State Law > Nebraska > Nebraska Employment Discrimination Law

Nebraska Employment Discrimination Law

 

Nebraska employment discrimination law is located in the following sections of the Revised Statutes of Nebraska.


Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act
  • 48-1102. Terms, defined.
  • 48-1103. Exceptions to act.
  • 48-1104. Unlawful employment practice for an employer.
  • 48-1107. Unlawful employment practice controlling apprenticeship ortraining programs.
  • 48-1107.01. Unlawful employment practice for covered entity.
  • 48-1107.02. Qualified individual with a disability; discrimination, defined.
  • 48-1108. Lawful employment practices.
  • 48-1108.01. Lawful employment practices for covered entity.
  • 48-1110. National security employment; exception.
  • 48-1111. Different standards of compensation, conditions, or privileges ofemployment; lawful employment practices; effect of pregnancy andrelated medical conditions.
  • 48-1114. Opposition to unlawful practice; participation in investigation; discrimination prohibited.
  • 48-1115. Notice of employment; preference or discrimination; race, color, religion, sex, disability, marital status, national origin; unlawful; exception.
  • 48-1121. Posting excerpts of law.
Equal Pay
  • 48-1220.Definitions
  • 48-1221.Prohibited acts.
Age discrimination
  • 48-1003.Prohibition limitations.
  • 48-1004.Prohibited employment practices.
AIDS discrimination
  • 20-168.Discrimination Prohibited
  • 20-169.Exceptions.
Genetic Discrimination Prohibited
  • 48-236.Genetic discrimination prohibited.
Discrimination Against Military Service Personnel
  • 55-161.Military personnel; Employment rights.

Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act

48-1102. Terms, defined.
For purposes of the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) Person shall include one or more individuals, labor unions, partnerships, limited liability companies, associations, corporations, legal representatives, mutual companies, joint-stock companies, trusts, unincorporated organizations, trustees, trustees in bankruptcy, or receivers;

(2) Employer shall mean a person engaged in an industry who has fifteen or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, any agent of such a person, and any party whose business is financed in whole or in part under the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority Act regardless of the number of employees and shall include the State of Nebraska, governmental agencies, and political subdivisions, but such term shall not include (a) the United States, a corporation wholly owned by the government of the United States, or an Indian tribe or (b) a bona fide private membership club, other than a labor organization, which is exempt from taxation under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code;

(3) Labor organization shall mean any organization which exists wholly or in part for one or more of the following purposes: Collective bargaining; dealing with employers concerning grievances, terms, or conditions of employment; or mutual aid or protection in relation to employment;

(4) Employment agency shall mean any person regularly undertaking with or without compensation to procure employees for an employer or to procure for employees opportunities to work for an employer and shall include an agent of such a person but shall not include an agency of the United States, except that such term shall include the United States Employment Service and the system of state and local employment services receiving federal assistance;

(5) Covered entity shall mean an employer, an employment agency, a labor organization, or a joint labor-management committee;

(6) Privileges of employment shall mean terms and conditions of any employer-employee relationship, opportunities for advancement of employees, and plant conveniences;

(7) Employee shall mean an individual employed by an employer;

(8) Commission shall mean the Equal Opportunity Commission;

(9) Disability shall mean (a) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual, (b) a record of such an impairment, or (c) being regarded as having such an impairment. Disability shall not include homosexuality, bisexuality, transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender-identity disorders not resulting in physical impairments, other sexual behavior disorders, compulsive gambling, kleptomania, pyromania, or psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from current illegal use of drugs;

(10)

(a) Qualified individual with a disability shall mean an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires. Consideration shall be given to the employer's judgment as to what functions of a job are essential, and if an employer has prepared a written description before advertising or interviewing applicants for the job, this description shall be considered evidence of the essential functions of the job;

(b) Qualified individual with a disability shall not include any employee or applicant who is currently engaged in the illegal use of drugs when the covered entity acts on the basis of such use; and

(c) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to exclude as a qualified individual with a disability an individual who: (i) Has successfully completed a supervised drug rehabilitation program or otherwise been rehabilitated successfully and is no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs;

(ii) Is participating in a supervised rehabilitation program and is no longer engaging in such use; or

(iii) Is erroneously regarded as engaging in such use but is not engaging in such use;

(11) Reasonable accommodation shall include making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, job-restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position, acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, appropriate adjustment or modification of examinations, training manuals, or policies, the provision of qualified readers or interpreters, and other similar accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Reasonable accommodation shall not include accommodations which the covered entity can demonstrate require significant difficulty or expense thereby posing an undue hardship upon the covered entity. Factors to be considered in determining whether an accommodation would pose an undue hardship shall include:

