SW Legal studies in Business

State Minimum Wage Law Rules Govern, Not Federal Minimum Wage Rules

Nevada high court held that a class action suit against an employer could proceed where the employees complained that the employer followed federal minimum wage rules, not the more-generous Nevada rules. State rules govern because federal law permits the states to have more generous rules.

Topic Employment Law
Key Words

Minimum Wage; State Law; Class Action

C A S E   S U M M A R Y

Seven Jane Roes who worked as dancers in Las Vegas sued their employer to recover unpaid wages and benefits. They sought class action certification for the case. They contended their employer followed federal minimum wage standards rather than state of Nevada wage rules. The district court dismissed the suit. Plaintiffs appealed.


Reversed and remanded. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) permits an employer to credit an employee’s tips against the federal minimum wage, while the Nevada Wage and Hour Law (NWHL) prohibits such offsets against state-established minimum wages. Since the FLSA permits state to establish minimum wages higher than federal minimum, the NWHL is valid and will be enforced in Nevada. The employer is required to pay Nevada minimum wage and may not deduct minimum wages from tips earned. The class action will be allowed as a class representative can fairly and adequately protect class members’ interests as there is no conflict of interest.

Citation Dancer I-VII v. Golden Coin, Ltd., 176 P.3d 271 (Sup. Ct., Nev., 2008)

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