In Nevada, an employer must pay an employee for all time worked by the employee at the direction of the employer, including time the employee worked outside their scheduled work hours. When the amount paid is divided by the numbers of hours worked, the pay must be at least equal to the minimum wage. If an employee makes a claim for wages, holidays, vacation days, sick days or other days that they did not work, such hours are not counted as time the employee worked. These rules do not apply to individuals classified as exempt employees from the state minimum wage requirement.
Meal Periods and Rest Breaks
Nevada law requires an employer to provide an employee with an unpaid meal period of at least one uninterrupted half hour for every continuous period of eight hours of work. Nevada law further requires an employer to authorize and permit all employees to take rest periods. The length of the rest periods are to be based on the total number of hours worked per day. The rate is 10 minutes per each four hours or major fraction thereof, like 45 minutes out of an hour. An employer does not have to authorize a rest period for employees whose total daily work time is less than three and one-half hours.
An authorized period is to be counted as part of an hour worked. This means the employer cannot deduct the time of the rest period from the employee’s wages. As an example, if an employee worked a five-hour day, the employer could not deduct the estimated compensation for the employee’s 10-minute break from the employee’s wages.
When Rules Don’t Apply
The rules regarding meal periods and rest breaks do not apply to situations where only one person is employed at a particular place of employment or employees are included within the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement. In Nevada, many different classes of workers are unionized, including culinary workers, bartenders, musicians and gaming industry workers. An employer may also apply to the state's labor commissioner for an exemption for providing meal periods and/or rest breaks. Further, the labor commissioner may use regulations to exempt a defined category of employers from providing meal periods and/or rest breaks.
Can Employers Rearrange Work Periods?
An employer can rearrange a schedule for an employee so that the employee does not receive meal periods or rest breaks. Nevada labor laws do not require an employer to guarantee a number of hours worked. An employer can terminate an employment relationship at any time with or without notice.
Nevada Overtime Requirements
Nevada overtime laws provide that an employer must pay overtime pay, or 1.5 times the employee’s regular wage rate, when an employee is compensated for employment at a rate less than 1.5 times the minimum rate and works over 40 hours in any scheduled workweek. Also, an employer must pay the 1.5-time rate when an employee works over eight hours in any workday. The exception is if there is a mutual agreement where the employee works a scheduled 10 hours per day for four calendar days within any scheduled workweek.
The rules regarding Nevada overtime pay do not apply to certain classes of employees. These include: workers not covered by the minimum wage provisions of the Nevada Constitution; outside buyers; those in retail or service businesses who have a regular rate over 1.5 times the minimum wage, with more than half their compensation for a representative period of one month coming from commission on goods or services; and those in executive, administrative or professional positions.
The overtime rules also do not cover: employees governed by collective bargaining agreements with other provisions for overtime; mechanics for motor carriers; railroad and airline employees; taxicab and limo drivers; agricultural employees; employees of businesses with a gross sales volume of less than $250,000 per year; salespeople and mechanics who address automobiles, trucks, or farm equipment; certain classes of mechanics or workers; and domestic workers who reside in the household of their employer and agree in writing to exemptions concerning overtime. A salaried employee is not necessarily exempt from overtime.
Nevada’s Minimum Wage
Nevada has a two-tier minimum wage system, with a rate of $8 per hour for employers who offer employees a qualified health benefit plan and $9 per hour for employers who do not offer such a plan. The state minimum wage increases every year on July 1 by seventy-five-cent increments. The minimum wage caps at $11 per hour for the lower tier rate and $12 per hour for the higher tier rate by July 1, 2024. Exemptions to the minimum wage rules include workers under 18, those employed by nonprofit after school or summer employment, and trainees.
What Federal Law Requires
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor mandates the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. An employer must pay at least this hourly wage. It must pay the minimum wage in their state if that wage is higher. A covered nonexempt employee must receive overtime pay for the number of hours over 40 hours worked per workweek at a rate at least 1.5 times the regular rate of pay.
The FLSA does not require overtime pay for work on weekends, holidays or regular days of rest unless the employee works overtime on these days. Hours worked ordinarily include all time an employee must be on the employer’s premises, on duty or at a prescribed workplace.
Definition of a Workday in the State of Nevada
Nevada defines a workday as a period of 24 consecutive hours, which begins when the employee starts work. A workweek is seven consecutive periods of 24 hours. These can begin on any day and at any hour of the day. A 24-hour period does not count as 24 consecutive hours if the employee has substantial breaks between the hours. A continuous period is defined by a lack of substantial breaks.
Laws Don’t Change During Pandemic
Nevada has not changed its labor laws during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the rules outlined above continue to apply. Many employers are allowing their employees to telework, or work from home. The Office of the Labor Commissioner’s (OLC’s) telework guide explains that an employee cannot be classified as an independent contractor because they are performing work at their home or another location other than their regular place of work.
Protecting Employees Who Telework
Like an employee who comes to a worksite, a teleworking employee must be paid for each hour worked. An employer cannot request an employee to work without pay and claim the work was voluntary. An employee who works from home must be paid for overtime hours. Nevada requires an employer to keep a Daily Time Record for each employee to reflect the number of hours the employee worked.
There are no special provisions that exempt an employer from the requirement to keep a Daily Time Record. Employees are encouraged to keep a telework log to document all the hours worked in a workweek. The meal break and meal period rules apply, and an employer cannot pay less than the appropriate minimum wage unless a specific exemption applies.
- Nevada Office of the Labor Commissioner: Telework Guide
- Nevada Office of the Labor Commissioner: Frequently Asked Questions
- Nevada Office of the Labor Commissioner: Employer & Employee Information on COVID-19
- Nevada Revised Statutes: Chapter 608, Compensation, Wages, and Hours
- Nevada Administrative Code: Chapter 608, Compensation, Wages, and Hours
- U.S. Department of Labor: Wages and the Fair Labor Standards Act
- Office of the Nevada Labor Commissioner: Overview of Nevada Wage and Hour Laws and 2019 Legislation & COVID-19 Bulletins, Guides, and Frequently Asked Questions
Jessica Zimmer is a journalist and attorney based in northern California. She has practiced in a wide variety of fields, including criminal defense, property law, immigration, employment law, and family law.