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Advice from your Las Vegas business litigation attorney: don’t get tripped up by tricky labor laws

December 4, 2014

Knowing what rules are on the books and how best to follow them is something businesses expect of their employees, so why should it be any different for companies to have knowledge of and be in compliance with state labor laws? Problem is, some of them are tricky, overwhelmingly complex, and obscured behind hearsay, but a Las Vegas business litigation attorney can set you straight, and hopefully before anyone files a lawsuit against your business. The Las Vegas Review Journal shares some tips for local business owners here, too.

Overtime and “regular rate of pay” claims seem to be on the rise in the Silver State, one Las Vegas business litigation attorney who has 25 years’ experience in employment and labor law reports. Claims and penalties for underpayment of employees result when employers don’t understand that “overtime” rates (1.5 times the “regular rate of pay”) must include any bonuses given to employees throughout the year averaged into their “regular rate.” Yikes, that’s easy to forget and could be pretty costly.

Overtime rules themselves seem to be horrendously complicated, as “Nevada law states that a workday is 24 hours long and starts at the beginning of an employee’s shift,” with employees entitled to overtime after working more than eight hours in a day if their base rate of pay is less than 1.5 times minimum wage, which ends up being “$10.88 per hour for employees being offered benefits and $12.38 per hour for employees who are not.” If you had to read that sentence twice, it’s probably time you consulted with a Las Vegas business litigation attorney before your employees do, or you could find yourself facing suits from workers whose first shift was Monday from 2pm-11pm, and whose Tuesday shift began at 9am, without overtime pay. According to the rules, the hours worked between 9am and 2pm on Tuesday should be at overtime rates.

Federal laws around the “Family Medical Leave Act can cause headaches for area employers,” too. They only apply in some cases, and a Las Vegas business litigation attorney like Karl Shelton might caution businesses to think long and hard before classifying an employee’s leave under FMLA. “By doing so, smaller companies could bind themselves to a set of regulations, where they normally wouldn’t be,” the Review Journal reiterates. The Americans with Disabilities Act can be just as tricky to abide by with fidelity and compliance, and documenting any disciplinary measures is essential for employers wanting to avoid coming out on the wrong end of termination suits. Even though “Nevada is an at-will state, and employers don’t need a reason to terminate,” having everything documented well before firing an employee will enhance an employer’s credibility if you end up facing a lawsuit anyway.

There are exceptions to the rules above, too, so relying on the internet—articles in the Review Journal, on Reddit or pretty much anywhere—for legal advice isn’t can land you in hot water. Talk to a lawyer if you need help, folks. You can bet your employees will.

 

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