(Randi Thompson) – We applaud Gov. Brian Sandoval’s wise decision to veto Senate Bill 180 today.
Sponsored by trial attorney and Sen. Tick Segerblom, SB 180 would have made it easier to sue employers for expanded classes of economic damages, as well as for non-economic damages. These non-economic damages include emotional pain, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and, of course, attorney fees.
Nevada law says that even if the Equal Rights Commission concludes that an unfair employment practice has not occurred, an employee can still pursue court action against his employer. SB 180 went a step further to say that if a court finds that an employee has been injured as the result of certain unlawful employment practices, the court must award to the employee, in addition to any other legal or equitable relief, damages, lost wages and benefits, costs and attorney’s fees.
A discrimination case filed against a small-business owner can easily cost the business $70,000 dollars, provided it is settled before going to trial. This amount can cause a small business to close its doors, even if the employer is successful in his or her defense.
It is illegal to discriminate against employees in Nevada no matter how many employees you have. In enterprises of any size, a successful litigant can win reinstatement of his or her job and back pay through court action.
Small businesses, the state’s leading job generator and largest employer, continue to be under attack by the Nevada Legislature. We’re grateful that the governor recognized that this job-killing bill would hurt small business in Nevada.
(Randi Thompson, Nevada state director for the National Federation of Independent Business. NFIB represents more than 2,000 small-business owners in the state.)