In Nevada, an employer must follow strict deadlines for paying an employee who is terminated or quits. Failing to follow these deadlines can result in costs and penalties.
An Employee Who Is Terminated
Under Nevada law, when an employer fires or lays off an employee, any wages or other compensation earned at that time become due and payable immediately. If an employer fails to pay those wages and compensation within 3 days of the employee’s termination, then the employer owes the discharged employee wages for each day after the termination, for up to 30 days.
Of course, if an employer tries to pay the wages due, then the former employee can’t hide or try to avoid payment in an attempt to increase the penalties.
An Employee Who Quits
When an employee quits or resigns, an employer must pay any earned wages and compensation to the former employee either by the day the employer would have regularly paid the employee or within 7 days of the employee’s last day, whichever is earlier. As with termination, if an employer fails to pay wages and compensation due by that date, then the employer owes the former employee wages and compensation for each day after the employee’s last day, for up to 30 days.
Enforcing the Law
When an employer violates these laws, a former employee typically has three options. First, the employee can file a wage claim with the Nevada Labor Commissioner, which will investigate the claim and seek to obtain owed wages and penalties from the employer if it finds the employer violated the law.
Second, the employee can file a case in small claims court, if the amount owed plus penalties is less than $10,000. Hiring an attorney for a small claims case is typically not worth it because the court can’t require the employer to pay the employee’s attorney’s fees if the employee wins, as it can in other courts. However, the small claims process is fairly simple and some people succeed there on their own. If the amount the employee seeks is higher, say $5,000-$10,000, then it might be worth discussing options for representation with an attorney.
Third, the employee can hire an attorney to file a lawsuit in justice court, if the total amount owed plus penalties is $10,000-$15,000, or in district court if the amount is more than $15,000. In these courts, the court can order the employer to pay the employee’s attorney’s fees and costs if the employee wins.
Feel free to submit a request for a case evaluation if you’d like me to review your case and discuss options for representation.