On June 8, the Governor of Nevada signed a Domestic Violence leave law, Nevada Senate Bill 361. The effective date is January 1, 2018. This law requires employers to provide a leave of absence and other accommodations for victims, or family or household members of victims, of domestic violence. The law contains the following provisions:
- Employee Eligibility: Employees who have been employed by an employer for at least 90 days.
- Covered Employers: All employers are covered.
- Covered Relationships: “Family or household member” means a:
- domestic partner;
- minor child;
- parent or other adult person who is related within the first degree of consanguinity or affinity to the employee; or
- other adult person who is or was actually residing with the employee at the time of the act which constitutes domestic violence
- Reasons for leave: Leave can be used:
- for the diagnosis, care or treatment of a health condition related to domestic violence committed against the employee or family or household member of the employee;
- to obtain counseling or assistance related to domestic violence committed against the employee or family or household member of the employee;
- to participate in any court proceedings related to an act of domestic violence committed against the employee or family or household member of the employee; or
- to establish a safety plan, including any action to increase the safety of the employee or the family or household member of the employee from a future act which constitutes domestic violence.
- Length of Leave: 160 hours of leave in a 12-month period. The leave must be taken within the 12 months immediately following the date on which the domestic violence occurred.
- Paid/Unpaid: An employer is not required to provide pay during this leave.
- Form of Leave: The leave can be used consecutively or intermittently.
- Coordination with the FMLA: If the leave is used for a reason for which leave can also be taken pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act, the leaves will run concurrently (i.e. if the employee is suffering from a serious health condition because of the domestic violence).
- Employee Notice: After taking leave because of domestic violence, an employee must give at least 48 hours’ advance notice to his or her employer of the need to use additional hours of leave.
- Employer notice: The Labor Commissioner will prepare a bulletin, which sets forth the right to the benefits created by this section. The Labor Commissioner will post the bulletin on the Internet website maintained by the Office of Labor Commissioner and all employers must post the bulletin in a conspicuous location in each workplace maintained by the employer.
- Reasonable Accommodations: An employer must make reasonable accommodations, which will not create an undue hardship for an employee who is a victim of domestic violence or whose family or household member is a victim of domestic violence. The employer can provide accommodations, including, without limitation:
- a transfer or reassignment;
- a modified schedule;
- a new telephone number for work; or
- any other reasonable accommodation which will not create an undue hardship deemed necessary to ensure the safety of the employee, the workplace, the employer or other employees.
- Recordkeeping: An employer must maintain a record of the hours of leave taken for each employee for a 2-year period and, upon request, must make those records available for inspection by the Nevada Labor Commissioner. The employer must exclude the names of the employees from the records, unless a request for a record is for the purpose of an investigation.
- Certification/Documentation: An employer can require the employee to provide documentation that confirms or supports the reason the employee provided for requesting leave. Such documentation may include, without limitation, a police report, a copy of an application for an order for protection, an affidavit from an organization, which provides services to victims of domestic violence, or documentation from a physician. Any documentation provided to an employer pursuant to this subsection is confidential and must be retained by the employer in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act.
What Employers Must Do Now
Nevada employers are responsible for compliance with this law upon its effective date, January 1, 2018. Employers should:
- Review and, if necessary, update any policies or handbooks to include the new leave;
- Train appropriate personnel (Human Resources, Benefits, etc.) on how to manage the new leave; and
- Train supervisors and managers on the new leave so they can help spot covered absences and enlist HR assistance.
What ReedGroup is Doing
If you are using ReedGroup’s leave management services or software, we are:
- Updating our leave management software platforms to encompass the new leave;
- Training staff and updating scripts; and
- Adding a new chapter to for the new leave in Leave Advisor™.