Wage & Hour Update: Nevada Supreme Court Clarifies Requirements
for Minimum Wage Notification and Record Keeping
Nevada minimum wage will increase again on July 1, 2022, and on July 1st of each year until 2024. When it does, Nevada employers must notify their employees of the new rate. In A Cab, LLC v. Murray, 137 Nev. Adv. Op. 84 (2021), an appeal in a minimum wage class action brought by taxi driver employees, the Nevada Supreme Court addressed this notice requirement and other record keeping requirements imposed under Nevada law. The December 30, 2021 decision provides guidance to employers on two key questions: (1) how to properly inform employees of the annual minimum wage rate adjustments; and (2) how to maintain records of wages and hours worked by employees. McDonald Carano litigation attorney Chelsea Latino explains the court’s answer to these two questions and outlines the key takeaways for employers.
How to Notify Employees of Annual Wage Adjustments?
The Minimum Wage Amendment (MWA) requires employers to “provide written notification of the rate adjustments to each of its employees and make the necessary payroll adjustments by July 1 following the publication of the bulletin.” (Nev. Const., Art. 15, Sec. 16(A)). In A Cab, LLC v. Murray, the district court interpreted this provision as requiring “the employer to ‘provide’ to ‘each’ of its employees ‘written notification’ of the rate adjustments to the minimum wage.” Although the employer had posted written notification in common areas that were accessible to all taxi drivers, the district court concluded the employer failed to properly inform employees of the minimum rate adjustments because the employer did not provide each employee with individual written notice.
The Nevada Supreme Court reversed the district court, holding that “[t]here is no express requirement that each employee be individually provided with written notice; notice posted in a common work area is a form of written notification that is available to each employee. The drivers here obtained this notification, in writing, through the notices posted by [the employer] in employee common areas along with other required employment information. We therefore conclude that, by posting the written notice in a common, conspicuous area to which each driver had access” the employer met its obligation under the MWA.
How to Comply with Record-Keeping Requirements?
Under NRS 608.115(1), employers are required to “establish and maintain records of wages” for every employee. For each pay period, the records must show, among other things, the “[g]ross wage or salary,” “[n]et cash wage or salary,” and “total hours employed in the pay period by noting the number of hours per day.” During discovery, the employer in A Cab, LLC v. Murray provided plaintiff taxi drivers with two forms of wage information – computerized pay records and handwritten trip sheets. The computerized data showed the wages paid and number of shifts worked, but did not contain total hours worked per shift; however, the handwritten trip sheets accounted for all hours actually worked each shift. Consequently, wage and shift information was in computerized form and hours worked was in handwritten form. According to the district court, the information the employer provided did not comply with the statutory requirements for employer record-keeping.
In order to determine hours worked per shift and pay period for each driver, the Nevada Supreme Court stated that “it would have been necessary to perform extensive calculations from the trip sheets, and then to harmonize those with the shift and wages per pay period information to establish any deficiencies.” The Supreme Court agreed with the district court that the information provided by the employer did not meet the requirements of NRS 608.115. As the Supreme Court explained, “[t]he plain meaning of the statute requires employers to keep records showing an employee’s wage and the number of hours worked per day and to provide this information to employees upon request. Although the drivers could have ultimately determined hours worked from what was provided, [the employer] did not fulfill its burden to provide this statutorily required information to the drivers.”
What are the Key Takeaways for Employers?
1. Employers should evaluate their work areas to determine if posting the minimum wage rate notice would comply with the Minimum Wage Amendment. An employer should consider providing individual notice to each employee if there is no common work area available to all employees. If a common work area is not available to all employees, an employer might evaluate whether individual notice need be given to some, but not all, employees.
2. The Nevada Labor Commissioner usually updates the requisite notices and bulletins that must be posted in each place of business with employees. Employers should regularly check that their postings are up-to-date with those found on the Nevada Labor Commissioner’s website.
3. Employers should ensure that they maintain records showing total hours worked each shift. Otherwise, A Cab v. Murray demonstrates that the consequences of non-compliance are not limited to administrative fines and penalties, and could include exposure to additional liability and litigation costs.
About McDonald Carano
McDonald Carano has been shaping Nevada’s legal, business, and policy landscape since our founding in 1949. With more than 60 lawyers and government affairs professionals working from offices in Las Vegas, Reno and Carson City, we are Nevada’s law firm for business. Our local, national and global clients include Fortune 500 corporations, fast-growth and mid-market companies, entrepreneurs and startups, non-profit organizations, government entities, and high-net-worth 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, please visit mcdonaldcarano.com or send an email to email@example.com.
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