(a) The nature and the cost of the accommodation needed under the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act;

(b) The overall financial resources of the facility or facilities involved in the provision of the reasonable accommodation, the number of persons employed at such facility, the effect on expenses and resources, or the impact otherwise of such accommodation upon the operation of the facility;

(c) The overall financial resources of the covered entity, the overall size of the business of a covered entity with respect to the number of its employees, and the number, type, and location of its facilities; and

(d) The type of operation or operations of the covered entity, including the composition, structure, and functions of the work force of such entity, and the geographic separateness and administrative or fiscal relationship of the facility or
facilities in question to the covered entity;

(12) Marital status shall mean the status of a person whether married or single;

(13) Because of sex or on the basis of sex shall include, but not be limited to, because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions;

(14) Harass because of sex shall include making unwelcome sexual advances, requesting sexual favors, and engaging in other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature if

(a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment,

(b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or

(c) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment;

(15) Unlawful under federal law or the laws of this state shall mean acting contrary to or in defiance of the law or disobeying or disregarding the law;

(16) Drug shall mean a controlled substance as defined in section 28-401; and

(17) Illegal use of drugs shall mean the use of drugs, the possession or distribution of which is unlawful under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, but shall not include the use of a drug taken under supervision by a licensed health care professional or any other use authorized by the Uniform Controlled Substances Act or other provisions of state law.

48-1103. Exceptions to act.

The Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act shall not apply to:

(1) A religious corporation, association, or society with respect to the employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation, association, or society of its religious activities; or

(2) The employment of any individual (a) by his or her parent, grandparent, spouse, child, or grandchild or (b) in the domestic service of any person.

48-1104. Unlawful employment practice for an employer.

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer:

(1) To fail or refuse to hire, to discharge, or to harass any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, disability, marital status, or national origin; or

(2) To limit, advertise, solicit, segregate, or classify employees in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect such individual's status as an employee, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, disability, marital status, or national origin.

48-1107. Unlawful employment practice controlling apprenticeship or
training programs.

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for any employer, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee controlling apprenticeship or other training or retraining, including on-the-job training programs to discriminate against any individual because of race, color, religion, sex, disability, marital status, or national origin in admission to, or employment in, any program established to provide apprenticeship or other training.

48-1107.01. Unlawful employment practice for covered entity.

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for a covered entity to discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability because of the disability of such individual in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.

48-1107.02. Qualified individual with a disability; discrimination, defined.
When referring to a qualified individual with a disability, discrimination shall include:

(1) Limiting, segregating, or classifying a job applicant or employee in a way that adversely affects the opportunities or status of the applicant or employee because of the disability of the applicant or employee;

(2) Participating in a contractual or other arrangement or relationship that has the effect of subjecting a qualified individual with a disability to discrimination in the application or employment process, including a relationship with an employment agency, a labor union, an organization providing fringe benefits to an employee of the covered entity, or an organization providing training and apprenticeship programs;

(3) Utilizing standards, criteria, or methods of administration (a) that have the effect of discrimination on the basis of disability or (b) that perpetuate the discrimination against others who are subject to common administrative control;

(4) Excluding or otherwise denying equal jobs or benefits to a qualified individual with a disability because of the known disability of an individual with whom the qualified individual with a disability is known to have a relationship or association;

(5) Not making reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or employee unless such covered entity can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business of the covered entity;

(6) Denying employment opportunities to a job applicant or employee who is otherwise a qualified individual with a disability if the denial is based upon the need of such covered entity to make reasonable accommodation to the physical or mental impairments of the employee or applicant;

(7) Using qualification standards, employment tests, or other selection criteria that screen out or tend to screen out an individual with a disability or a class of individuals with disabilities unless the standard, test, or other selection criteria, as used by the covered entity, is shown to be job-related for the position in question and is consistent with business necessity;

(8) Failing to select and administer tests concerning employment in the most effective manner to ensure that, when the test is administered to a job applicant or employee who has a disability that impairs sensory, manual, or speaking skills, the test results accurately reflect the skills, aptitude, or whatever other factor of the applicant or employee that the test purports to measure rather than reflecting the impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills of the employee or applicant except when such skills are the factors that the test purports to measure;

(9) Conducting a medical examination or making inquiries of a job applicant as to whether the applicant is an individual with a disability or as to the nature or severity of the disability, except that:

(a) A covered entity may make preemployment inquiries into the ability of an applicant to perform job-related functions;

(b) A test to determine the illegal use of drugs shall not be considered a medical examination; and

