worker's compensation

State and federal laws govern the way employees are compensated under different circumstances. There are different forms of compensation that concerns employees such as wages, bonuses, unemployment benefits as well as disability awards, but the laws that govern them differ from state to state. In some instances, Nevada’s state laws differ greatly from other states’ laws. In other instances, the law in Nevada is very similar to the majority of the states of America.


Wages

Regardless of their size, companies that provide employment within the US are governed by federal laws in addition to state laws. The federal minimum wage is established at $ 7.25 per hour. The minimum wage in Nevada is the same as the federal wage for employees that have been awarded health insurance from their employer. For employees who have not been afforded the opportunity, the minimum wage is set at $8.25 per hour to compensate for self-bought insurance costs.

In addition to governing the payment of minimum wage, federal and state laws govern the payment for hours worked overtime. Under federal laws, employers must compensate employees for overtime worked in excess over 40 hours per week, unless they are paid on a salary that prohibits overtime pay. Under Nevada wage laws, employers are mandated to pay overtime wages of one and one-half times the minimum wage for hours that are accrued beyond 8 hours within a 24 hour day. Salary employees with the exemption designation, as well as those who have an employment agreement of 10 hour works days, 4 days a week, are the only exceptions to this daily overtime statute. In addition to the amount of wages, the state also governs the frequency of payments. Under state law in Nevada, wages must be paid to employees at least two times a month. These two pay dates must be predetermined by the employer and must be scheduled on a regular basis.


Bonuses

Bonuses are often paid to employees as incentives to reach goals or compensate for work performed beyond their job pay grades. In states such as California, bonuses are treated as overtime pay, and therefore calculated into employee’s wages. This may affect the employees ability to qualify for government assistance or gain access to income-restricted programs. In Nevada, bonuses are not legally considered wages. They are separate earnings. Therefore, they are not calculated within their regular wages or overtime pay compensation.


Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to compensate employees who are injured in an accident while at work. This means that employees who are injured while working cannot sue the employer directly. Instead, the compensations are awarded through the state workers’ compensation fund. Some states, like Alabama, permit that the method or manner of providing this insurance is left to the complete discretion of the employers. Other states like Alaska and Maine set forth the requirement that only one employee is required in order for employers to be mandated to provide workers’ compensation. In Nevada, business with less than four employees are not required to obtain workers’ compensation. Organizations that have four or more employees must supply workers’ compensation insurance to all of their employees.


Unemployment Insurance

unemployment insurance

Unemployment insurance is governed by the state but funded by federal, state and private employment tax funds. Even though unemployment wages are calculated as a percentage of the employees weekly wages prior to the termination of employment, the amount that is awarded varies from state to state. Some states, such as Washington and Montana, award as much as 54.3% of the employees’ weekly wages and only some of the funds are counted against the employer. In other states, such as Mississippi and Florida, only 26% of wages earned are awarded, and almost all of the cases are charged against the employer.

In Nevada, all employers are obligated to contribute to the states unemployment compensation fund, and the amount of the award is 4% of wages earned in your highest paying quarter. In the case that an employee is awarded unemployment benefits, those funds are counted against the employer unless there are special circumstances that qualify for exemption, such as an employee who was terminated within 90 days of the first day of employment.


Mandatory Leave of Absence

There are several federal and state laws that govern leaves of absence. The application of the law depends heavily on the reason for the leave. While these laws are complicated, application of the laws is determined by the size of the company that provides employment. The most complicated laws are not applicable to small organizations.

With certain exceptions, federal law requires employers that employ 50 or more employees to supply them with up to 12 weeks per year of unpaid family or medical leave. These leaves can be taken for various reasons. The birth or adoption of children, serious health ailments of the employee or their spouse, child or parent, pregnancy or for a qualifying deployment of an active duty soldier in the Armed Forces are all qualified reasons for this federally protected benefit.

While falling in accordance federal law, Nevada law further requires employers to provide leaves of absence to employees for military service or training as well as jury duty. Nevada law also mandates that employers must provide employees with time away from work in order to vote, attend school conferences, emergencies and other school-related functions regarding their children.


Disability

disability insurance

When an employee suffers an work-related injury and it results in a permanent disability, they are entitled to compensation that is adequate and restorative. The severity of the injury will determine the calculated amount of the award. The effect of the injury on their ability to earn a living, their wage level and their current age all play a part in the calculation as well.

California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island are the only states that have statutory disability plans. Nevada, like the remaining 44 states, does not have a disability program operated by the state. Employees must apply for disability benefits through the federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or through Supplemental Security Income (SSI).


Permanent Partial Disability

While some injuries do not qualify under the guidelines of complete disability, it is possible that the injury may be deemed as a permanent partial impairment or disability. This can be anything from permanent loss of flexibility, or something more detrimental like the loss of vision. Again, only certain states have funds for partial disabilities. Nevada does not have a state sponsored partial disability program, much like the better half of the nation.

All in all, Nevada offers the majority of compensation benefits offered by most other states. Although the laws in Nevada may differ greatly when compared to other states, the laws were designed for the benefit of the residents of Nevada. Residents should feel comfort knowing that Nevada has laws in place to protect employees, as well as employers.