Nevada Minimum Wage & Overtime Rules Could Change - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Nevada Minimum Wage & Overtime Rules Could Change

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It's been nearly three weeks since the Nevada Senate passed a bill that would increase the minimum wage and change how overtime is calculated.  Now, that bill is being vetted by the Assembly.  Minimum wage is $8.25 per hour, in the Silver State.  That is $1 more than the federal requirement. But if Senate Bill 193 passes, that wage would increase to $9 per hour for workers that do not have employer-sponsored health benefits.

"For me, I think it would be good because we don't really do health benefits here," Eryn Blanchard, The Human Bean employee said. "So, I would just be getting paid more, which would be nice. It would add up really fast."

Most of the employees at Reno area Jimmy John's make more than minimum wage. But the shop's owner says wage hikes could force layoffs and price increases for many businesses.

"They're not living wage jobs," Tim Wulf, Jimmy John's owner said. "They're jobs that they start, they learn skills, and they advance. So, you're taking those away, and at the same, you're creating inflation, which hurts lower-income people more than anyone else."

Wulf says that while, lower-wage earners could be negatively impacted, businesses could be looking at more than just wage hikes.

"We feel a little targeted because if there's a change in our business license tax or a change in modified business tax or a minimum wage, it would be extremely detrimental to small businesses in Nevada," Wulf said.

Right now, some employees who work more than 8 hours, in a 24 hour period, get paid for time-and-a-half. This bill would only require overtime pay after 40 hours per week. Wulf says employees like the idea because it gives them flexibility.

"That means that an employee that works a shift at night can work a day shift," Wulf said. "Whereas before, they couldn't because we can't manage our labor hours by paying overtime."

Blanchard already gets overtime, usually working more than 40 hours per week. But she admits, she doesn't know how this bill's passage would impact the coffee shop and her bottom line.

"I work here so much," Blanchard said. "I'm always here. So, if it were to cut my hours down, I would rather get paid less and work more, if it adds up like that."      

Another Reno restaurant owner says a $0.75 increase would hurt, initially, but says there is a moral obligation to pay workers more.
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