Sandoval issues first veto of Nevada legislative session: injured workers bill

CARSON CITY — Gov. Brian Sandoval has vetoed his first bill of the 2013 session — a bill that would have allowed judges to award “without limitation” damages and lost wages to workers injured through employment discrimination.

Sandoval noted in his veto message, written late Thursday, that state law allows people harmed by an unlawful employment practice to a maximum of two years of lost wages and actual damages. Senate Bill 180 would have put into practice the higher limits allowed under the 1964 federal Civil Right Act.

Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, said he will try a veto override in the remaining three days of the 2013 session. But he added he would bring back a similar bill at the next legislative session in 2015.

He noted that Sandoval agreed with him that without the bill there is not adequate remedy to provide damages to people hurt because of their sexual orientation.

In his veto message, Sandoval did say the bill had “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 it goes “too far” and that the “without limitation” clause would override state law that prohibits punitive damages.

The bill passed on a party-line vote with every Democrat backing it and all Republicans who were present opposing it.

Sandoval also will veto Assembly Bill 440, a Democrat-backed bill to extend the voting registration deadline until 5 p.m. the Friday before Tuesday general elections, his press secretary Mary-Sarah Kinner confirmed.

Secretary of State Ross Miller sought the bill because 7,000 people could not vote in November’s election because they registered after the deadline. Bills that extend registration deadlines are thought to help Democrats more than Republicans.

Sandoval vetoed 28 bills in the legislative session in 2011.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at or 775-687-3901.

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