New Nevada Pay Equity Law

Nevada has joined a host of other states in promoting equal pay with the passage of Senate Bill 293. Effective October 1, the law primarily aims to minimize gender and race/ethnicity pay gaps with a salary history ban.

Inquiring into a prospective employee’s wage history information can perpetuate inequities for some job applicants, such as women and people of color. As other states have shown, passing a salary history ban helps address the wage gap at the source of the issue and is a pivotal step toward achieving pay equity.

Below we outline what employers should know about the new law and why salary history bans are quickly becoming more common.

What does the new law require?

Under SB 293, employers are no longer able to seek a job applicant’s wage history or rely on it to determine pay or offer employment. As such, the law prohibits employers from discriminating, retaliating against, or refusing to interview, hire, promote or employ an applicant who does not provide wage history.

The law also enhances wage transparency by requiring that employers provide starting pay rates or salary ranges to job applicants who have completed interviews – that also goes for employees who have applied and interviewed for promotions or transfers.

Employers may request that applicants provide their salary expectations for a position.

Who must comply with the law?

The law pertains to private employers and certain public employers, including public employees of counties, cities, towns, unincorporated towns, and appointing authorities within the state personnel system. In particular, the SB 293 law amends certain chapters of the Nevada Revised Statutes.

What are the penalties?

Employers that do not comply with SB 293 may face penalties of up to $5,000 for each violation. They could also be subject to civil actions by aggrieved applicants, civil penalties, actions by the Nevada Labor Commissioner, and administrative penalties. Aggrieved parties may be issued a right-to-sue notice if 180 days pass after filing a complaint, and can only bring a civil action within 90 days of the date of the right-to-sue notice.

As the equal pay movement gains momentum throughout the country, employers should anticipate more changes to come. Rhode Island and Colorado are among the latest states to adopt legislation to ensure fairness in compensation by ending salary history practices that historically have perpetuated the gender and race/ethnicity wage gap. 

Soon, such laws to close the wage gap will be widespread. Employers can get ahead of looming federal requirements by conducting a proactive pay equity audit of their policies and procedures to address any disparities now.

Our PayParity solution offers diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) ongoing monitoring and includes an Salary Range Finder to help employers make offers upfront that aligns with industry standards and eliminates the possibility of creating illegal pay disparities.

To learn more about achieving DEI goals, including pay equity, read our research report, Creating a Culture of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services to learn more.