Legal Alert - Nevada Supreme Court Issues Important Opinions Concerning Nevada’s Minimum Wage
by Aleem A. Dhalla and Swen Prior
On October 27, 2016, the Nevada Supreme Court published two opinions that directly affect Nevada employers and workers. Both dealt with Nevada’s Minimum Wage Amendment (MWA), an amendment added to the Nevada Constitution in 2006 that sets a specific minimum wage for all Nevada employees and allows employees to bring a lawsuit against their employers that violate the MWA. The MWA also created a two-tiered system, where employers can pay the lower-tier minimum wage ($7.25 per hour) if they provide health benefits. In these two recent cases, Perry v. Terrible Herbst and MDC Restaurants v. The Eighth Judicial Dist. Court, the Court addressed three key issues: (1) whether employees have a two-year or four-year statute of limitations to bring a claim for back-pay under the MWA; (2) whether “provides” in the MWA means the employer must simply “offer” a qualifying health plan or that the employer must in fact “enroll” the employee in a qualifying health plan to qualify for the lower-tier wage; and (3) whether employers may include tips in calculating an employee’s taxable income to determine if the cost of health benefit premiums to the employee exceeds the 10 percent cap.