Nevada PTO Laws – What You Need to Provide

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Nevada law requires that companies with 50 or more employees provide at least 0.01923 hours of PTO for every hour they work, up to 40 hours per benefit year.

So a full-time, salaried employee would get 1 week of vacation per year at a minimum. Employers can offer more than this but they don’t have to.

You get an exception and don’t have to provide PTO if:

  • You have less than 50 employees
  • You’ve been in business for 2 years or less
  • For employees that are seasonal, temporary, or on-call

Nevada PTO Laws, In Depth

PTO Benefit Years in Nevada

Nevada uses the term “benefit year” to define a PTO period. A benefit year is simply the 365-day period an employer uses to help calculate how many hours an employee is entitled to. The accrual process begins on the first day of the employer’s benefit year and ends on the last day of that benefit year. Many companies make a benefit year from January 1 through December 31, but others may align a benefit year with their fiscal year. 

Depending on whether the employee works a set number of hours each year or has varying hours, the employer can allow PTO hours to accrue in one of two ways.

  • The employee can receive all the PTO hours they are entitled to on the first day of the new benefit year. This is a lump-sum PTO model.
  • Or they can accrue the hours throughout the benefit year, depending on how many hours they work. This is an accrual PTO model.

On the lump sum vs accrual PTO debate, Nevada allows you to use either.

When Employees Can Start Using PTO

Once an employee has worked for 90 days, they can begin using their PTO.

If you want to let employees use PTO before their 90th day of employment, you can. That’s what I always do. But you don’t have to.

Employees Can Use PTO for Any Reason

Employees can use their Nevada PTO for any reason. Here’s the exact quote from statute NRS 608.0197:

“An employer shall allow an employee to use paid leave for any use, including, without limitation:

  • Treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition;
  • Receiving a medical diagnosis or medical care;
  • Receiving or participating in preventative care;
  • Participating in caregiving; or
  • Addressing other personal needs related to the health of the employee.”

Also, the statute says “An employee may use paid leave available for use by that employee without providing a reason to his or her employer for such use.”

So the employee doesn’t have to give a reason for their PTO. And even if they do, the employer needs to approve it.

Minimum PTO Request Increments

Employers can put in place minimum PTO request increments. Instead of allowing employees to request PTO for any number of hours, you can make things more manageable by adding minimum increments. But in Nevada, the PTO minimum increment cannot exceed 4 hours.

In other words, you can have employees put in requests that equal half-days off instead of dealing with PTO requests for just one hour.

Or you can do it by the exact hour, it’s up to you.

So you can’t force employees to only put in requests that exceed half a day of work. You can have them take half a day for a single appointment, but not a full day.

PTO Carries Over Between Benefit Years

Nevada does require that you carry over PTO from one benefit year to the next. This is known as a PTO rollover.

As an employer, you can choose to limit the rollover to 40 hours per year.

Calculating PTO Rate of Pay

Nevada does explicit say how PTO rate of pay must be calculated:

  • Include total wages of the employee paid for the immediately preceding 90 days by the number of hours worked during that period.
  • This must include bonuses that were agreed upon between the employer and employee.
  • It does NOT include bonuses that are the sole discretion of the employer, overtime pay, additional pay for performing hazardous duties, holiday pay or tips earned by the employee.

As a very basic example, a salaried employee earning $25,000 from 550 hours worked in the past 90 days should be paid $45.45 per PTO hour.

You Must Maintain PTO Records for Each Employee

Section 5 of NRS 608.0197 states that the employer must maintain a record of PTO for each employee for up to one full year after adding or updating any information to the record. This effectively means that any time you run payroll for an employee, the one year record requirement resets. So maintain their payroll records for a year after they leave your company.The easiest way to handle this is by setting up your PTO policy in your payroll software. PTO hours get added to pay stubs automatically and you never have to think about this again. It’s done this through Gusto and it works great.

Employee PTO Rights in Nevada

Here are all the PTO benefits that Nevada requires:

  • Employees must earn at least 0.01923 hours of PTO for every hour they work.
  • Employees can begin using their accrued PTO after being employed for 90 days.
  • Employees don’t need to give a reason for their PTO.
  • Employees cannot be mandated to request more than 4 hours of PTO at a time.
  • PTO must rollover from one benefit year to the next, employers don’t have to rollover more than 40 hours though.
  • If an employee doesn’t leave voluntarily and is rehired for the same role within 90 days, they’re owed payment for any unused PTO at the time they left.

Nevada PTO Laws Exemptions

Nevada provides the following exemptions for businesses regarding compliance with its PTO laws:

  • Businesses with fewer than 50 employees do not need to provide PTO or comply with Nevada PTO laws.
  • Employers within their first two years of operation do not need to follow Nevada PTO laws, even if they have 50 or more employees.
  • Businesses are not required to provide paid time off to temporary or seasonal workers.

Do You Have to Pay Unused PTO in Nevada?

Nevada employers are not required to pay employees any paid time off they didn’t use while employed. However, if the employee did not voluntarily leave the job and will be rehired within 90 days, the employer is responsible for reinstating the employee’s unused PTO. 

Most companies have their own policies regarding the payment of unused PTO. While employers may not be required to reimburse employees for unused PTO, they can do so if they choose. If a company’s internal policy or employee contract states that unused PTO should be reimbursed to the employee, then companies are required to uphold these policies.

Keep in mind that many states do require unused PTO to get paid out, regardless of how the employee leaves the company (voluntary or involuntary). It’s so prevalent that many HR teams make it a standard practice to pay out ALL unused PTO regardless. It’s become a standard in the industry and it’s what I recommend.

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How Nevada PTO Has Changed

Nevada’s newest PTO laws went into effect January 1, 2020. In fact, the new law was the first law to govern paid time off in the state, making Nevada one of the few states with PTO laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Notably, Nevada joins an even smaller list of states that allow employees to use their PTO without stating a specific reason to their employer. 

Early language of the bill, prior to it becoming law, called for businesses with 25 or more employees to adopt these new rules into their policies. However, amendment 482 changed that number to 50, allowing some wiggle room for small businesses that may suffer financially from such a policy.

Key Resources for Nevada PTO

When researching the nuances of paid time off for your employees, it’s crucial to understand how the governing law applies to your company and employees. 

If you notice any conflicting advice or guidelines as you research, refer to the Nevada Revised Statute 608.0197, which details Nevada state law for PTO. The Office of the Labor Commissioner can also help answer any questions you may have about the law and whether your policy complies.

We’ve also put together a bank of additional resources relating to Nevada paid sick leave and paid time off to help you as you structure and refine your company’s PTO policy:

  • SB312 Overview: Read the senate bill that became Nevada law regarding PTO. The website also provides a documented history of the bill, including amends, hearings, and its final passage.
  • Rules to Be Observed by Employers: This document summarizes Nevada’s requirements for employers, including paid leave. It also offers a concise overview of PTO in Nevada, which could be helpful to add to employee handbooks.
  • NRS 608.01972: This statute describes an employer’s responsibility to provide paid leave for employees receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, which is in place through December 31, 2023. 
  • Sick Leave: Learn more about what constitutes sick leave and how to manage sick leave for your employees.

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