Nevada News & Analysis

  • Title VII permits award to be 'grossed up' for income tax purposes

    Joining the 3rd, 7th, and 10th Circuits, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Nevada employers) recently ruled that trial judges have the discretion to adjust damages awards under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to account for higher income taxes the plaintiff will pay on a lump-sum amount received in one year versus what the taxes would have been if the amount had been paid over several years. This is sometimes referred to as "grossing up" the award for tax consequences.

  • Does #MeToo movement mean #TheEnd for workplace romance?

    Recent reports of serious sexual misconduct by prominent men across the country have drawn renewed attention to a variety of issues involving sexual harassment in the workplace. One such issue is how to tell when romantic and/or sexual overtures at work cross the line into sexual harassment or misconduct. The line is often clear—especially for egregious misconduct—but not always. The challenge for employers is to design policies and procedures that make the line clearer for employees and give the employer an opportunity to identify and manage potentially problematic relationships.

  • 9th Circuit adopts workweek as proper measure for minimum wage compliance

    Following the lead of several other courts of appeals and the long- held position of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the 9th Circuit recently concluded that minimum wage compliance under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is determined by dividing the total weekly earnings by the total hours worked that week. If the result of that calculation is equal to or higher than the required minimum wage, the employer is in compliance even though it may have paid less than minimum wage for some hours worked during the week.

  • Meeting (and exceeding) legal obligations to seriously ill employees

    Few situations are more difficult for a caring employer than learning that an employee is facing a permanent disability or terminal illness. You've probably read plenty of articles about your obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), but those laws cover only what an employer is legally required to do. Responsible HR professionals strive to go above and beyond to help struggling employees receive the full advantage of the benefits they offer.

  • 9th Circuit upholds ULP charges at California medical center

    Upholding a finding by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that the Chino Valley Medical Center committed "serious and widespread" unfair labor practices (ULPs) before and after a union election, the 9th Circuit recently ruled that the clinic discharged a prominent union supporter for his protected activities. The court also agreed with the NLRB that the clinic must assemble all of its employees—on paid time with a union representative present—to listen to the reading of the official "Notice to Employees" the Board ordered to be posted that assures employees the clinic won't commit similar violations in the future.

  • Revisiting employment agreements in the age of Weinstein

    With all the recent sexual harassment and assault scandals in Hollywood, Washington, high-profile boardrooms, and even public television and radio, many are asking how these things could have been going on in secret for all these years. The answer, in many cases, is that the employer had some sort of contractual agreement with the alleged victims that basically guaranteed their silence.

  • Agency Action

    Change likely to NLRBs union election rules. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) published a Request for Information in December 2017 asking for public input on the Boards 2014 rule that shortened the process of holding union representation elections. The NLRB was seeking comments on whether the 2014 rule should be retained, modified, or rescinded. The Boards action on the election rule was one of a string of party-line 3-2 votes taken in December just days before Republican member and Chairman Philip A. Miscimarras term ended on December 16. His departure leaves the Board with two Republicans (Marvin E. Kaplan and William J. Emanuel) and two Democrats (Mark Gaston Pearce and Lauren McFerran). Other actions included decisions overruling Obama-era decisions on union organization of microunits, joint employment, employee rights related to handbook provisions, the reasonableness settlement standard in single-employer claims, and bargaining obligations required before implementing a unilateral change in employment matters.

  • Trump's new tax law contains important implications for employers

    On December 22, 2017, President Donald Trump signed the highly touted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) into law. Among other things, the TCJA is intended to reduce tax rates for businesses and individuals and simplify income tax preparation by increasing the standard deduction and family tax credits, reducing the alternative minimum tax for individuals, and eliminating it for corporations. However, the new law also limits the tax deductions businesses can claim for certain employee benefits and may change the way employers settle legal claims in the future. Below is a summary of the provisions relevant to employers.

  • How employers became legally liable for documentation of employees' work eligibility

    For the last 30 years or so, the federal government has primarily enforced its immigration policies and laws by forcing employers, under the threat of criminal prosecution or exorbitant, business-crushing fines, to ensure that they hire only applicants with acceptable documentation of their eligibility for employment. The failure to properly complete and maintain I-9 forms can put companies in Nevada and nationwide in legal jeopardy. Rather than arresting and deporting unauthorized immigrants, the government finds it easier and more effective to arrest or fine employers that hire undocumented workers, no matter how unwittingly.

  • NLRB reverses precedent on key employment issues

    In December 2017, the National Labor Relations Board reversed several controversial decisions of the Obama-era Board, a move that will have a significant impact on employers. The cases redefine joint employment, create a new analysis for examining workplace rules, and roll back specific collective bargaining rules and obligations. It would be wise to take the time to review your employment policies and practices to ensure compliance with the NLRB's new decisions.