(c) A covered entity may require a medical examination after an offer of employment has been made to a job applicant and prior to the commencement of the employment duties of the applicant and may condition an offer of employment on the results of the examination if:

(i) All entering employees are subjected to such an examination regardless of disability;

(ii) Information obtained regarding the medical condition or history of the applicant is collected and maintained on separate forms and in separate medical files and is treated as a confidential medical record, except that

(A) supervisors and managers may be informed regarding necessary restrictions on the work or duties of the employee and necessary accommodations,

(B) first-aid and safety personnel may be informed, when appropriate, if the disability might require emergency treatment,

(C) government officials investigating compliance with the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act shall be provided relevant information on request, and

(D) information shall be made available in accordance with the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act; and

(iii) The results of the examination are used only in a manner not inconsistent with the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act; and

(10) Requiring a medical examination or making inquiries of an employee as to whether the employee is an individual with a disability or as to the nature or severity of the disability, unless the examination or inquiry is shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity. A test to determine the illegal use of drugs shall not be considered a medical examination. A covered entity may conduct voluntary medical examinations, including voluntary medical histories, which are part of an employee health program available to employees at the worksite and may make inquiries into the ability of an employee to perform job-related functions if the information obtained regarding the medical condition or history of the employee is subject to the requirements in subdivisions (9)(c)(ii) and (iii) of this section.

48-1108. Lawful employment practices.
Notwithstanding any other provision of the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act:

(1) It shall not be an unlawful employment practice foran employer to hire and employ employees, for an employment agency to classify or refer for employment any individual, for a labor organization to classify its membership or to classify or refer for employment any individual, or for an employer, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee controlling apprenticeship or other training or retraining programs to admit or employ any individual in any such program on the basis of religion, sex, disability, marital status, or national origin in those certain instances when religion, sex, disability, marital status, or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise; and

(2) It shall not be an unlawful employment practice for a school, college, university, or other educational institution or institution of learning to hire and employ employees of a particular religion if such school, college, university, or other educational institution or institution of learning is, in whole or in substantial part, owned, supported, controlled, or managed by a particular religion or by a particular religious corporation, association, or society or if the curriculum of such school, college, university, or other educational institution of learning is directed toward the propagation of a particular religion.

48-1108.01. Lawful employment practices for covered entity.
It shall not be an unlawful employment practice for a covered entity to:

(1) Prohibit the illegal use of drugs and the use of alcohol at the workplace by all employees;

(2) Require that employees not be under the influence of alcohol or be engaging in the illegal use of drugs at the workplace;

(3) Require employees to comply with any federal regulations concerning the use of alcohol or the illegal use of drugs which are applicable to the position of the employee or to the industry involved; or

(4) Hold an employee who engages in the illegal use of drugs or who is an alcoholic to the same qualification standards for employment or job performance and behavior that such entity holds other employees even if any unsatisfactory performance or behavior is related to the drug use or alcoholism of such employee.

48-1110. National security employment; exception.

Notwithstanding any other provision of the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act, it shall not be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire and employ any individual for any position, for an employer to discharge any individual from any position, for an employment agency to fail or refuse to refer any individual for employment in any position, or for a labor organization to fail or refuse to refer any individual for employment in any position, if:

(1) The occupancy of such position, or access to the premises in or upon which any part of the duties of such position is performed or is to be performed, is subject to any requirement imposed in the interest of the national security of the United States under any security program in effect pursuant to or administered under any statute of the United States or any Executive Order of the President; and

(2) Such individual has not fulfilled or has ceased to
fulfill that requirement.

48-1111. Different standards of compensation, conditions, or privileges of employment; lawful employment practices; effect of pregnancy and related medical conditions.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act, it shall not be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to apply different standards of compensation, or different terms, conditions, or privileges of employment pursuant to a bona fide seniority or merit system or a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production or to employees who work in different locations, if such differences are not the result of an intention to discriminate because of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, or national origin, nor shall it be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to give and to act upon the results of any professionally developed ability test if such test, its administration, or action upon the results is not designed, intended, or used to discriminate because of race, color, religion, sex, disability, marital status, or national origin. It shall not be an unlawful employment practice for a covered entity to deny privileges of employment to an individual with a disability when the qualification standards, tests, or selection criteria that screen out or tend to screen out or otherwise deny a job or benefit to an individual with a disability:

(a) Have been shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity and such performance cannot be accomplished by reasonable accommodation, as required by the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; or

(b) Include a requirement that an individual shall not pose a direct threat, involving a significant risk to the health or safety of other individuals in the workplace, that cannot be eliminated by reasonable accommodation. It shall not be an unlawful employment practice to refuse employment based on a policy of not employing both husband and wife if such policy is equally applied to both sexes.

