Nevada Supreme Court

Nevada Justices Rule Minimum Wage Law Not Barred By ERISA, NLRA


Nevada Supreme Court

The Nevada Supreme Court recently ruled that Nevada’s Minimum Wage Amendment is valid and that although it allows employers to offer a lower wage to employees if the employer offers health benefits it does not usurp the Employee Retirement Income Security Act or the National Labor Relations Act because it does not encroach on federal laws.

Law360, New York (March 17, 2017, 3:13 PM EDT) — The Nevada Supreme Court declined Thursday to void a state law allowing employers to pay a lower minimum wage to workers if they provide workers with health benefits, saying the Minimum Wage Amendment does not co-opt federal law.

The appeals court kept in place a state district court decision rejecting a motion to dismiss a suit brought by three cabbies alleging that a Western Cab Company requirement that the drivers pay for gas pushed their wages below levels set in the MWA. The cab company had pushed to get that suit dismissed, saying the MWA is preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the National Labor Relations Act, but the justices ruled the law does not encroach on territory covered federally by those laws.

“The MWA does not usurp the function of the National Labor Relations Board … the MWA is similarly not preempted by ERISA because it neither references nor connects with ERISA for preemption purposes,” the judges said.

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