The Nevada Legislature recently passed Senate Bill (SB) 209 requiring employers to give employees paid time off (PTO) to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Here’s how the new law works and what you will need to know.
Key Facts About New Nevada Law
Who’s covered. SB 209 applies to all private employers with 50 or more employees in Nevada. It doesn’t apply to government or public entities, nor does it cover employers that provide a clinic on their premises where employees can receive the COVID-19 vaccine during regular business hours.
What’s required. SB 209 requires employers to provide employees with between two and four hours of PTO so they can get their COVID-19 vaccinations. If the vaccine is administered in one dose, the employer is required to provide only two hours of paid leave. If the vaccine requires two doses, the employee is eligible for four hours of paid leave (two hours for each dose).
SB 209 isn’t retroactive, which means employers aren’t required to compensate employees who have already been vaccinated. It also isn’t intended to create additional accrued wages. In other words, an employer isn’t required to compensate an unvaccinated employee who leaves work for any unused hours of vaccine leave.
Finally, as currently enacted, SB 209 doesn’t provide additional paid leave for a third dose of any vaccine or a booster.
Effective date. SB 209 became effective on June 9, 2021. Unless renewed by the legislature, it will expire on December 31, 2023.
Penalties For Employers
SB 209 penalizes employers that attempt to deny or retaliate against employees who ask to take paid leave for COVID-19 vaccinations. Employers are prohibited from:
- Denying employees the right to take PTO;
- Requiring employees to find a replacement worker during the paid leave time;
- Retaliating or taking adverse action against employees for requesting paid leave;
- Discharging or penalizing employees in any other fashion; and
- Deducting paid leave from their salary or wages.
Employers also may not use paid vaccination leave time when calculating overtime.
More On Employees’ and Employers’ Obligations
Employees must provide a minimum of 12 hours’ notice to the employer if they’re requesting paid leave for a COVID-19 vaccination. SB 209 is silent about whether employers may ask for proof of vaccination. Regardless, they may not deny an employee the right to take paid leave for the shots.
In addition to granting the statutorily required two or four hours of paid leave, employers must keep a record of the receipt or accrual of the leave for a one-year period. If Nevada’s labor commissioner requests the information, the employer must furnish it.
If an employee asks for time off to vaccinate in Nevada, you have to compensate.
Theresa Shanks is an attorney with Fennemore Law in Reno, Nevada. You can reach her at 775-788-2257 or firstname.lastname@example.org.