For many reasons, employers might be concerned about how their employees behave not only while at work but also outside of work. For example, an employee’s conduct outside of work may often reflect either positively or negatively on the employer if others know where the employee works. Despite these concerns, many states, including Nevada, prohibit employers from discriminating against employees for lawful conduct outside of work.
What if I Use A Legal Product Outside of Work?
In Nevada, it’s illegal for an employer to refuse to hire, fire, or otherwise discriminate against an employee for the lawful use of any product “outside the premises of the employer during the employee’s nonworking hours,” but only “if that use does not adversely affect the employee’s ability to perform his or her job or the safety of other employees.”
So, for example, if an employee legally consumes alcohol, smokes tobacco or marijuana, or uses firearms outside of work without causing a negative impact on the employer, then an employer cannot discriminate against that employee in any way based on that activity. However, if an employee uses a legal product and shows up to work unable to meet the employer’s reasonable expectations regarding performance, then the employer’s actions would likely not be illegal.
What Remedies Are Available?
If an employer discriminates against a Nevada employee for the lawful use of a product outside of work, then the employee can sue the employer and ask the court for double the employee’s lost wages and benefits as well as attorney’s fees and costs. An employee can also request reinstatement to a position if she or he was terminated, or a job applicant can ask the court to require the employer to make an offer of employment if the employer refused to hire the applicant.
Contact me today if your employer has discriminated against you for the lawful use of a product outside of work.
Applicable law: NRS 613.333.