Our Las Vegas Nevada labor law attorneys help workers file lawsuits for:
- Wrongful termination: being fired for an unlawful purpose (such as retaliation or breach of contract),
- Sexual harassment: being bullied, intimidated, or otherwise harassed in a sexual way,
- Employment discrimination: being discriminated against on the basis of race, nationality, gender (identity), sexual orientation, age, or disability; or
- Wage and hour disputes: getting paid less than what the law permits, or working longer than what the law permits
Depending on the case, employees may be able to settle their matters through mediation or filing a claim with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission or the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. Otherwise, employees can bring a civil lawsuit in pursuit of such money damages as:
- lost pay,
- pain and suffering, and
- punitive damages
In this article, our Las Vegas Nevada labor law attorneys discuss:
Also see our information Nevada labor law A – Z menu.
Nevada’s wrongful termination laws make it unlawful for employers to fire an employee because:
- The employer is discriminating against the employee for reasons having to do with race, nationality, sex, religion, age, disability, gender identity/expression, or sexual orientation;
- The termination breach the terms of an employment contract; or
- The employer was retaliating against the employee for engaging in an activity that is legally protected (such as going to jury duty, whistleblowing, taking family leave, or refusing to work in unsafe conditions)
In general, Nevada’s wrongful termination laws apply to companies employing 15 or more people. Wrongfully fired employees may be able to sue for:
- Back pay
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Sexually harassing co-workers or job applicants is prohibited by both state and federal law as a type of sex discrimination. Victims may be able to file and win a sexual harassment claim if:
- the victim could lose his/her job or position by rejecting the sexual advancement (quid pro quo workplace sexual harassment in Nevada),
- the victim is unable to carry out his/her job duties due to the harassment, or
- the harassment creates a hostile work environment in Nevada
Note that sexual harassment is illegal even if the victim does not experience any loss of money or employment.
2.1. Filing a claim
The first step of addressing sexual harassment claims is usually to go through the company’s HR department. But if that does not resolve anything, then victims may file a claim with either of the following administrative agencies:
- Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC), or
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Victims usually need to file a claim within 300 days of the harassment. But they should consult with an attorney as soon as possible to see if their case has a shorter statute of limitations.
The NERC and EEOC usually try to avoid litigation by offering to mediate the claim. But if mediation does not work — or if the claimant refuses to try mediation — then NERC or EEOC will investigate the claim further and possibly offer a settlement.
If no settlement can be reached, the agency will issue the claimant a “right to sue” letter. But if there is a settlement, the claimant may have to sign a release form promising to bring no sexual harassment lawsuits against the employer.
2.2. Filing a lawsuit
Once a claimant receives a “right to sue” letter from the NERC or EEOC, the claimant is free to file a civil lawsuit. Common claims include:
It is often possible to reach a settlement out of court. But if the case does go to trial, the plaintiff (victim) has the burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is liable. Possible money damages in a workplace sex discrimination include:
- back pay;
- front pay;
- emotional distress and compensatory damages;
- attorneys’ fees;
- court costs; and/or
- punitive damages (if the court finds that the employer acted particularly badly)
Moreover, the court may require the employer to give the plaintiff his/her old job back or to advance him/her to the position that the harassment prevented him/her from having.2
2.3. Filing a police report
Some sexual harassment victims want criminal justice in addition to monetary justice. Therefore, victims are free to file a police report at their local police or sheriff’s station. However, they are strongly advised to meet with a Las Vegas labor law attorney first to avoid self-incrimination.
There are instructions online for how to file a police report with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. These police reports go by the name “incident crime reports” (ICRs).
It is free to file ICRs in Las Vegas. Once the LVMPD receives the report, it may commence an investigation and possibly bring criminal charges.
Learn more about suing for sexual harassment in Nevada.
