Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Please note that the answers to these questions do not substitute for knowing the exact provisions of our statute, which may be found in NRS 288, or our regulations, which may be found in NAC288. Rather, they are only provided herein to give a general overview to questions that are frequently asked. We encourage readers to consult the law, and if necessary, an attorney.  

By clicking on the question the answer will appear.

Initial Pleadings - Complaint and Answer

What is a Complaint?

A Complaint is a formal document that contains a clear and concise statement of the facts constituting the alleged practice sufficient to raise a justiciable controversy under Chapter 288 of NRS, including the time and place of the occurrence of the particular acts and the names of persons involved. It also contains the legal authority under which the complaint is made. Particular details may be found in our regulation at NAC 288.200.

Who is allowed to file a Complaint?

Pursuant to our statute only local governments, employee organizations (i.e. unions) and local government employees may file Complaints. The EMRB does not have jurisdiction over private businesses, the federal government or state government or any employees who work for those entities. Please visit the Links section of our website for other governmental agencies that may assist you if you are not a local government employee.

Is there a time limit for filing a Complaint?

Yes. NRS 288.110 states in part that the “Board may not consider any complaint or appeal filed more than 6 months after the occurrence which is the subject of the complaint or appeal.” Please consult an attorney for any interpretations of this statute, including equitable tolling and the continuing violation doctrine.

Is the Complaint required to be in a certain format?

Yes. The rules for the format may be found in our regulations at NAC 288.231. The Complaint, and all other documents filed with the agency, looks very much like documents that would be filed with a court.

How are documents filed with the agency?

Currently parties to a case file an original with the agency of any given document. This can be done either by coming to our office or else by mailing the documents to us. If you plan on coming to our office we suggest that you call first. We are a two-person agency and although we strive to always have the office open during business hours there may be the rare occasion in which the office may be closed. If you mail the documents please include a self-addressed stamped return envelope. If you let us know, we will only return the one page that is file-stamped in order to save you postage.  You may alternatively e-file your documents as a .pdf attachment to an email.  Please call our office to learn about this feature or click here for our E-filing form and instructions.

After I file a Complaint with the EMRB who notifies the Respondent?

The Complainant is to serve a copy on the Respondent(s) by certified mail within five days and then provide proof to the agency that this has been done.

How long does a Respondent then have to file an Answer?

A respondent has twenty (20) days to file its Answer from the date they receive a copy of the Complaint.

What happens if I need more time to file an Answer or other document other than a Complaint?

You and the other parties to the case can agree or stipulate in writing to extend the deadline for filing documents, subject to the approval of the Commissioner.  The stipulation needs to be signed by all parties to the case and submitted to the EMRB for approval by the Commissioner.  Once it is approved by the Commissioner, a a Commissioner's Order Extending Time will be issued to the parties who submitted the stipulation.  

What if the parties agree to dismiss the case?

If the parties agree to settle the matter, a Stipulation to Dismiss is filed with the EMRB, but unlike a stipulation to continue a filing deadline, only the Board can approve these stipulations. Once the stipulation to dismiss is received, it is then placed on the agenda for the next Board meeting for deliberation.  When approved by the Board, if the Stipulation has the language as presented below, we can then immediately issue it. However, when the Stipulation is either in letter form or does not contain the language below, the EMRB will draft and issue a separate order. To expedite the issuance of your Stipulations, please ensure that they have the following at the bottom of the document:

 

                                                        IT IS SO ORDERED…

                                                        ______________________________     _____________

                                                        EMRB Chairman                                      Date

Further, stipulations to dismiss should also include the following language in the body of the Stipulation: “Pursuant to NRS 233B.121(5), the parties waive the requirement for findings of fact and conclusions of law.” 

Pre-Hearing Procedure and Pre-Hearing Conference

What is the usual next step after the Respondent files its Answer?

The parties then file Pre-Hearing Statements. This is done within 20 days after the filing of the Answer. The regulations pertaining to the content of the Pre-Hearing Statements may be found in NAC 288.250.  Exhibits should not be attached to the Pre-Hearing Statement as exhibits need to be introduced at the hearing. 

What happens to a case after the Pre-Hearing Statements have been filed?

The case is then placed into a queue of cases waiting for a decision by the Board whether and when to grant a hearing. If the Board grants a hearing the Commissioner then issues a Notice of Hearing, detailing the issues for the case and the procedures to be followed at the hearing.

What is a Pre-Hearing Conference?

Every case that is issued a Notice of Hearing first has a Pre-Hearing Conference held. Like its name suggests, this is a conference held prior to the formal hearing before the Board. The purpose of the Pre-Hearing Conference is to further refine the issues, discuss the calling of witnesses and the preparation of exhibit books, along with other technical details to better ensure that the hearing will go smoothly.  Please refer to the Pre-Hearing Conference Checklist for issues to be discussed at the conference

Hearings

What is a hearing like?

