Nevada Expands Domestic Violence Leave Law to Include Sexual Assault
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Nevada Expands Domestic Violence Leave Law to Include Sexual Assault

Brownstein Client Alert, Dec. 6, 2023

Starting in January, Nevada employers will need to update their leave policies and posted employment notices to reflect recent legislation seeking to accommodate sexual assault victims.

State law already entitles domestic violence victims and their family or household members up to 160 hours of job-protected leave and certain reasonable accommodations. The state legislature passed AB 163 this past session, which expands these protections to victims and family members and household members of victims of sexual assault. Existing law otherwise remains largely the same, including the amount of leave given. Under the new version of NRS 608.0198, an employer may not deny an eligible employee the use of the leave or require the employee to find a replacement worker as a condition of taking the leave.

To qualify, an employee needs to have been employed for 90 days. These benefits exclusively apply to employees who, or employees whose family and household members, are the victim of sexual assault, but not to individuals accused of perpetrating such acts.

Employees who qualify are entitled to a maximum of 160 hours of leave within a 12-month period directly after the occurrence of domestic violence or sexual assault. The leave can be either paid or unpaid and allows for intermittent use. The statute as amended also sets out what the hours of taken leave may be used for, which include: seeking health care or counseling due to the assault; attending related court proceedings; and formulating a safety plan. Any taken leave that would also qualify as FMLA leave must be deducted from not only the employee’s NRS 608.0198 leave, but also from any FMLA leave for which an employee is eligible.

Employees must also give at least 48 hours of advance notice and, if requested by employers, substantiating documentation of the assault, to take the protected leave. Employers should be mindful that imposing such documentation requirements will result in additional confidentiality and record-keeping burdens, which are the same as those required under the FMLA. Employers are further required to post notices issued by the Nevada Labor Commissioner reflecting the statute, as amended, at each of their worksites.

AB163 further prohibits the state’s Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation from denying unemployment benefits in specific instances involving sexual assault victims and prohibits certain retaliatory actions by employers against employees for seeking leave related to sexual assault.

AB163 goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2024. Employers should review and amend their policies and update their posted employment notices to be consistent with these changes prior to the effective date if they have not done so already. Please reach out to one of the contributors to this alert if you would like assistance in updating your relevant employment documents.

This document is intended to provide you with general information regarding AB 163 in Nevada. The contents of this document are not intended to provide specific legal advice. If you have any questions about the contents of this document or if you need legal advice as to an issue, please contact the attorneys listed or your regular Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP attorney. This communication may be considered advertising in some jurisdictions.

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