Maternity and Parental Leave Laws in Nevada

A mix of federal and state laws gives some employees in Nevada the right to take time off for pregnancy, childbirth, and/or parenting.

By , J.D. · UC Berkeley School of Law

Do you need time off work for pregnancy, childbirth, or parenting? If you work in Nevada, the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives you the right to take unpaid leave for these reasons. And the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and Nevada law both prohibit your employer from discriminating against you because of your pregnancy, which might give you the right to take time off work in some cases.

In addition, Nevada state law gives parents of older children the right to take time off for certain school activities.

Taking Time Off During Pregnancy in Nevada

There are two types of laws that might protect you if you need pregnancy leave: laws prohibiting pregnancy discrimination and laws that require employers to give you pregnancy leave.

Pregnancy Discrimination Laws in Nevada

The PDA doesn't require employers to give pregnant employees time off work. But it does require an employer to treat employees who can't work due to pregnancy just as it treats employees who are temporarily disabled for other reasons.

For example, if your company lets employees take time off for other temporary disabilities, like broken bones or heart attacks, it must allow pregnant employees to take the same time off when they can't work.

The Nevada Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act applies to employers with 15 or more employees and state and local governments. The act requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees or applicants based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions (including expressing milk), unless it would impose an undue hardship on the business.

Like the PDA, under this Nevada law, if an employer provides leave—paid or unpaid—to employees who need time off because of an injury or illness, the employer must provide the same time off for pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

Family and Medical Leave Under the FMLA in Nevada

The FMLA gives eligible employees in Nevada the right to take up to 12 weeks off work in one year for serious health conditions. Pregnancy is considered a serious health condition under the law.

If you qualify, you can use the FMLA to take time off when you can't work because of your pregnancy and childbirth. You can also take FMLA leave for prenatal care, including routine check-ups and doctor visits.

The FMLA allows employees to take their leave intermittently if it's medically necessary. For example, if you have morning sickness that lives up to its name, you might need a few hours off in the morning but be able to come to work by lunchtime.

But the FMLA applies only to employers with at least 50 employees. And to be eligible for leave, you must have worked for the employer for at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding your leave. (Learn more about using FMLA leave for pregnancy and disability, including eligibility requirements.)

Some states have their own laws allowing for similar family and medical leave, but Nevada isn't one of them.

Parenting Leave in Nevada

The FMLA gives employees in Nevada the right to take time off to bond with a new child, whether the child is:

  • biological
  • adopted, or
  • foster.

This is part of the total 12-week FMLA leave entitlement. So, if you use eight weeks of FMLA leave for pregnancy and childbirth, you'll have four weeks left to use for parental leave.

You aren't automatically entitled to use your FMLA parenting leave a little at a time—your employer must agree to it. If your employer agrees to let you use your parenting leave intermittently, you must finish your time off within one year after the child is born (or placed in your home).

If you're married to someone who works for the same company, your employer can limit your total amount of FMLA leave for parenting to 12 weeks combined. So, if you use eight weeks of FMLA leave after your child is born, your spouse would have only four weeks available. But whatever portion of your own 12 weeks of FMLA leave you don't use for parenting will still be available to you for other reasons, including your own serious health condition.

Nevada state law requires private employers with at least 50 employees to provide at least a week of leave per year which can be used for parenting. And the state's small necessities law requires those employers to give parents of school-aged children up to four hours of time off per school year to do any of the following:

  • attend school events and activities
  • go to parent-teacher conferences, or
  • volunteer at their children's school.

Getting Paid During Your Maternity or Parental Leave in Nevada

FMLA leave is unpaid. And Nevada doesn't have a short-term disability insurance program as some other states do.

But Nevada has a paid leave law that affects private employers with at least 50 employees. (Nev. Rev. Stat. 608.0197.)

How Much Leave Do You Get Under Nevada's Leave Law?

Under Nevada's paid leave law, all employees (except on-call, seasonal, and temporary workers) working for covered employers are entitled to accrue at least 0.01923 hours of paid leave for every hour worked (about 40 hours per year for someone who works full-time). New businesses (less than two years old) are exempt. Employees can't use their paid leave until they've worked for an employer for three months.

Under Nevada's law, if you don't use your 40 hours of leave, you can roll it over into the next year. But your employer can limit you to taking 40 hours of paid leave per year. Your employer can also require you to take the paid time off in four-hour blocks.

What Can You Use Nevada's Paid Leave For?

The paid leave law expressly permits employees to use the paid leave for any of the following purposes:

  • treatment of a mental or physical health condition (including pregnancy)
  • receiving a medical diagnosis or medical care, including preventive care
  • participating in caregiving, or
  • addressing other personal needs related to your health.

So, you can use your paid leave for pregnancy or childbirth—including maternity or paternity leave.

Do Nevada's State Laws Cover Caring for Family Members?

Nevada law requires employers to allow employees to use sick time to care for an immediate family member, which includes caring for a newborn. (Nev. Rev. Stat. 608.01975.)

And beginning January 1, 2024, some state employees are entitled to 8 weeks of paid family leave (over 12 months) to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child or to care for a family member. The leave is paid at 50% of the employee's regular wages.

What If I'm Not Eligible for Nevada's Paid Leave Laws?

Even if you're not covered by state-mandated paid leave, your employer might offer benefits like:

  • maternity and paternity leave
  • parental benefits, or
  • short-term disability insurance.

Talk to your HR representative or manager (and check your employee handbook) to find out what types of leave are available to you.

Updated July 17, 2023

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