A hearing is much like a court trial. Each side gives an opening statement. Then the Complainant, usually through an attorney, calls one or more witnesses to the witness stand and asks the witnesses questioned. Documents are also introduced as exhibits. All this is recorded by a court reporter. The Respondent’s attorney then has the opportunity to cross-examine each witness. When the Complainant is done with its case then the Respondent may put on witnesses and introduce exhibits. During this process any of the three Board members may also ask questions. At the end of the hearing each side may give closing arguments and/or file a written brief with the Board.

How are cases decided?

After a hearing has concluded the Board then meets in closed session and deliberates much like a jury. The Board considers all the evidence introduced during the hearing as well as the EMRB’s statute, the statute as interpreted by the courts, and its own prior decisions, which number into the hundreds. Upon reaching a decision the Board then announces its decision in open session, which is then followed by a written order.

Subpoenas

I need a subpoena for the hearing. Who issues the subpoena?

The Board may issue a subpoena upon the request of a party to the case. 

Can I obtain a subpoena before my case has been scheduled for a hearing?

No, subpoenas will not be issued unless your case has been scheduled for a hearing by the Board.  Please note subpoena requests must be made at least seven (7) days before the first day of the hearing, absent good cause, and the person you want to subpoena must be on the witness list filed with the Pre-Hearing Statement.

Decisions and Orders

How many decisions and orders have the Board issued over the years?

Since 1970 the agency has issued more than 1300 orders.

How can I research these orders?

It is our understanding that these orders are available on several commercially available products such as Westlaw and Lexis. Our website also has .pdf versions of some of the orders available for viewing here.

Can I search the orders that are posted on the website?

No. The website does not have the ability for searching these orders.

The Legislative Counsel Bureau annually issues the Nevada Law Library on CD. Will the orders be available on that product?

Yes. The Nevada Law Library on CD has about half of our Orders on that CD. As that product is searchable, our orders will also be searchable.  We are in the process of adding more orders to be included in the next CD publication.

You used to annually publish an Index of Decisions, which provided various indexes to the orders as well as short summaries of the orders. Is that product still available?

The Index of Decisions, unfortunately, has not been updated since 2008; however, there is good news. We are working feverishly to bring the index current to the present, which will be electronic and spreadsheet based, thus allowing the user to filter and sort the indexes to their heart’s content.

Miscellaneous

What subjects must be negotiated between a local government and an employee organization that represents a recognized bargaining unit?

NRS 288.150 contains a laundry list of items that are mandatory subjects of bargaining. In addition, the EMRB has held that items “significantly related” to an item contained in NRS 288.150 is also a subject of mandatory bargaining.

Has this list changed in recent years?

Yes. In 2011 the legislature amended NRS 288.150 to add one more subject of mandatory bargaining as subsection (w). It reads:

 

(w) Procedures and requirements for the reopening of collective bargaining agreements that exceed 1 year in duration for additional, further, new or supplementary negotiations during periods of fiscal emergency. The requirements for the reopening of a collective bargaining agreement must include, without limitation, measures of revenue shortfalls or reductions relative to economic indicators such as the Consumer Price Index, as agreed upon by both parties.

Do you have copies of current collective bargaining agreements, and if so, how can they be viewed?

Every fall each employee organization (i.e., union) must submit an annual report to the EMRB plus a copy of all their collective bargaining agreements currently in effect.  The EMRB received over 200 current collective bargaining agreements as part of the annual reporting filed by the employee organizations for the current fiscal year.  As of June 5, 2015, all of these collective bargaining agreements have been uploaded on this website under "Resources/Collective Bargaining Agreements." 

Reviewing the agreements might answer any number of questions you might have – from the going rate for tool allowance to clauses on the payout of sick leave. Moreover, your current CBA might have language that has led to several disputes in interpretation. A review of other agreements might provide less ambiguous language that could lead to better harmony between management and labor. 

How many local governments are registered with the EMRB?

There are 167 local governments in the State of Nevada. 

Is there a master list of the local governments and employee organizations?

More than 300 local governments and employee organizations file an annual report with the agency. Our website will soon have this information online. In the interim, please feel free to call us and we would be glad to give you any publicly available information on other local governments or employee organizations, including key contact information.

Annual Assessments

What is the annual assesment?

NRS 288.105 allows this agency to charge and collect a fee from each local government employer of up to $10.00 for each local government employee so employed by each local government.

What is the fee for the 2015 fiscal year?

$6.75 per employee.

What is the due date for the annual assesment?

The due date is July 31st of each year.