Articles Posted in Labor & Employment Law

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Based on the plain language of Nev. Rev. Stat. 612.530(1), the requirement that all relevant parties be named as defendants must be completed as timely as the rest of the petition. The Board of Review and the Administrator of the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, Employment Security Division (ESD) awarded unemployment compensation benefits to Jessica Gerry, a former employee of McDonald’s of Keystone. McDonald’s filed a petition for judicial review of the Board’s decision. The ESD moved to dismiss the petition for judicial review on the ground that the caption failed to identify Gerry as a defendant, rendering the petition defective under Nev. Rev. Stat. 612.530(1). The district court denied the ESD’s motion to dismiss and granted McDonald’s motion to amend, concluding that the naming of all relevant parties as defendants was not a jurisdictional requirement. The Supreme Court granted the ESD’s petition for extraordinary relief, holding that McDonald’s failure to follow the statutory requirements of section 612.530(1) deprived the district court of jurisdiction to hear its petition for judicial review. View "Board of Review v. Second Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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Appellant filed a class action lawsuit against Respondent, a taxi company, seeking back pay and equitable relief under the Minimum Wage Amendment of the Nevada Constitution (MWA). The district court denied class certification based on an agreement that resolved an earlier-filed grievance for wage adjustments under the MWA brought by the union that represented Respondent’s cab drivers. The district court subsequently granted Respondent’s motion for summary judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court (1) did not abuse its discretion in holding that the settlement of the union’s grievance against Henderson Taxi made class certification inappropriate; and (2) properly granted summary judgment to Respondent. View "Sargeant v. Henderson Taxi" on Justia Law

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At issue in this consolidated matter was whether Nevada’s general slayer statutes apply to the Public Employees’ Retirement Act (PERS Act) for the purposes of determining payment of survivor benefits. The Supreme Court held (1) Nevada’s general slayer statutes are applicable to the PERS Act, and therefore, any person who kills their PERS-member spouse must be treated as if they predeceased the PERS-member spouse for the purposes of determining payment of survivor benefits (2) the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada (PERS) is not exempt from paying prejudgment or post-judgment interest; (3) it is within the district court’s discretion to award up to $1,500 in reasonable costs for a non testifying expert consultant under Nev. Rev. Stat. 18.005(5); and (4) attorney fees should not have been awarded in this case under Nev. Rev. Stat. 7.085 and 18.010. View "Pub. Employees' Retirement System of Nevada v. Gitter" on Justia Law

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William Poremba (Appellant) was injured in an accident during the course of his employment with Southern Nevada Paving. Southern Nevada Paving, through S&C Claims (collectively, Respondents), accepted Appellant’s workers’ compensation claim and eventually closed the claim. Approximately four years later, Appellant sought to reopen his claim. Respondents denied the request. Appellant administratively appealed. The appeals officer denied Appellant’s attempt to reopen his claim. The district court denied Appellant’s petition for judicial review. The appeals officer and the district court apparently resolved the petition to reopen based on whether Appellant exhausted his funds from a settlement with third-parties involved in the accident on medical expenses. Appellant appealed, arguing, inter alia, that the appeals officer erred in granting summary judgment because he was not required to prove that he spent his excess recovery on medical expenses. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Nev. Rev. Stat. 616C.390 does not require exhaustion or reimbursement as a condition precedent to reopening a workers’ compensation claim; and (2) insurers are only entitled to reimbursement from the portions of third-party recovery allocated to expenses within the scope of workers’ compensation. View "Poremba v. Southern Nevada Paving" on Justia Law

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The Minimum Wage Amendment (MWA) to the Nevada Constitution guarantees that employees be paid a specific minimum wage and gives an employee the right to bring an action against his employer to remedy any violation of the MWA. The MWA, however, does not specify a statute of limitations for the right of action it establishes. At issue in this case was whether the two-year statute of limitations set forth in Nev. Rev. Stat. 608.260 or the four-year statute of limitations in Nev. Rev. Stat. 11.220 applies to claims asserted under the MWA. Here, Appellant filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Respondent failed to pay her and other similarly situated employees the minimum wage required by the MWA. Citing the two-year statute of limitations in Nev. Rev. Stat. 608.260, Respondent sought judgment in its favor on claims for damages that were more than two years old when Appellant filed suit. The district court applied section 608.260 to Appellant’s claims and dismissed the claims after concluding that MWA claims are closely analogous to those provided for in Chapter 608. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the MWA is most closely analogous to section 608.260 and that applying section 608.260’s limitations period is consistent with Nevada minimum wage law. View "Perry v. Terrible Herbst, Inc." on Justia Law

