Still underway in Carson City, the 80th Legislative Session has been a doozy so far. With approximately 1,000 bills proposed between the Assembly and Senate there is much to be done before the session adjourns in early June.
One thing Nevada legislators are eager to weigh in on is how businesses manage their employees. In for consideration are several employment bills that would, in many ways, dictate how you run your business and, certainly, how you interact with your employees.
Legislators made it clear months ago that minimum wage would be on the docket this year, and it is. Several bills propose a raise to the minimum wage in various ways. SJR6, one of the more extreme resolutions, is a holdover from the 79th session and would increase the minimum wage until it reaches $14 an hour. This is an amendment to the Nevada constitution and would have to pass the popular vote in November 2020. Other bills introduced relating to minimum wage include AB456, AB175, SB192 and SB106, all of which are geared toward regulating what you can pay your employees, regardless of their efforts or experience. AB 456 proposes a more moderate increase of $0.75 per year until the minimum wage reaches $12 an hour, or $11 an hour if the employer offers health insurance.
In addition to minimum wage, issues such as employment discrimination, workers compensation and offered benefits are slated for consideration. For example, one bill, AB 138, deals with workers compensation and makes it easier for employees to bring claims of work-related injuries. Another, AB132, prohibits employers from denying employment to a candidate based on testing positive for marijuana in a pre-employment drug test. Requiring paid sick leave for all employees and paid sick time for the needs of family members, as well as new rules on discrimination, are also among laws being considered.
I’m certainly not saying that employees shouldn’t have a fair wage, ample opportunities, vacation and sick days and health benefits. If you want to employ the best team, you have to take care of them. This is an employee market and if you don’t take care of your good talent, you’ll lose them. And, it’s the right thing to do. However, when legislators are considering these bills that look out for the “little guy” employee, they need to consider the fact that there have to be jobs for them in the first place, and regulations kill jobs.
None of these bills are favorable toward employers. In fact, many don’t seem to take the employer into consideration at all, other than to make it seem as though every business exists only to take advantage of their team. If lawmaker’s are to be believed, based on their proposed bills anyway, Nevada businesses are money hungry corporate machines who care nothing for their employees. Yet, the mantra in Carson City is “We’re Pro-Business.” It makes no sense.
The reality is, many of Nevada’s businesses are small businesses who are trying to provide gainful employment for their employees and also provide for their own families. Even Nevada’s large businesses, who provide hundreds of jobs in the community, must look out for their bottom line to keep their doors open.
Call to Action: Regulating what an employer must pay and how they must pay it stifles and kills business which creates a deficit in the very jobs legislators claim they want to protect. It’s common sense. Let businesses take care of their employees. Reach out to your state representatives and let them know your thoughts on being told how to run your business and manage your people. Get involved in the process. We need businesses to step up and provide some much needed common sense in Carson City.
By Whose Authority?
For more information on my Commentary and to see some of my backup research, or if you wonder why I take the position I take, go to www.LyleBrennan.com.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”