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2016 Recap - Labor And Employment Law Developments For Nevada Employers

Volume 15, Issue 28
December 28, 2016

As 2016 comes to a close we are thankful for the judicial branch of our government that has been instrumental this year in keeping an aggressive executive branch in check. Below you will find the highlights of the legal developments we have followed via the Employer Reports this year:

DOL's New Overtime Rules - A Beginning And An End?

In May, the Department of Labor (DOL) published its long-awaited changes to the overtime exemptions for white-collar employees (executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer employees). To be effective December 1, 2016, the changes significantly increased the minimum salary employers must pay such employees to qualify for the exemptions. Lawsuits were filed challenging the rules as unlawful that resulted in a November ruling from a federal judge in Texas that temporarily stayed enforcement of the new rules. That decision has been appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has agreed to hear the matter in an expedited fashion.

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 Was Enacted

In May, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 ("DTSA") that gives businesses the right to pursue a claim in federal court for trade secret misappropriation and recover trade secrets that have been stolen. The DTSA also requires employers to provide certain notices to employees and contractors who have entered into confidentiality, trade secret or non-compete agreements.

OSHA Watered Down Drug Testing

In the spring, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a new final rule requiring employers to begin electronically reporting injury and illness data. In strengthening OSHA's prohibitions against retaliation, the new rule also resulted in OSHA's declaration that "blanket post-injury drug testing policies deter proper reporting" of injuries and will now be considered retaliatory.

Several business groups have filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the anti-retaliation provisions of OSHA's new rule. The judge in that case recently denied a request for a preliminary injunction. As such, the complete rule became effective on December 1, 2016. We will continue to keep you posted on this issue in the new year.

The Nevada Supreme Court Clarified Application of the Minimum Wage Amendment

In October, the Nevada Supreme Court issued three important decisions interpreting Nevada's Minimum Wage Amendment ("MWA"). The Court clarified that an employer satisfies the requirement of "providing" qualifying health benefits to an employee by offering the benefits. The Court also ruled that in calculating "gross taxable income," the employer must only count income from the employer and cannot include an employee's tips. Finally, the Court addressed the effective date of and statute of limitations for the MWA.

Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.