that explains both rights and responsibilities under the FMLA;
- Include information about the FMLA in the employee handbooks or provide information to newly hired employees;
- Provide you with notice concerning your eligibility for FMLA leave and your rights and responsibilities under the FMLA when you request FMLA leave or the employer acquires knowledge that the leave may be for an FMLA-qualifying reason; and
- Notify you whether the leave is designated as FMLA leave and the amount of leave that will be deducted from your FMLA time off entitlement.5
You can ask your employer’s Human Resources department for the most current notice requirements, leave policies, and how to make leave requests.
If the leave involves your own serious health condition or a covered family member’s serious health condition, your employer may request certification from your health care provider. Your employer also has the right to ask for additional medical opinions.6
Yes. When you return from FMLA leave, you must be restored to your original job or an equivalent job that has equal
- benefits, and
- other terms of employment.
Further, your employer must continue your group health insurance coverage while you are on FMLA leave.7
FMLA leave is unpaid. However, some employers choose to pay their workers anyway. Contact your HR department.8
You cannot take FMLA leave to attend your child’s school activities. However, Nevada law requires employers to give you four unpaid hours off per school year to:
- attend parent-teacher conferences;
- attend school-related activities during regular school hours;
- volunteer or otherwise be involved at the school in which your child is enrolled during regular school hours; and
- attend school-sponsored events.9
You also cannot take FMLA leave to seek help if you are a domestic violence victim. Though if you or a covered family member is a domestic violence victim, Nevada law requires your employer to give you up to 160 hours of unpaid leave each year to:
- seek a medical diagnosis or treatment;
- get counseling;
- take part in court proceedings; or
- make a safety plan.
To be eligible for domestic violence leave, you must have been employed for at least 90 days. Covered family members include your spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, or other adult living with you.10
It is against the law for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under the FMLA. In addition, it is illegal for an employer to terminate or discriminate against you for taking FMLA leave.
When you have a complaint related to possible FMLA violations, consider filing a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. You can also talk to a labor law attorney about filing a private lawsuit against your employer in a court of law.11
If you are an exempt executive, administrative or professional employee, using FMLA leave will not cause you to lose your exempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
If you work at a local education agency, you may have special rules regarding intermittent or reduced FMLA leave or taking time off near the end of a set school term.12
- 29 CFR § 825; NAC 284.52345; FMLA Overview for State of Nevada Executive Branch Agencies; U.S. Department of Labor.
- NAC 284.5811; 26 CFR § 825.104; 29 USCS § 2611.
- See note 1. FMLA Section 101(11). See also NAC 284.5811.
- See note 1.
- State v. Ludwick (2018) 440 P.3d 43. NAC 284.539. 29 C.F.R. § 825.303(c).
- NAC 284.566.
- FMLA Section 104.
- FMLA Section 102.
- NRS 392.4577.
- NRS 608.0198.
- 29 CFR § 825. See also Popal v. State Empl. Sec. Div. (2022) 518 P.3d 879; Anoruo v. Valley Health Sys. (Court of Appeals, 2021) 486 P.3d 729.