RENO, Nev. — Two new laws coming into play in the New Year could spell big changes for Northern Nevada businesses and employers.
The Nevada Minimum Wage Increase Initiative will implement a series of staggered hikes to the minimum wage through 2024, with the minimum wage expected to top out at $12. And AB 132 prohibits employers from denying employment to candidates who test positive for marijuana in pre-employment drug screens.
Both initiatives could have wide-ranging impacts, and Northern Nevada attorneys and human resource professionals are working closely with clients and peers to ensure they stay abreast of the pending changes.
Courtney Pino, president of the Northern Nevada Human Resources Association and employee benefits consultant for Assured Partners Consulting, says a wage hike was needed — the real questions have been centered on how and when the hike would take effect. It’s slated to take effect Jan. 1.
“Everyone is ramping up for it,” Pino says. “Our minimum wage is very low, so we knew it’s needed. But now we realistically need to make it happen and budget accordingly. Company management teams must strategize and plan accordingly to ensure they have correct personnel budgeting in place moving forward.”
Here’s a breakdown of the incremental increases to the minimum hourly wage (for employees not offered health insurance) over the next five years:
2020: $9.00 2021: $9.75 2022: $10.50 2023: $11.25 2024: $12.00
Pino says many NNHRA members already pay employees more than the minimum wage. Some industries could be adversely affected by the forced bumps in pay, however.
NEGATIVE IMPACTS TO BUSINESSES
Johnny Skowronek, owner of staffing company Square One Solutions and incoming NNHRA president, expects the service and retail industries to suffer the most due to minimum wage increases.
“Most bars, restaurants, casinos and retail operations pay minimum wage, and