Labor and Employment

Laws Against Employment Discrimination in Nevada

By Lisa Guerin, ​J.D., Boalt Hall at the University of California at Berkeley
Learn about workplace protections against discrimination in Nevada.

Employees in Nevada are protected from workplace discrimination based on certain traits, such as race or disability. Congress and the Nevada legislature have decided that these traits, called protected characteristics, are not a fair basis for employment decisions—including who to hire, who to fire, and how much to pay employees. Below, we explain your rights under the state and federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination, including which employees are protected. (For more on this topic, see our employment discrimination and harassment page.)

Federal Laws Banning Employment Discrimination

Federal laws—including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act—protect employees in all 50 states against discrimination based on:

  • race
  • color
  • religion
  • sex
  • pregnancy
  • national origin
  • age (employees who are 40 years of age or older)
  • genetic information, or
  • physical or mental disability.

These federal laws make it illegal for employers of a certain size to discriminate in all aspects of employment, including hiring, benefits, promotions, pay, discipline, and termination. You are protected from discrimination if you work for a private employer with at least 15 employees (or 20 employees, for age discrimination).

Government employees are protected from discrimination, too. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act applies to all federal, state, and local government employers. For other types of discrimination, all federal government employers are covered, and state and local government employers are covered if they have at least 15 employees.

Nevada Laws Banning Employment Discrimination

Nevada’s Equal Opportunities for Employment Law also prohibits discrimination. The state of Nevada and all of its subdivisions must follow this law, as must private employers with at least 15 employees. Employers may not discriminate based on:

  • race or color
  • national origin
  • sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions)
  • religion
  • disability (including HIV)
  • age (covers only employees who are at least 40 years old)
  • genetic information
  • sexual orientation (including perceived sexual orientation)
  • gender identity or expression, and
  • use of a service animal.

Nevada law also prohibits all employers, no matter how small, from discriminating against employees or applicants based on their credit information or credit report, with some exceptions. And, all employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees or applicants based on their lawful use of products while off duty and offsite.

Agencies That Enforce Discrimination Laws

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the government agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting workplace discrimination. The EEOC website provides details on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the primary federal law that prohibits employment discrimination, as well as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other federal laws. See Laws Enforced by EEOC for details. See our article on how to file an EEOC claim or visit the EEOC’s website for more information.

The Nevada Equal Rights Commission enforces these protections. You can find detailed information about the state’s law against discrimination, as well as information on how to file a complaint, at the state’s website.

Finding an Employment Law Attorney in Nevada

If you believe you have been discriminated against at work, you should talk to an experienced Nevada employment lawyer. A lawyer can assess your situation, explain the laws that might apply, and evaluate the strength of your claims. A lawyer can also advise you on how to proceed, including filing a complaint or lawsuit, and what damages might be available if you win.

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