Minimum Wage and Marijuana: 2 New Nevada Laws May Have Big Business Impacts

December 25, 2019, Northern Nevada Business View, by Rob Sabo

Two new laws coming into play in the new year could spell big changes for Northern Nevada businesses and employers. The Nevada Minimum Wage Increase Initiative will implement a series of staggered hikes to the minimum wage through 2024, with the minimum wage expected to top out at $12. And AB 132 prohibits employers from denying employment to candidates who test positive for marijuana in pre-employment drug screens. Both initiatives could have wide-ranging impacts, and Northern Nevada attorneys and human resource professionals are working closely with clients and peers to ensure they stay abreast of the pending changes.

Courtney Pino, president of the Northern Nevada Human Resources Association and employee benefits consultant for Assured Partners Consulting, says a wage hike was needed — the real questions have been centered on how and when the hike would take effect. It’s slated to take effect Jan. 1. “Everyone is ramping up for it,” Pino says. “Our minimum wage is very low, so we knew it’s needed. But now we realistically need to make it happen and budget accordingly. Company management teams must strategize and plan accordingly to ensure they have correct personnel budgeting in place moving forward.”

Laura Jacobsen, labor and employment law attorney for McDonald Carano, says the wage initiative does impact businesses already paying more than minimum wage. Some businesses, she says, may lean out their staffing levels while others may choose to move key personnel into salaried positions – although there are many pitfalls to avoid there, Jacobsen cautions. To read entire article click here.

About McDonald Carano

McDonald Carano has helped to shape the Nevada business and legal landscape for 70 years. With more than 60 lawyers and government affairs professionals in our offices in Las Vegas and Reno, we are Nevada's law firm for business. We proudly represent Fortune 500 companies, financial and governmental institutions, fast-growth and mid-market companies, entrepreneurs, start-up ventures, non-profit organizations and individuals. Our attorneys deliver cross-discipline, one-stop, commercial law and government affairs counsel. Our dedication to clients, innovative thinking and practical solutions based in sound business and legal judgments are at the heart of our practice. For more information, visit, call 775.788.2000 (Reno office), or 702.873.4100 (Las Vegas office) or reach us by email at

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