New Nevada Domestic Violence Leave Law Broader Than FMLA

New Nevada Domestic Violence Leave Law Broader Than FMLA

Beginning January 1, 2018, a Nevada employee who has been employed for at least 90 days and who is a victim of an act of domestic violence or whose family member or household member is a victim of an act of domestic violence (provided the employee is not the perpetrator), is entitled to a maximum of 160 hours of leave in one 12-month period.

Domestic violence is defined under Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 33.018 as follows:

Domestic violence occurs when a person commits one of the following acts against or upon the person’s  spouse or former spouse, any other person to whom the person is related by blood or marriage, any other person with whom the person is or was actually residing, any other person with whom the person has had or is having a dating relationship, any other person with whom the person has a child in common, the minor child of any of those persons, the person’s minor child or any other person who has been appointed the custodian or legal guardian for the person’s minor child: (a) A battery; (b) An assault; (c) Compelling the other person by force or threat of force to perform an act from which the other person has the right to refrain or to refrain from an act which the other person has the right to perform; (d) A sexual assault; (e) A knowing, purposeful or reckless course of conduct intended to harass the other person; (f) A false imprisonment; or (g) Unlawful entry of the other person’s residence, or forcible entry against the other person’s will if there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm to the other person from the entry.

The new Nevada domestic violence leave law is broader than the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), as it applies to all private employers in the state of Nevada, not just those with at least 50 employees within 75 miles of the worksite. If applicable, the Nevada domestic violence leave must be deducted concurrently from leave permitted under FMLA.

Domestic violence leave can be either paid or unpaid and taken either consecutively or intermittently. This leave can be used for the diagnosis, care, or treatment of a health condition related to an act of domestic violence, or to obtain counseling, participate in court proceedings, or create a safety plan. Prior to taking leave under this new law, an employee must provide his/her employer with at least 48 hours advance notice.

Employers can require the employee to provide supporting documentation, such as documentation from a physician, a police report, a copy of an application for an order for protection, or a statement from an organization that provided services to victims of domestic violence. All documentation should be kept highly confidential, typically in a file separate from the employee’s general personnel file.

It is against the law for an employer to discharge, discipline, discriminate against, or deny employment or promotion to an employee because he or she uses the leave afforded to him/her under the Nevada domestic violence leave law. Employers who violate the law will be considered guilty of a misdemeanor. Further, the Labor Commissioner may impose a penalty of up to $5,000 for each violation of the law by an employer.

Employer Take Away: Nevada employers should review and revise their policies and procedures in order to comply with the new law.

Contributor:  Katie A. Collins, Attorney at Law | Weintraub Tobin