A NEW LEAVE IN TOWN- Domestic Violence Leave Protection in Nevada
Often, as an HR Professional, I’ve had to deliver the news to my business partners about some new Federal or State regulation which requires compliance. Many times, this news is met with an eye roll, a sigh, and sometimes resistance. I get it. New regulations mean more paperwork and additional “flexibility” for employees. This translates to scheduling and productivity challenges. In addition to being a nuisance, some of these mandates negatively- either in a real or perceived way- impact the bottom line.
It is important, though, that we talk about how Nevada has stepped up to support employers and employees with navigating a very difficult and sensitive issue: Domestic Violence. On June 8, 2017, a new Act relating to Domestic Violence amended Chapter 608 of the Nevada Revised Statutes (“NRS”).
What does this mean for your business?
- Employees who are victims of domestic violence, or whose family or household members are victims of domestic violence, are provided with rights to leave time. The new Act provides employers with details to help manage these leaves. For example, all employees who have been with your Company for 90 days are eligible for the leave. Employees who qualify for the leave may take up to 160 hours of time off as defined by the Act.
- Employers must monitor use of the leave taken, maintain records of the leaves and make the records available for inspection by the Nevada Labor Commissioner. Tracking this time creates more work for your business up front, but when combined with FMLA/Sick and vacation use reports, this data will help you develop more accurate staffing plans. If your company is covered under FMLA, the Domestic Violence Leave may run concurrent with FMLA allowances.
- The Act requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for, and prohibit certain discriminatory acts against, employees with rights under the new leave provisions. Examples of accommodations include:
-Transfers or reassignments
-Modified work schedules
-New work telephone numbers
-Other reasonable accommodations that do not create undue hardships and that are necessary to ensure the safety of the employee and the workplace.
- Employers must post the bulletin created by the Office of Labor Commissioner, once it’s available, in each workplace maintained by the employer.
So, what is the bright side?
The good news is, if you look past the requirements and the legal language of the new Act, this new policy provides you with guidelines about how to handle these sensitive situations with your employees. Look, I know it’s not easy to navigate waters when you are caught up in these conversations with employees. I have been there. I recently was ready to terminate an employee for poor attendance when she broke down crying because her abusive boyfriend is her only mode of transportation and when he feels she misbehaves, he won’t take her to work, or will make sure she is late. This employee couldn’t leave the relationship because she was in a union environment, the shelters go on lock down at 9pm, and until she could bid on a better work shift, she was stuck. TRUE story. This new Act would have provided us the opportunity to consider reasonable accommodation for a shift change.
This is a lot to digest, and some of you may be feeling overwhelmed. Year end is approaching and as you are probably focused on Strategic Plans, Staffing Strategies, and Budgets for 2018. Where are you going to find the time and resources to handle these new requirements?
Propel HR Solutions can help! We can work with you to develop your new policy, update handbooks, train management, and help you get on track with the record keeping process for this new Act for Domestic Violence Leave Protection in Nevada. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our website.
The goal of Propel HR Solutions is to help you navigate these situations for the best possible outcome in People, Purpose, and Performance.