Justia Labor & Employment Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Nevada Supreme Court
Brown v. MHC Stagecoach, LLC
Appellant filed an employment action against her former employer. Appellant initially authorized her attorney to settle with Respondent, but Appellant refused to sign the settlement agreement. Respondent filed a motion to enforce the settlement agreement. The district court granted the motion and entered an order setting forth the terms of the parties' settlement. The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant's appeal for lack of jurisdiction, concluding the order was not a final judgment because it did not dismiss or formally resolve Appellant's complaint. Respondent subsequently issued a check to Appellant for the settlement amount, which Appellant refused to accept. The district court then granted Respondent's motion to deposit the settlement proceeds with the district court. The order, however, failed to enter judgment in favor of either party or otherwise resolve the case. The district court then entered an order statistically closing the case on the basis that there had been a stipulated judgment. The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant's appeal for lack of jurisdiction, holding that the district court's order was not substantively appealable because no statute or court rule authorizes an appeal from an order statistically closing a case, and the order did not constitute a final, appealable judgment, as none was entered. View "Brown v. MHC Stagecoach, LLC" on Justia Law
Bisch v. Las Vegas Metro. Police Dep’t
A police department initiated an internal investigation of Appellant, a veteran of the department, regarding allegations of insurance fraud. During an internal investigation meeting, Appellant was not provided a police protective association (PPA) representative because she had retained a private attorney. Appellant subsequently received a formal written reprimand. Appellant later filed a complaint with the Employee Management Relations Board (EMRB) against the PPA and the department. The EMRB denied Plaintiff's claims, and the district court denied Appellant's petition for judicial review. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the EMRB correctly concluded that Nev. Rev. Stat. 289.080 did not impose a duty of fair representation on the PPA, and thus, Appellant was not entitled to have PPA representation present during the internal investigation meeting; and (2) the EMRB properly upheld the department's written reprimand of Appellant. View "Bisch v. Las Vegas Metro. Police Dep't" on Justia Law
City of Las Vegas v. Evans
Respondent, a firefighter, filed a claim for workers' compensation benefits after he was diagnosed with cancer within four years from the commencement of his employment with the City. Respondent asserted that his cancer was a compensable occupational disease that resulted from his work as a firefighter. The City denied the claim for benefits. A hearing officer with the Department of Administration Hearings Division affirmed the denial of the claim because Defendant had not been employed as a firefighter for five years pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 617.453. An appeals officer reversed, holding that Defendant satisfied Nev. Rev. Stat. 617.440's requirements for proving a compensable occupational disease. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court did not err in upholding the appeals officer's determination that a firefighter such as Evans, who fails to qualify for section 617.453's rebuttable presumption can still seek workers' compensation benefits pursuant to section 617.440 by proving that his cancer is an occupational disease that arose out of his employment; and (2) the appeals officer correctly found Respondent's cancer was a compensable occupational disease. View "City of Las Vegas v. Evans" on Justia Law
Sierra Nevada Administrators v. Negriev
The issue before the Supreme Court in this case centered on whether NRS 616B.227 allows an average monthly wage calculation for workers' compensation benefits to include untaxed tip income that an employee reports to his/her employer. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that NRS 616B.227 required an average monthly wage calculation to include the untaxed tips. The Court affirmed the district court's order in this case which denied appellant Sierra Nevada Administrators' petition for judicial review. View "Sierra Nevada Administrators v. Negriev" on Justia Law
Tri-County Equipment & Leasing v. Klinke
The issue before the Supreme Court was whether proof of California workers’ compensation payments could be admitted into evidence in a personal injury action in Nevada. Because Nevada, the forum state, and California, the state in which the payments were made, both have statutes that permit proof of workers' compensation payments to be allowed into evidence in personal injury actions, the Court concluded that Nevada law governed. Applying Nevada law, the Court held that evidence of the actual amount of workers' compensation benefits paid should have been admitted and that a clarifying jury instruction provided by statute should have been given. The Court therefore reversed the judgment of the lower court and remanded the case for further proceedings.
