Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) enacted in 1938, a minimum hourly wage is established for covered employees working in the United States. And while the FLSA does not set a cap on the number of hours a person may work, overtime pay equal to one-and-a-half times the regular rate paid to an employee, must be paid for every hour an employee works over 40 hours in a work week. Employees paid a fixed salary, as opposed to an hourly rate, are also entitled to minimum wage coverage. To calculate the hourly wage for a fixed salary, an employee divides the salary they receive in a pay period by the number of hours they worked in that pay period.
In Nevada, Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 608.018 sets the minimum wage to $8.25 an hour. If a Nevada employer provides their employees with qualified health insurance coverage, the minimum wage drops to $7.25 cents an hour. Tipped employees, who make up a large number of the Nevada workforce, are covered under different minimum wage rules, however.
Under current FLSA and Nevada statutes, employers with tipped workers (such as wait staff, bartenders, and valets) may deduct up to $6.12 an hour as a tip credit from the minimum hourly wage paid to an employee. To qualify for the credit, an employee must earn more than $30 a month in tips. And if the total amount of an employee’s hourly tips and cash wages does not equal the minimum hourly wage, a Nevada employer must compensate the employee for the difference.
For instance if during the first hour of work an employee receives $3.00 in tips and their minimum wage is $8.25, their employer must pay the employee an additional cash wage of $3.12 ($8.25 – $3.00 – $2.13). If the employee’s minimum wage is $7.25, their employer must pay the employee an additional cash wage of $2.12 ($7.25 – $3.00 – $2.13). If the same employee earns $15.00 in tips during their second hour of work, their employer need only pay the employee the minimum wage of $2.13.
When an employee works more than 8 hours in a day or 40 hours a week Nevada law entitles them to receive overtime pay. Furthermore, an employee’s 40 hour work week can be worked in a flextime schedule, such as 4 days at 10 hours a day, as long as it is agreed upon by the employer and employee.
Though many employers provide some type of compensation, FLSA and Nevada rules do not require Nevada employers to compensate employees for vacation time, sick days, or holidays. But if vacation compensation is provided, employers must pay the employee for any unused vacation when the employee’s employment is terminated or the employee quits.
Despite several legal challenges, Nevada’s legislature and voters have repeatedly upheld the minimum wage requirements.
Employers who violate FLSA requirements can be sued by their employee. A FLSA action must be brought within two years of the violation, however if the court determines that the employer’s violations were willful, the statute of limitations is extended a year to three years total.
The commentary is for educational and commentary purposes only. If you or someone you know has had your Nevada wage rights have been violated or feel there are illegal practices occurring at your work and would like to be represented by a Nevada attorney, contact our office for a free confidential case review and receive a response within hours. Call Toll Free 866-414-0400.