Text Box: Ask Dr. Christopher

February 27, 2009

The State of Nevada

Does the Silver State discriminate or worse sanction racism?

Let’s find out in a Q&A Forum!

I. Background

With the decline in economic prosperity and the increase of unemployment new light shines on obscure regulations!


Buried deep in the current template for Nevada Revised Statutes

{NRS or laws pertaining to the citizens of Nevada} is a regulation known as NRS 611.

NRS 611 pertains to the regulation of employment agencies and is administered by the Labor Commissioner of Nevada


II. Question and Answers

Q: How does it work?

A: NRS 611 is relevant if you as a job seeker decide to pay someone to locate an opportunity for you,

or if you work in the profession of assisting people from common laborers to executives seeking employment.


It is important to note that these regulations to not apply if the hiring entity or employer pays any applicable referral fees.


Q: How much does it costs?

A: Well the price varies and in some cases these regulations are costs prohibited.

The regulations cap the amount a licensed agency can charge their client {job seeker} at 65% of the first month’s income.

We will compare two different persons seeking to sell their labor in the open market.


Applicant #1

Short Order Cook

first month salary or wage:  $3,000.00

                             referral fee of .65   $1,950.00


Applicant #2

Neurosurgeon {doctor}

        First month salary    $20,000.00*

                               Referral fee of .65     $13,000.00


Seems like a fair deal Right? Except that the costs for the agency to develop the Neurosurgeon for referral is not proportionate to the costs of developing the short order cook. In other words there are many fewer Neurosurgeons in the marketplace at any one time than practices that want to hire them.

 The developmental costs to the agency may be $20,000.00 for a physician they would then refer for a fee of $45,000.00.* Under Nevada law the agency would be prohibited from charging any more than the fee of $13,000.00 So if the agency was to complete this transaction and comply with the law they would lose an average of $7,000.00 on this referral. In some cases the physicians defer income and don’t take a “first months salary” so the net loss to the agency would be $13,000.00 for the purposes of this illustration.


Q: What is the net effect of these regulations?

A: The two main effects and both are very negative to promoting qualify of life in Nevada.

#1. On the lower income scale the effect is close to zero as immigrant labor, gardeners, cooks, chamber maids etc. tend even in good times to represent an excess supply of available labor and retaining an agency to locate a position may mean the difference between retaining gainful employment or remaining unemployed.

However as one moves up the income ladder the net effect of these regulations stifles growth in such desired industries as medicine or health care in general, technology, banking, film, professional sports etc.


Q: Why?

A: If an executive or physician referral service must operate at below costs they will eventually leave the state and relocate their operations to  where these types of regulations to not apply and then they will simply recruit the executives, doctors and other persons who remain in Nevada to move to these other locations. 

It is important to remember that almost all other states have repealed employment agency regulations so Nevada is in effect left holding the bag and is will continue to lose qualified professionals to other states.

In addition Nevada will continue to see a surplus of entry level, menial and hourly wage type of surplus of persons and less high end wage earners.


Q: What is the net effect?

A: The unemployment rate will typically exceeds the national average which means Nevada will pay out more in benefits from a smaller pool of contributions.

A1: The quality of life will slip especially since Nevada hosts on average the oldest median population in the United States which means the Health Care Industry will be under tremendous stress and with fewer doctors to treat more patients the quality of life is reduced for everyone.


Q: But why will there be fewer doctors?

A: Because medical employment agencies located in friendly states are competing with each other to locate and place physicians in their communities or where they have developed interested hospital or practice clients. So physicians in Nevada are deluged with phone calls from “headhunters” seeking to move them to: Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana and Utah but no one is calling doctors on behalf of the people in Nevada to invite them to live and work here and some of them will and do eventually leave for better pay, nicer communities, improved schools or whatever motivates them and their families to make a change.


Q: You mentioned in the header of this piece that NRS is racists or discriminates in some way. That is a highly inflammatory statement! How can you prove it?

A: Well first it is not meant to be inflammatory we live and work in Nevada too. We are simply pointing out a flawed regulation.

 It goes something like this:


People who use the services of any employment agency or referral service retain said service for several reasons.

1. Seeking best of numerous opportunities

2. No previous connections

3. Lack of familiarity with area or region

4. Prefer that someone else negotiate their contract

5. Seeking an independent opinion on viability of position

6. Insurance against bad decision

7. Independent analysis of practice or job prior to signing


People who have connections are simply going to work their sources to locate a suitable practice, they may still make a bad decision but they retain access to the market for their proficiency or discipline.


People who don’t have access utilize the services of someone who does hence the referral service or agency. Since most persons who don’t have access to the market in the case of physicians may be minorities or immigrant minorities the statute of  NRS effectively bars them from entry into Nevada as no service can afford to work at a loss hence whether by design or the statute any physician or other qualified professional not previously known in the community faces enormous impediments to gaining access and sine the vast majority of immigrant doctors especially {j-1} doctors are black, latin or asian the ugly truth is that NRS represents a subtle but powerful form of discrimination or worse racism.


Q: But there are minority doctors practicing in Nevada?

A: Of course there are but even when successfully locating here they have been abused by their own employers. The Las Vegas Sun recently completed a series regarding the abuses suffered by J1 or immigrant doctors who had previously located to Nevada. They were threatened with firing {which means they could lose their status and be forced to leave the country}; they were shorted on pay; they were forced to work in facilities in violation of the law and they were forced to work extra hours.

If they were represented by an agency these type of abuses would not have been tolerated, and in the worst case scenario the referring agent could have assisted them in transferring their legal status to another more appreciative community..


Q: What did the State do when they were contacted about such abuses:

A: Nothing at first until they realized the extent of the abuse.

Unfortunately word travels fast in medical circles and Nevada is  

 not at the top of the list for j1 physicians seeking a quality way  of life.


Q: How can you be so sure?

A: Well every year each state is allowed to hire up to {30} doctors who seek to remain in the United States and upgrade their visa status from J1 to a work Visa H1B then to permanent status {green card} and eventually citizenship.

Texas opened and closed their acceptance process in 4 hours.

Nevada has yet to fill even a fraction of its allocation for the year {last year} and if not then those positions are lost forever.


Q: But Texas is much larger than Nevada!

A: It’s not just Texas it’s everywhere other than here!


Q; So what is the solution?

A: It’s simple. Repeal NRS 611 in its entirety. People who may feel slighted or cheated by any employment agency can still seek relief for free by filing a complaint with the Nevada Division of Consumer Affairs or for a small fee anyone can file in small claims court as long as the agency {defendant} retains a presence in Nevada. For larger disputes in excess of $10,000.00 binding arbitration and or District Court represents a viable alternative and the {plaintiff} or party filing the claim can represent themselves {pro se} so one can control costs of litigation by researching and filing the appropriate documents, making court appearances and not hiring a lawyer.


Q: What would the other benefit of repealing NRS 611

A: It would allow Nevada to finally attain an equal footing with virtually all other states in attracting and retaining high end professionals.


Thank you!


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