Holiday Ret. Corp. v. State Div. of Indus. Relations
Employee was injured while working for Employer. An MRI revealed evidence of previous back surgeries, which was the first record provided to Employer of Employee's previous permanent physical impairment. Employer eventually awarded Employee permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. Employer's Insurance carrier sought reimbursement from the subsequent injury account for private carriers (Account) under Nev. Rev. Stat. 616B.587(4). The Nevada Division of Industrial Relations (DIR) denied the request for reimbursement, noting that section 616.587(4) had not been satisfied because Employer did not have knowledge of Employee's prior permanent physical impairment until after her industrial injury. An appeals officer affirmed. The district court denied Employer's petition for judicial review based on its determination that the appeals officer interpreted section 616.587 correctly. The Supreme Court affirmed, concluding that the district court did not err in its judgment because an employer is required to acquire knowledge of an employee's permanent physical impairment before a subsequent injury occurs to qualify for reimbursement from the subsequent injury account for private carriers under section 616B.587(4).
Finkel v. Cashman Prof’l, Inc.
When Employee left his employment, Employee and Employer entered into a consulting agreement containing restrictive covenants prohibiting Employee from disclosing Employer's confidential information. After Employee purchased another competing company, Employer filed a motion alleging breach of the agreement and seeking a preliminary injunction to enforce the Agreement's covenants. The district court granted Employer's request, concluding that Employee had likely violated several provisions of the agreement and had misappropriated trade secrets in violation of Nevada's Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Employee then filed a motion to dissolve the preliminary injunction upon termination of the agreement, which the district court denied. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed the court's order granting preliminary injunctive relief; and (2) reversed the court's order denying Employee's motion to dissolve the injunctive provisions, finding that the court improperly relied on the terminated agreement in declining to dissolve the injunction and failed to make findings as to the continued existence of a trade secret and for what constitutes a "reasonable period of time" for maintaining an injunction under the Act.
City of North Las Vegas v. Warburton
Mallory Warburton was working for the City of North Las Vegas when she was involved in a car accident and suffered numerous injuries. The City started paying workers' compensation benefits to Warburton at a rate of $10 an hour. At the time of the accident, Warburton was expected to make $12 an hour because of a promotion to manager of one of the City's pools. After an administrative appeal, a hearing officer instructed the City to redetermine Warburton's benefits using the $12-an-hour rate of pay for a pool manager. An appeals officer reversed, concluding Warburton's benefits should be based on the $10-an-hour rate of pay she was actually receiving at the time of the accident. The district court reversed the appeals officer's decision. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the appeals officer's conclusion was not supported by substantial evidence and that substantial evidence supported the district court's determination that (1) Warburton's primary job at the time of the accident was that of pool manager, and (2) Warburton's workers' compensation benefits must be determined using an average monthly wage calculation at the $12-an-hour rate of pay.
City of North Las Vegas v. State Employee-Mgmt. Relations Bd.
Eric Spannbauer, a police officer with the North Las Vegas Police Department, was asked to resign by the City Police Department Association. Spannbauer resigned, signing a letter of agreement prepared by the Department. Spannbauer later filed a complaint with the Employee-Management Relation Board (EMRB) against the Association, the City, and the Department, alleging multiple prohibited practices in violation of Nev. Rev. Stat. 288, including gender discrimination. The EMRB found that the City and Department had committed prohibited labor practices and that the Association had breached its duty of fair representation. The City and the Department petitioned the district court for judicial review, which the district court denied. The City, on behalf of itself and the Department, filed an appeal. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that there was substantial evidence to support the EMRB's finding that the City and Department discriminated against Sannbauer on the basis of his gender in violation of Nev. Rev. Stat. 288.110(1)(f); and (2) the EMRB appropriately disregarded the resignation agreement, including the covenant not to sue, as there was substantial evidence that the agreement was a culmination of prohibited practices in violation of Nev. Rev. Stat. 288.270(1).
Yellow Cab of Reno v. Dist. Ct.
Kelly Encoe alleged that he was struck by a taxicab owned by petitioner Yellow Cab of Reno and driven by Timothy Willis. In his amended complaint, Encoe asserted that Yellow Cab was liable for Encoe's injuries under a respondeat superior theory. Yellow Cab moved for summary judgment, arguing that Nev. Rev. Stat. 706.473 authorized it to lease the taxicab to Willis as an independent contractor, and because Willis was an independent contractor, Yellow Cab could not be held liable for the incident. The district court denied Yellow Cab's motion, determining that the nature of the relationship between Yellow Cab and Willis was a question of fact for the jury, without addressing Section 706.473's potentially dispositive application. The Supreme Court denied Yellow Cab's petition for a writ of mandamus but granted Yellow Cab's petition for a rehearing because it overlooked a material question of law regarding the application of Section 706.473. The Court ultimately denied the writ due to policy but noted that the district court may wish to reconsider its reasoning for denying summary judgment because it did not render a thorough resolution of the issues before it on summary judgment.