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Under the Minimum Wage Amendment (MWA) to the Nevada Constitution, if an employer provides health benefits, it may pay its employees a lower minimum wage than if no such health benefits are provided. The MWA also requires that health benefit premiums be capped at ten percent of the employee’s gross taxable income from the employer. The employees in these consolidated cases argued that employers must actually enroll employees in health benefit plans to be eligible to pay the lower-tier minimum wage and that the ten-percent cap does not include tips in its calculation of taxable income. The Supreme Court held (1) an employer need only offer a qualifying health plan to pay the lower wage; and (2) tips are not included in the calculation of taxable income. View "MDC Restaurants, LLC v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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In Thomas v. Nevada Yellow Cab Corp., published in 2014, the Supreme Court held that the Minimum Wage Amendment to the Nevada Constitution, enacted in 2006, impliedly repealed Nev. Rev. Stat. 608.250(2)(e)’s exemption of taxicab drivers from minimum wage requirements. In two separate cases, taxicab drivers filed class actions against several taxicab companies seeking unpaid taxicab driver wages dating back to the effective date of the Amendment. The taxicab companies moved to dismiss the complaints, asserting that Thomas applied prospectively, not retroactively. Thereafter, the taxicab companies filed writ petitions arguing that Thomas should apply only prospectively. The Supreme Court consolidated the writ petitions for disposition denied the petitions, holding that section 608.250(2)(e) was repealed when the Amendment became effective rather than from the date Thomas was published. View "Nevada Yellow Cab Corp. v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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In Employers Insurance Co. of Nevada v. Chandler, the Supreme Court held that an insurer may refuse to pay additional funds when a claimant reopens a workers’ compensation claim until the claimant demonstrates that he or she has exhausted any third-party settlement funds. In the instant case, Appellant, a construction driver, was injured by another driver during the course of his employment. Appellant filed a workers’ compensation claim, which his employer, through a workers’ compensation administrator (collectively, Employer), accepted. Employer eventually closed the claim. When Appellant was unable to return to work, he sought to reopen his claim, but Employer denied it. Appellant filed an administrative appeal. An appeals officer granted Employer summary judgment. At issue on appeal was whether Chandler precluded Appellant from reopening his claim because he spent settlement funds on expenses other than medical costs. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) a claimant may reopen his workers’ compensation claim after exhausting his settlement funds on nonmedical expenses; and (2) the appeals officer erred when issuing a decision without detailed findings of fact and conclusions of law. View "Poremba v. Southern Nevada Paving" on Justia Law

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Respondent pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property. Because he could not afford bail, Respondent was incarcerated for one year. Respondent was fired by Employer because of his unexcused absences caused by his incarceration. The Nevada Employment Security Division (ESD) and the ESD Board of Review concluded that Respondent was not entitled to unemployment benefits because, by admitting to the criminal conduct that caused his incarceration, Respondent committed disqualifying misconduct. The district court reversed, ruling that the only misconduct connected with work was Respondent’s absenteeism, which was insufficient to deny benefits. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Respondent’s absence from work was directly caused by his criminal conduct, and therefore, Respondent was disqualified from receiving benefits under Nev. Rev. Stat. 612.385. View "State, Employment Sec. Div. v. Murphy" on Justia Law

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Appellant was terminated from her employment with Employer for failing to maintain an intern certification or obtain a counselor certification as required by Employer’s employment policy. Appellant applied to the Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation, Employment Security Division (ESD) for unemployment benefits. ESD denied Appellant’s claim, finding that she was terminated for misconduct connected with her work. ESD’s Board of Review denied Appellant’s appeal. The district court denied Appellant’s petition for judicial review, concluding that Appellant’s failure to receive her bachelor’s degree within ten years constituted misconduct connected with her employment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because Appellant did not provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that she made a reasonable, good-faith attempt to maintain her certification or to timely graduate, Appellant’s conduct amounted to disqualifying misconduct. View "Goodwin v. Jones" on Justia Law