Nevada Workers Compensation: The $36,000 Payroll Cap

workers compensation nevada

Workers’ compensation policies are a staple in any business’ insurance program. These policies are mandated by law in an effort to protect the workforce against work-related injuries. Workers compensation policies have become increasingly complicated to manage and control. A good workers compensation insurance program must balance such items as eMods, classifications, rates, claim forms, risk mitigation policies, OSHA, employer’s liability, audits, and many more.

The state of Nevada adds one more facet to a business’ insurance program that is very important to know and utilize. Using this statute can potentially save your company insurance premium and better position your company to be more competitive in your marketplace if you are not making use of it.

The state of Nevada’s Register of Administrative Regulations has adopted NAC 616A.200 which states “for the purpose of computing premiums for workers compensation to be paid by an employer who is not a self-insured employer or a member of an association of self-insured public or private employers, the first $36,000 paid by each employer to any one employee during a policy year …” The regulation goes on to define payroll as: salary, commission, piecework, incentive pay, vacation pay, sick pay, holiday pay, wages, bonuses, overtime pay, termination pay, tips, and more.

The application of this regulation means that your company needs to report only the first $36,000 of “payroll” (see definition above) for each individual employee in your company to the workers compensation carrier. Your workers compensation carrier should only be charging your company for premium on no more than $36,000 on payroll for each individual employee. If an employee makes less than the $36,000 cap, then their true payroll should be reported.

Many business owners and executives are unaware of this regulation and thereby are paying more premium to their workers compensation carriers than they should be. Often, the workers compensation carriers, auditors, and many insurance brokers fail to comprehensively explain or just completely omit this information. Complying with this state regulation can decrease your current insurance premium if you are not currently reporting your payroll with this regulation in mind.

The state of Nevada is the only state to employ such a cap on payroll reporting for workers compensation carriers.

Understanding the Payroll Cap in Workers’ Compensation

1. Payroll Cap Basics: The payroll cap in workers’ compensation is a regulatory mechanism that limits the amount of employee salary subject to workers’ compensation premiums. For instance, as you mentioned in your post, the state of Nevada has a cap at $36,000. This means that for each employee, only the first $36,000 of their salary is considered for calculating workers’ compensation insurance premiums.

2. Impact on Premium Calculations: The payroll cap can significantly affect how premiums are calculated. By capping the amount of payroll that is subject to premiums, businesses can potentially lower the overall cost of their workers’ compensation insurance. This is especially beneficial for companies with high-earning employees, as it prevents premiums from escalating in proportion to the salaries.

3. Compliance and Reporting: Accurate reporting is crucial to leverage the benefits of the payroll cap. Businesses must ensure that they accurately report the salaries of their employees up to the cap limit. Over-reporting can lead to unnecessarily high premiums, while under-reporting can result in penalties and legal complications.

4. State-Specific Variations: It’s important to note that payroll caps can vary by state. While Nevada has its specific regulations, other states may have different limits or none at all. Employers must be aware of the regulations in each state where they operate.

5. Role in Risk Management: Understanding and utilizing the payroll cap is an important aspect of risk management in workers’ compensation. By effectively managing payroll reporting, businesses can control one of the key factors that influence their insurance costs.

6. Effect on Employee Benefits: It’s essential to clarify that the payroll cap does not affect the benefits an employee receives in the case of a work-related injury. The cap only applies to the calculation of premiums, not to the calculation of benefits.

7. Strategic Financial Planning: For financial planning, the payroll cap should be considered in budgeting and forecasting insurance costs. It can be a significant factor in reducing insurance expenses and optimizing financial planning.

8. Consultation with Insurance Experts: Given the complexities and variations in workers’ compensation laws, it’s advisable for businesses to consult with insurance experts or brokers who specialize in this area. They can provide valuable insights and guidance on how to effectively manage workers’ compensation costs, including the utilization of payroll caps.

Embracing Technology in Workers’ Compensation Document Management

In today’s fast-paced business environment, leveraging technology to manage and digitize personal documents related to workers’ compensation insurance is not just a convenience—it’s a necessity. The integration of digital document management systems plays a pivotal role in streamlining the processing, storage, and retrieval of critical insurance documents. Here’s how technology is transforming the landscape:

1. Digital Document Management Systems (DDMS): These systems are revolutionizing the way businesses handle workers’ compensation paperwork. By digitizing documents such as claim forms, payroll records, and compliance certificates, DDMS enables quicker access and better organization. This efficiency not only saves time but also reduces the likelihood of human error, ensuring that important details like the $36,000 payroll cap in Nevada’s workers’ compensation law are accurately recorded and easily accessible.

2. Automated Compliance Tracking: With regulations like Nevada’s unique payroll cap, keeping up with compliance requirements can be daunting. Advanced software solutions now offer automated compliance tracking features. These tools can alert your business to important regulatory changes and deadlines, ensuring that you stay compliant with state-specific regulations and avoid unnecessary penalties or overpayments.

3. Enhanced Data Security: When dealing with sensitive employee information, data security is paramount. Modern digital solutions provide robust security protocols to protect against data breaches. Encryption, access controls, and regular security audits are just a few of the measures employed to safeguard your documents.

4. Cloud-based Accessibility: Cloud storage solutions offer a flexible and scalable way to store workers’ compensation documents. With cloud-based systems, you can access your documents from anywhere, at any time, facilitating remote work and collaboration. This accessibility is especially vital for multi-location businesses or for those who need to share information with external partners like insurance carriers or auditors.

5. Analytics and Reporting: Advanced digitization tools come with analytics capabilities. These can provide insights into trends and patterns in workers’ compensation claims and expenses. With this data, businesses can make informed decisions about their insurance programs, identify areas for cost savings, and optimize their risk management strategies.

6. Integration with Existing Systems: Many digital document management solutions offer seamless integration with existing HR and accounting systems. This integration allows for a more cohesive and efficient workflow, reducing the need for manual data entry and ensuring consistency across different business functions.

7. E-signature and Online Forms: The use of e-signatures and online forms accelerates the processing of workers’ compensation claims and other related documents. It not only speeds up the approval process but also enhances the user experience for employees and management alike.

If you have not been made aware of this regulation by your current broker or carrier, please contact me and I would be happy to schedule a free consultation and review your current insurance program for you. Please contact me at (702) 947-4079 or at


Brad is a co-owner and commercial insurance broker with Leavitt Insurance Agency in Las Vegas, Nevada. With experience in many different fields of business, Brad is able to offer his clients the knowledge and understanding necessary to combine common business practices with proper insurance coverage.