07 Sep

August 2020 Nevada HR Legal Updates

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Some Hospitality Employers in Nevada Must Establish Virus-Combating Protocols

What happened?
On August 11, 2020, Nevada Governor Sisolak signed Senate Bill No. 4 (SB 4) into law.

 What are the details?
Within 20 days of the governor’s approval, SB 4 requires the director of the Department of Health and Human Services to adopt initial regulations mandating that some but not all employers in Nevada establish standards and protocols aimed at limiting the transmission of COVID-19. The new regulations will apply to “public accommodations facilities.” Under SB 4, a “public accommodations facility” is a hotel and casino, resort, hotel, motel, hostel, bed and breakfast facility, or other facility offering rooms or areas to the public for monetary compensation or other financial consideration on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis. Note further that the relevant provisions of SB 4 apply only to counties whose populations meet or exceed 100,000 people. According to the Legislative Counsel’s Digest of the bill, this includes Clark and Washoe Counties.

The legislation also provides that the director’s regulations will apply during “any period in which a public health emergency due to SARS-CoV-2 has been declared by the Governor and remains in effect.” In addition, the regulations apply on each day that the rate of positive COVID-19 test results for the county exceeds 5% in any rolling 14-day period within the preceding 90 days, or on each day that the number of new cases in the county exceeds 100 per 100,000 residents in the same periods.

Under SB 4, the director must adopt regulations mandating that covered public accommodations facilities establish three sets of protocols to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus and mitigate its effects. The first set of protocols requires covered facilities to establish a set of finite “standards for cleaning that are designed to reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.” The second set of mandatory protocols requires covered facilities to take certain steps other than cleaning procedures to limit the transmission of COVID-19. The protocols involve the implementation of a finite set of policies regarding physical distancing, hygiene, and PPE. The third set of required protocols requires covered facilities to “establish, implement and maintain a written SARS-CoV-2 response plan designed to monitor and respond to instances and potential instances of SARS-CoV-2 infection among employees and guests.”

The response plan mandates testing of employees in four circumstances:

  1. Each new employee and each employee returning for the first time since March 13, 2020, must undergo testing, if testing is available.
  2. Each employee known to have had close contact with a guest or employee diagnosed with COVID-19 must be informed of the exposure within a maximum of 24 hours or as soon as practicable and must be tested.
  3. Each employee that has a reasonable belief or has been advised that they have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 must be tested.
  4. Each employee who discloses that they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 must be tested.

Testing must be at no cost to the employee and may be performed on-site or at a testing facility selected by the employer. The plan must prohibit symptomatic employees from returning to work while they await the results of their test, and it must include a provision requiring guests to leave and seek medical attention if they report testing positive for the novel coronavirus or a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Employees who are tested for reasons 2, 3, or 4 are entitled to:

  • Up to three days of paid time off to await testing and results; and
  • Additional paid time off if documentation shows a delay exceeding three days in testing or receiving test results.

Notably, this paid time off entitlement applies each time an employee is tested for reason 2, but only the first instance the employee is tested for reason 3 and 4.

The bill can be read here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers working in the hospitality field should read the bill and update their workplace policies to remain in compliance. Legal counsel may be necessary if the employer has any questions or has special circumstances around their business.

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