Employers are generally prohibited by both Nevada and federal law from discriminating against job candidates and workers on the basis of either their:
- race or color,
- national origin,
- sex (including pregnancy),
- gender identity or expression (under Nevada law only),
- sexual orientation (under Nevada law only), or
Discrimination can take many forms, including:
- not hiring qualified applicants because of prejudice,
- not advancing or promoting qualified employees due to prejudice, or
- firing qualified employees due to prejudice
Note that employers may be allowed to discriminate against employees based on their religion or disability if it would pose an undue hardship on them to accommodate their needs.3
3.1. Employers exempt from discrimination laws
In general, the following employers may be immune from employment discrimination claims:
- private employers with fewer than 15 employees (in federal age discrimination cases, it is fewer than 20 employees)
- state and local government agencies with fewer than 15 employees (in federal age discrimination cases, there is no size minimum)
- labor unions with fewer than 15 members (in federal age discrimination cases, it is fewer than 25 members)
Most all employers have to follow the Equal Pay Act (EPA), which forbids paying disparate wages to men and women if they do substantially the same work in the same workplace.4
3.2. Filing a claim
Victims of employment discrimination in Nevada can file a claim against either of the following agencies:
- Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC), or
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
At first, NERC and EEOC will offer to mediate the claims. If mediation does not work — or if the claimant refuses to try mediation — then the agency may proceed with an investigation.
Depending on the outcome of the investigation, the agency may dismiss the claim or attempt to settle it with the claimant. If the claim remains unresolved, the agency will issue the claimant a “right to sue letter.”
At this point, the claimant is free to bring a civil lawsuit in pursuit of compensatory damages, punitive damages, and possibly job reinstatement.
Learn more about suing for employment discrimination laws in Nevada.
With some exceptions, employees in Nevada are entitled to be paid for every hour they work:
4.1. Minimum wage & overtime
In general, the minimum hourly wage for Nevada workers is:
- $8.24 per hour if the employer does not provide health insurance
- $7.25 per hour if the employer provides health insurance
Note that the employers may not pay employees less than minimum wage just because they receive tips.
In general, employees are entitled to an hourly Nevada overtime rate of 1.5 times their regular rate ($12.375/$10.875) if they work more than 40 hours a workweek. And employees who work in excess of 8 hours in a workday are entitled to an hourly overtime rate at 1.5 their regular rate if their regular rate is less than 1.5 times the current minimum wage.
Nevada minimum wage is scheduled to increase by 75 cents on July 1, 2020, and to continue increasing until it reaches $12 for jobs with no health insurance and $11 for jobs with health insurance, by 2024. (Nevada Assembly Bill 456 (2019).
Learn more about bringing overtime lawsuits in Nevada, Nevada off the clock laws, Nevada pay stub violations, Nevada travel expense reimbursements, work expense reimbursements in Nevada, and Nevada final paycheck laws.
Employers may be allowed to pay people sub-minimum wages to certain classes of workers, just some of which include:
- people with severe disabilities
- casual baby-sitters
- limo and taxi drivers
There are several types of employees who are not entitled to overtime pay, just some of which include:
- executive employees
- professional employees
- administrative employees
Certainly, employers and their workers can make their own employment policies and contracts that extend workers more rights and benefits than they would otherwise have under Nevada law.5
4.2. Leave policies
Employers with 50 or more workers are generally required to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave a year. And the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may allow for employees of companies with at least 50 workers to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave without the risk of losing their job. Learn more about Nevada sick leave laws.
Employers are not required to pay for jury leave, though they may not fire an employee for attending jury duty. And employers are required to pay for voting leave if its impractical for the employee to vote outside of work hours.
Note that employers are not required to provide severance pay.6
See our article on Nevada vacation pay laws.
4.3. Meals and breaks
Employers are required to grant employees 30 minutes for a meal in each 8-hour work period. The employer is not required to pay the employee for this half-hour meal-time. Learn more about Nevada lunch break laws.
Employees are entitled to a paid 10-minute break for every 4 hours they work. Workers are not entitled to a break for working less than 3.5 hours. Learn more about Nevada rest break laws.7
Call a Nevada employment attorney…
Do you need a labor law attorney in Nevada? Call our Las Vegas Nevada labor law attorneys for a FREE consultation for a FREE consultation. Depending on your situation, we may be able to save your job and get you money damages.
Work in California? See our article on California labor law attorneys.
- NRS 613.310; NRS 613.330; see Types of Employment Discrimination, Nevada Equal Rights Commission.
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; NRS 613.330.
- NRS 613.310; Nevada Senate Bill 166 (2019).
- NRS 608.016; NRS 608.250; NRS 608.018; see Financial Impact Of The Nevada Minimum Wage Increase Initiative, Nevada Secretary of State.
- NRS 6.190; Family and Medical Leave Act, U.S. Department of Labor; Nevada SB 312 (2019).
- NAC 608; NRS 608.019