The Nevada Senate on Tuesday passed legislation mandating that Nevada businesses with more than 50 employees provide workers with paid leave. The measure now goes to the state Assembly.
The amended bill, SB 312, passed unanimously on a 21-0 vote and mandates that private sector employees at businesses with 50 or more employees earn .01923 hours paid leave for every hour worked — equivalent to 5 days of leave over the course of a year for an employee working 40 hours a week.
The bill also caps earned paid leave at 40 hours hours per year.
The paid leave requirement does not cover temporary, seasonal, and on-call workers.
When speaking in support of the bill during an earlier hearing, Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce CEO Ann Silver told lawmakers that 75 percent of the chamber’s members are small businesses with fewer than 50 employees — meaning the amended paid sick leave bill would not apply to them.
Other business and industry groups, including the Las Vegas Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the Henderson Chamber of Commerce and the Nevada Restaurant Association took neutral positions on the bill.
Various workers rights and public health advocacy groups have called for a more generous bill. A poll commissioned by Time to Care Nevada, a coalition of several state advocacy groups, found strong support — 78 percent — for state legislation that would provide all workers with 10 paid sick days per year at businesses with ten or more employees, and five earned paid sick days per year at businesses with fewer than ten employees.
Advocates for paid leave in Nevada note that the 50-employee limit means an estimated 192,000 employees will still have no paid leave.
The 50-employee limit echoes the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which protects workers’ positions while they take unpaid leave. FMLA only applies to businesses with 50 or more employees.