Nevada Senate passes paid sick leave

you give me fever
Denise Chan, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
you give me fever
Denise Chan, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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.

Jeniffer Solis
Reporter | Jeniffer was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada where she attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas before graduating in 2017 with a B.A in Journalism and Media Studies. While at UNLV she was a senior staff writer for the student newspaper, the UNLV Scarlet and Gray Free Press, and a news reporter for KUNV 91.5 FM, covering everything from the Route 91 shooting to UNLV housing. She has also contributed to the UNLV News Center and worked as a production engineer for several KUNV broadcasts before joining the Nevada Current. She’s an Aries.

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