IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING COVID-19 & NLS

NLS LOCATIONS & CONTACT INFORMATION

UPDATED: MARCH 18, 2020

Due to the ongoing concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19, NLS offices are open for business, but working remotely.  Please contact us by phone or email for further assistance – click on the link below to be taken to our contact page. We encourage everyone to reach out if they have a legal issue we might be able to help with but we ask that you do not go to our offices. Instead, please continue to call or email one of our local offices for further assistance. We will do our best to respond to everyone as quickly as we are able to do so. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.

CLICK HERE TO CONTACT US

UPDATE REGARDING EVICTIONS

UPDATED: APRIL 6, 2020

NEVADA EVICTION MORATORIUM

On Sunday, March 29, Governor Sisolak announced a statewide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures - Directive-008-Guidance-Release-Directive-Final.  For more information you can also visit https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/.  The guidance was updated (see Gov.-Sisolak-Guidance-Directive-008-Evictions-Updated-on-3-30) and makes clear this applies to residents in weekly motels and small businesses.  Pending eviction actions are stayed and landlords have been instructed not to issue eviction notices to tenants.  Landlords may still seek to evict tenants where there is a threat to public health or safety, criminal activity or significant damage to the property.  COVID-19 infection, isolation or quarantine is not a threat to public health.  No late fees may also be charged.  The CARES Act also provided for rent forbearance in federally subsidized housing.

Court Administrative Orders implementing the Governor's Moratorium:

CARES Act

The CARES act also protects tenants of federally subsidized housing.  The moratorium on evictions only applies to non-payment of rent actions but does put into place a 120 stay of eviction for non-payment of rent and a waiver of all fees associated with the non-payment of rent during that time frame.  Additionally the landlord must issue a 30 day notice after the 120 period to initiate an eviction action.

NEVADA LEGAL SERVICES MAY BE ABLE TO HELP!

Please contact our statewide offices for further assistance if you have received an eviction notice or do not know if you live in federally assisted housing:  Contact Us.

For more information on the eviction process, please see our Know Your Rights: Housing page.

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INFORMATION REGARDING UNEMPLOYMENT

UPDATED: April 6, 2020

FILING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS IN NEVADA

PLEASE NOTE: DETR is instructing individuals with non-traditional claims (such as self-employed individuals and independent contractors) NOT to file through the normal online claims system at this time.  They are directing individuals to check the COVID-19 information on the DETR website.

For workers filing unemployment claims: The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) has asked that everyone file claims online if at all possible. For more information on filing options and support information click here.  They are moving staff to call centers to try to support people calling in but call volume is high.  Calls, though, may open up throughout the day even if the queue is full in the morning. You can access the online filing system at ui.nv.gov.  Click the link to access DETR's how to videos on filing unemployment claims:  Nevada Unemployment Insurance Videos.

**Remember: Once you are approved for benefits you must file weekly claims in order to remain eligible for benefits.

For more assistance on how to file access the filing Information for Claimants here.  DETR also has published these Coronavirus FAQs

NEVADA LEGAL SERVICES MAY BE ABLE TO HELP!

For more information about your eligibility for benefits, you can access our Unemployment Benefits information by visiting Know Your Rights: Work and Employment.

You can also contact any of our statewide offices for more information - Contact Us.

CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the CARES Act, recently passed in the Senate and the House, is set to address the needs of thousands of Nevadans who have faced work loss and disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, by expanding benefits and providing critical funding to Nevada to expand our current unemployment insurance system.

The legislation provides the following new unemployment benefits:

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation. Provides an extra $600-per-week boost to regular state unemployment benefits for claims through July 31, 2020, a four month period.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): Creates a special program to provide benefits to those not eligible for regular state unemployment benefits or who are unable or unavailable to work because of the COVID-19 crisis, including workers in the gig economy and other self-employed workers.  Moreover, the PUA program would cover those who recently started a job but did not earn enough to qualify for UI and those who were scheduled to commence a job but cannot because of the crisis.  PUA recipients would receive the same amount as they would receive under Disaster Unemployment Benefits (which cannot be less than half the state’s average) plus an additional $600 per week.  Covered circumstances for being unable or unavailable to work due to COVID-19 include:
    • They have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have symptoms of it and are seeking diagnosis;
    • A member of their household has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
    • They are providing care for someone diagnosed with COVID-19;
    • They are providing care for a child or other household member who can’t attend school or work because it is closed due to COVID-19;
    • They are quarantined or have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;
    • They were scheduled to start employment and do not have a job or cannot reach their place of employment as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak;
    • They have become the breadwinner for a household because the head of household has died as a direct result of COVID-19;
    • They had to quit their job as a direct result of COVID-19;
    • Their place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19; or
    • They meet other criteria established by the Secretary of Labor.
  • Extension of benefits:  Provides an additional thirteen weeks of benefits for those who were already collecting regular state unemployment benefits.
  • Full federal funding for work-sharing benefits: Work-sharing benefits allow companies to reduce work hours for their staff but keep them on full payroll, and maintain their health and retirement benefits. Normally, these benefits are paid out of state trust funds, which charge back the benefits to employers. The CARES ACT would fully federally reimburse states for these expenses.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REGULATIONS

New DOL guidance came out last week providing guidance for states to provide the CARES Act unemployment benefit programs.  See Unemployment Insurance Program Letter (UIPL) 16-20.

