Beginning in 2018, Nevada employees subject to domestic violence, whether experienced personally or amid household, will be entitled to accommodation from their employers. Specifically, Senate Bill 361 requires that those impacted by domestic violence be afforded leave on account of those circumstances. It also prohibits any kind of discrimination against said employees. Governor Brian Sandoval signed the act into law earlier this year.
Given the expansive interpretation of domestic violence detailed in NRS 33.018, the new law could advantage quite a few Nevada employees. Domestic violence can include assault, battery, coercion by force, case imprisonment, sexual assault, and various forms of harassment. Given the significant distractions such adverse experiences can create, S.B. 361 makes sense for employers, too. Said conditions almost certainly create undue pressure for any individual attempting to make a living. Respite from professional obligations makes the recovery process more possible.
Employers may not retaliate against such victims when they request leave, and nor may they require that qualifying employees pursue replacement workers. As per enforcement by the Labor Commissioner, employers found in violation of statute may be subject to penalty. Put simply, the right to leave must be accompanied by conditions wherein it might be reasonably exercised without fear of further consequence.
What the New Bill Means for Employers
In addition to record keeping requirements, employers should pay careful attention to the implications of S.B. 361. It may be wise to consult with attorneys trained in employment law to assure your business remains on the right side of the law. There are some basic details of the new law with which you should be familiar.
Assuming an employee has been employed for at least 90 days and is not him or herself the alleged perpetrator of domestic violence, he or she is entitled to leave. Whether paid or unpaid, the employee is allocated up to 160 hours off within 12 months of the violent incident(s) in question. Said hours are then deducted from those afforded by the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).
Leave may be used for the pursuit of health-related care or treatment, a need for counseling or other assistance, requirements associated with court proceedings and any other needs appertaining to the enhancement of one’s safety. While employers must take these kind of circumstances quite seriously, they may request some evidence that domestic violence has actually occurred (or that is has minimally been credibly alleged).
As attorney Rick Roskelley explains, “Employers may require an employee seeking domestic violence leave to provide documentation such as police reports, copies of applications for protection orders, affidavits from victims’ organizations, or documentation from a physician to support the employee’s use of leave. The documentation must be kept confidential and be maintained consistent with the requirements of the FMLA.”
Assuming those conditions are met, any employees seriously impacted by domestic violence is assured the aforementioned protections.
Does Your Nevada-Based Business Require Legal Assistance?
Whether subject to a dispute involving employment law or simply attempting to avoiding any problems down the line, a capable and committed attorney can assure your business peace of mind. Thanks to their national pedigree and local expertise, HKM Employment Attorneys are ideally positioned to meet your legal needs. To arrange an appointment, simply fill out the online form located here.