Labor commissioner clarifies overtime rule

Nevada Labor Commissioner Thoran Towler has issued an advisory opinion attempting to clarify when an employer must pay overtime to a worker on a schedule of four days and 10-hour days.

The opinion was requested by the Associated Builders and Contractors in Reno.

The law requires an employer to pay a worker time-and-a-half when that employee works more than 40 hours in a week or more than eight hours in a single day. A schedule of four 10-hour days is the exception permitted in statute when both the employee and employer agree to that schedule.

But there are situations where that rule can result in unintended consequences, forcing the employer to pay overtime. One example is when an employee fails to work a full 10-hour shift on his fourth day of a four-10s schedule, the employer has to pay him two hours of overtime for each of the previous three days work.

“This results in an additional expense to the employer that he or she must absorb and often must pass on to customers,” the opinion states. He says that wasn’t the intent of the four 10-hour days exception.

Commissioner Towler issued an opinion stating that, if the employee doesn’t work the full four 10-hour days as scheduled due to a decision or reason within the worker’s control, the employer is only required to pay the worker’s regular wage for the hours worked – without overtime for days in excess of eight hours.

But if the employee doesn’t work the full four 10-hour days because of a decision by the employer or reasons not within the worker’s control, the employer is required to pay the overtime.


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