The Nevada Supreme Court today issued an opinion clarifying which
Nevada workers are exempt from the payment of minimum wage.
In 2004 and 2006, Nevada voters approved an amendment to the Nevada
Constitution which created a unique minimum wage system in Nevada. In addition
to creating a two-tiered minimum wage system, the constitutional amendment
provided that individuals under the age of 18 years old, those employed by
nonprofit organizations for after-school or summer employment, and those
employed as trainees for a period not to exceed 90 days were not entitled to
payment of minimum wage.
Prior to the amendment, Nevada law provided for other exemptions to the
payment of minimum wage, specifically, NRS 608.250 exempted six categories of individuals:
(1) casual babysitters; (2) domestic service employees who reside in the
household; (3) outside salespersons whose earnings are based on commissions;
(4) certain agricultural employees; (5) taxicab and limousine drivers; and (6) certain
persons with severe disabilities.
While the constitutional amendment did not directly conflict with the
exemptions outlined in NRS 608.250, its passage created some uncertainty. It
was this uncertainty that the Nevada Supreme Court addressed in Thomas v. Nevada Yellow Cab, 130
Nev. Adv. Op. 52 (2014). In its opinion, the Nevada Supreme Court found that
exemptions outlined in the Nevada Constitution supersede the exemptions previously
provided for in NRS 608.250. The only individuals who are exempt from the
payment of minimum wage, according to the Nevada Supreme Court, are those
specifically outlined in the constitutional amendment.
What does this decision mean for Nevada? It means that employers who
have previously relied on the exemptions outlined in NRS 608.250 will be
mandated to pay minimum wage to those six categories of individuals not
specifically exempted in the Nevada Constitution.
About the Office of the Labor Commissioner
The Office of the
Labor Commissioner is a division of the Department of Business and Industry.
The Labor Commissioner strives to ensure that all workers are treated fairly
under the law by investigating complaints of non-payment of wages, State
minimum wage, overtime, and prevailing wage disputes. The office also monitors
youth employment standards, including work hours and safe, non-hazardous