Nevada Passes a New Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence
The State of Nevada passed a new protected leave that goes into full effect on January 1, 2018.
Senate Bill 361 is called An Act relating to domestic violence; providing under certain circumstances for hours of leave if an employee is a victim of an act which constitutes domestic violence; prohibiting the Administrator of the Employment Security Division of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation from disqualifying certain persons from receiving unemployment benefits under certain circumstances; prohibiting employers from conditioning employment in certain circumstances; revising the list of persons against whom domestic violence may be committed; revising provisions that exclude certain misdemeanor offenses related to domestic violence from provisions that limit the time of day that an arrest for a misdemeanor may be made; increasing the penalty for a battery which constitutes domestic violence in certain circumstances; providing penalties; and providing other matters properly relating thereto
Overview of Domestic Violence Leave
The new law provides up to 160 hours (the equivalent of 4 weeks) of leave to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, along with their family members. The purpose of this article is to provide a guide for employers seeking to comply with the new law. Leave can be taken consecutively or intermittently. The leave may be paid or unpaid.
Any Nevada employee who has worked at least 90 days is covered under the new law. It also covers all Nevada employers. Any employee who has themselves, or has a family member who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking can take leave within the first 12 months following the incident.
The law does not provide leave when the employee is the alleged perpetrator. It only covers victims and their family members (who are not alleged perpetrators).
Covered Family Members
The law covers employees and their family members and household. This includes spouses, domestic partners, minor children, parents, and other people who is related with the “first degree of consanguinity or affinity” to the employee. This could include adult children. It also includes any adults who were residing with the employee during the acts of domestic violence.
- Spouse or Domestic Partner
- Minor Child
- Adults Living with Employee at time of Domestic Violence
- Any other person who is related with the “first degree of consanguinity”
Purposes that Leave can be Taken
Employees can take leave for a number of reasons which include treatment and safety planning. Employees can also take leave for themselves or for a family member’s needs relating to the domestic violence. Specifically, employees are allowed to take leave to diagnose or get treatment for a mental or physical health condition caused by the domestic violence.
They can use leave for counseling and assistance related to the domestic violence. Leave can be used for employees to attend court proceedings, and to establish safety plans. This can include plans to increase the safety of family members from future acts of abuse.
- For physical or mental health conditions to treat, care for, or diagnose
- Counseling and assistance related to the domestic violence
- Court proceedings
- To establish safety plans and take any action to ensure the employee or their family members safety
Coordinating Domestic Violence Leave with the Family Medical Leave Act
The new law requires that if employees take domestic violence leave and it is for purposes that also apply under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) , that employers count leave time against both leave laws. There are definite situations in which leave would run concurrently.
FMLA allows employees to take leave for any serious health condition. One of the definitions of a serious health condition is any condition that requires an overnight stay in a hospital or other care facility.
Therefore, if the domestic violence causes the employee or family member to stay overnight in a hospital, then both leaves would apply. Other definitions for serious health conditions would include mental health conditions and other situations.
However, FMLA doesn’t provide leave for employees to attend court proceedings or participate in safety planning and implementation. Employees who take leave to file police reports, seek legal protection and other actions would have leave for Nevada’s domestic violence law, but would not have that time accrue against FMLA leave.
Employers must make efforts to provide reasonable accommodations to employees who are the victims or whose family member are a victim of domestic violence. Reasonable accommodations do not include accommodations that would create an undue hardship on the employer.
These accommodations can include transferring or reassigning an employee, providing a modified schedule, a new telephone number, or other accommodations
- A new work phone number
- Transferring or reassigning the employee
- Giving a modified work schedule
- Other reasonable accommodations
Notice of Leave
Employees who take leave must provide at least 48 hours of advanced notice of leave before taking additional leave. Employers must notify employees of their rights for leave and must post notice at the workplace.
Documentation and Recordkeeping Requirements for Employers
Employers are required to maintain records for at least 2 years. The records must include information on when employees took leave, and the number of hours used. Records must be made available for inspection from the Nevada Labor Commission.
Employers can require documentation from employees. Documentation can include a police report, the copy of an application for protection, an affidavit from any organization that provides services to victims of domestic violence. It can also include a physician’s note or documentation.
Employers cannot retaliate or punish employees for taking leave as a result of domestic violence. Employees are also protected to participate in a court proceeding as a witness or an interested party. Employers can’t retaliate when the employee requests accommodation or an act of domestic violence occurs to the employee at work.
Retaliation includes discriminate against, discipline, discharge, deny employment or promotion, or threatening the employee because the employee requested leave or acted as a witness or interested party in court proceedings.
Penalties for Violation of the Act
Employers who violate the act will be considered guilty of a misdemeanor. In addition, the Labor Commissioner may impose a penalty of $5,000 for each separate violation.
Let SwipeClock Help
Businesses in Nevada have to comply with multiple federal and state leave laws. These laws require specific timekeeping, payroll and leave documentation. Without adequate documentation, employers are usually assumed guilty of violating these laws.
Additionally, these businesses have to also comply with Federal Overtime Laws, the Family Medical Leave Act and any other national or local laws that are enacted. SwipeClock provides a comprehensive array of workforce management and time tracking tools that can help businesses to more easily stay in compliance with local and national laws.
Records are effortlessly kept for years and accrual is automatically tracked and reported to employees according the state and city laws. Additionally, with geo-timekeeping clocks, businesses can effortlessly track time worked in specific cities to ensure compliance.
Written by Annemaria Duran. Last updated on November 21, 2017