Paid sick leave bill finally surfaces

punch in, punch out, repeat
"Art Lab punch clock" by Bernard Polet is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
punch in, punch out, repeat
“Art Lab punch clock” by Bernard Polet is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

State Sen. Joyce Woodhouse introduced a bill Monday to mandate at least three paid sick days each year for private sector employees.

SB 312 would require employers with 25 or more workers in the state to provide paid sick leave at a rate of 1 hour earned for every 30 hours worked. Employers are allowed to cap paid sick leave accrual to 48 hours, or 6 days, per year. The bill allows employers to limit workers’ use of their paid sick leave to 24 hours, or 3 days per year.

Advocacy groups like Make It Work Nevada recommend a minimum of 56 hours, or 7 days, of sick days. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research estimated in 2015 that half of Nevada’s private sector workforce had no paid sick leave. A typical family is estimated to lose 3.5 days because of illness.

Under SB 312, employees would be allowed to use their paid sick leave for their own care or the care of a family member. Mental health care would be covered as well, as the bill allows paid sick leave to be used to attend counseling. Court hearings related to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or harassment, are also covered.

Employers, the bill says, would be able to request “reasonable documentation” and advance notice from an employee for the use of accrued paid sick leave.

The bill makes any violation of the proposed bill a misdemeanor and authorizes the Labor Commissioner to impose an administrative penalty of not more than $5,000 for each violation.

Currently, the District of Columbia and 11 states have laws mandating paid sick leave for at least some employers.

In 2017, legislators approved a nearly identical bill requiring businesses with 25 or more employees to provide full-time workers with paid sick leave. Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed it saying it would be a “substantial cost to businesses, particularly small businesses.”

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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