Federal law also permits flexibility for states to amend their laws to provide unemployment insurance benefits in multiple scenarios related to COVID-19. See the Department of Labor for more information.  Federal law provides states flexibility to pay benefits where:

  1. An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work;
  2. An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
  3. An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member.

Governor Sisolak has so far waived the 7-day wait period to allow workers to file immediately and waived work search requirements.

FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT

The Response Act allocated emergency grants to assist states in implementing their unemployment insurance programs and allows for 100% federal funding for Extended Benefits for those states hardest hit.  Extended benefits in Nevada, if triggered, allow for an additional 13 week period of unemployment benefit eligibility.  NRS 612.377-3786.

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INFORMATION REGARDING NEW LEAVE BENEFITS

UPDATED: MARCH 20, 2020

On March 18, the Senate passed and the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Response Act) the House of Representatives passed last week., and the Senate passed it on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. President Trump signed it that same day.  The Act temporarily expands leave rights for employees under the Family and Medical Leave Act and creates new sick leave benefits for employees affected by COVID-19.

FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT

This new law temporarily expands leave rights for employees under the Family and Medical Leave Act (including extending them to employees of employers not previously covered by the FMLA), creates new paid sick leave benefits for employees affected by COVID-19, and provides certain tax credits to help offset the costs it creates.   This statute goes into effect on April 2, 2020.   The Act gives employees the right to take up to 12 weeks of leave (COVID-19 Leave) for a “qualifying need related to a public health emergency.”  The term “qualifying need related to a public health emergency,” means “the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave to care for [a] son or daughter under 18 years of age of such employee if the school or place of care has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to a public health emergency.”  The term “public health emergency” means “an emergency with respect to COVID-19 declared by a Federal, State, or local authority.”  COVID-19 Leave pay is paid in the amount of two-thirds of an employee’s regular rate of pay, up to $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate, but the first 10 days of leave are either unpaid or the employee can use their accrued paid time off.

Next, the Response Act creates Emergency Paid Sick Leave (Sick Leave) that will apply between April 2, 2020, and December 31, 2020.  Sick Leave may be available where employees:

  • Are in a federal, state or local quarantine order related to COVID-19
  • Have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns
  • Are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
  • Are caring for someone who:
    • is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine order related to COVID-19, or
    • has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns
  • Are caring for the employee’s child if the child’s school or care has been closed or the child’s care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 concerns, or
  • Are experiencing “any other substantially similar condition” specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

The rates of pay vary by full time v. part time work and if the employee is sick or caring for someone else.  These provisions apply to employers with fewer than 500 employees and there may be exceptions claimed by employers with fewer than 25 (COVID-19 Leave) or 50 (Sick Leave) employees.  Additionally, the Response Act permits employers of health care providers and emergency responders to opt out if the Secretary does not issue regulations excluding them.

Employers are also prohibited against retaliating from employees for taking leave pursuant to the Response Act.  (Excerpts of summary from Parsons Behle & Latimer).

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE FORECLOSURE MORATORIUM ON FHA MORTGAGES

UPDATED: MARCH 23, 2020

On March 18, 2020, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) would institute an immediate foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single-family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages. President Donald Trump's reference to HUD's temporary suspension of "all foreclosures and evictions" was a reference to HUD's March 18 announcement.

Who is Protected?

The moratorium applies to homeowners with FHA-insured Title II Single Family forward and Home Equity Conversion (reverse) mortgages. During the moratorium, mortgage servicers must halt the initiation of all new foreclosure actions, suspend all foreclosure actions currently in process, and stop all evictions of persons living in properties with FHA-insured single-family mortgages. The moratorium will expire sixty (60) days after the March 18 announcement.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have also suspended foreclosures and evictions for sixty (60) days for Enterprise-backed mortgages. "Enterprise-backed" means owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, as indicated here for Fannie Mae or here for Freddie Mac.

Additionally, as a condition of forbearance for multifamily Enterprise-backed mortgages, housing providers must suspend all evictions for renters unable to pay rent due to the impact of the coronavirus. The eviction suspension must be in place for the entire duration of the forbearance period. The forbearance is available to all multifamily properties with an Enterprise-backed performing multifamily mortgage negatively affected by the coronavirus national emergency. ­­­

The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development (RD) has also implemented a foreclosure and eviction moratoriums for USDA Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) mortgages and single-family direct home mortgages. During the moratorium, mortgage servicers must halt the initiation of all new foreclosure actions, suspend all foreclosure actions currently in process, and stop all evictions of persons living in properties with SFHGLP and direct mortgages. The moratorium will expire sixty (60) days after their announcements.

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AVOID CORONAVIRUS RELATED SCAMS

Please be aware of scams!  Scammers target people in stressful situations.  Scams have already begun to spread online and on social media.  Please see Fraud Corner - COVID 19 Fraud Final for more information about coronavirus related scams.

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