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September 30, 2014

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Sandoval vetoes employment discrimination bill, says it ‘goes too far’

CARSON CITY — Gov. Brian Sandoval has exercised his first veto of the 2013 Legislature, killing a bill to award damages victims of employment discrimination.

In his message, Sandoval said Senate Bill 180 “goes too far by exposing employers to a wide range of damages and fees.”

Sen. Tick Segerblom, who sponsored the bill, said he was disappointed but intends to work with the governor to address the issue in the 2015 Legislature.

The governor said the bill has merit, “particularly with respect to its application to forms of discrimination that are not protected under federal law such as sexual orientation discrimination.”

But he said the bill adds compensatory and punitive damages for those who are discriminated against. That is not allowed under federal law.

The governor’s message said most states “that have chosen to expand remedies for state claims of employment discrimination have not included punitive damages, which are usually not covered by employment practice liability policies.”

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