(2) Women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of employee benefits, as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work, and nothing in this section shall be interpreted to provide otherwise.

This section shall not require an employer to provide employee benefits for abortion except when medical complications have arisen from an abortion. Nothing in this section shall preclude an employer from providing employee benefits for abortion under fringe benefit programs or otherwise affect bargaining agreements in regard to abortion.

48-1114. Opposition to unlawful practice; participation in investigation; discrimination prohibited.

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate against any of his or her employees or applicants for employment, for an employment agency to discriminate against any individual, or for a labor organization to discriminate against any member thereof or applicant for membership, because he or she (1) has opposed any practice made an unlawful employment practice by the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act, (2) has made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the act, or (3) has opposed any practice or refused to carry out any action unlawful under federal law or the laws of this state.

48-1115. Notice of employment; preference or discrimination; race, color, religion, sex, disability, marital status, national origin; unlawful; exception.

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer, labor organization, or employment agency to print or publish or cause to be printed or published any notice or advertisement relating to employment by such an employer or membership in or any classification or referral for employment by such a labor organization, or relating to any classification or referral for employment by such an employment agency, indicating any preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, marital status, or national origin, except that such a notice or advertisement may indicate a preference, limitation, specification or discrimination based on religion, sex, disability, marital status, or national origin when religion, sex, disability, marital status, or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification for employment.

48-1117. Commission; powers; duties; enumerated.
The commission shall have the following powers and duties:

(1) To receive, investigate, and pass upon charges of unlawful employment practices anywhere in the state;

(2) To hold hearings, subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, administer oaths, and take the testimony of any person under oath and, in connection therewith, to require the production for examination of any books and papers relevant to any allegation of unlawful employment practice pending before the commission. The commission may make rules as to the issuance of subpoenas, subject to the approval by a constitutional majority of the elected members of the Legislature;

(3) To cooperate with the federal government and with local agencies to effectuate the purposes of the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act, including the sharing of information possessed by the commission on a case that has also been filed with the federal government or local agencies if both the employer and complainant have been notified of the filing;

(4) To attempt to eliminate unfair employment practices by means of conference, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, and persuasion;

(5) To require that every employer, employment agency, and labor organization subject to the act shall

(a) make and keep such records relevant to the determinations of whether unlawful employment practices have been or are being committed,

(b) preserve such records for such periods, and

(c) make such reports therefrom, as the commission shall prescribe by regulation or order, after public hearing, as reasonable, necessary, or appropriate for the enforcement of the act or the regulations or orders thereunder. The commission shall, by regulation, require each employer, labor organization, and joint labor-management committee subject to the act which controls an apprenticeship or other training program to maintain such records as are reasonably necessary to carry out the purposes of the act, including, but not limited to, a list of applicants who wish to participate in such program, including the chronological order in which such applications were received, and to furnish to the commission, upon request, a detailed description of the manner in which persons are selected to participate in the apprenticeship or other training program. Any employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee which believes that the application to it of any regulation or order issued under this section would result in undue hardship may either apply to the commission for an exemption from the application of such regulation or order or bring a civil action in the district court for the district where such records are kept. If the commission or the court, as the case may be, finds that the application of the regulation or order to the employer, employment agency, or labor organization in question would impose an undue hardship, the commission or the court, as the case may be, may grant appropriate relief;

(6) To report, not less than once every two years, to the Clerk of the Legislature and the Governor, on the hearings it has conducted and the decisions it has rendered, the other work performed by it to carry out the purposes of the act, and to make recommendations for such further legislation concerning abuses and discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, disability, marital status, or national origin, as may be desirable. Each member of the Legislature shall receive a copy of the report required by this subdivision by making a request for it to the chairperson of the commission;

(7) To adopt and promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry out the duties prescribed in the act; and

(8) To examine and review the policies and procedures of the commission, its investigators, and staff and deliver to the Legislature by January 1, 1994, a report detailing specific proposals designed to expedite the complaint, investigation, and hearing process of the commission. Such report shall include, but not be limited to, an examination of the:

(a) Intake procedures and guidelines of the commission;

(b) Mediation, conciliation, arbitration, and informalconferences designed to settle cases;

(c) Investigation and supervisory procedures which duplicate similar current procedures or which are burdensome to a prompt investigation of a complaint;

(d) Handling of reports and investigations of the commission to develop adequate clerical staff;

(e) Feasibility of revising and developing standard final investigative formats for employment, housing, and harassment cases; and

(f) Proper role and function of the commission in the hearing process.

The review and examination of such policies and procedures in subdivision (8) of this section shall include information from the executive director, commission members, investigators, supervisory personnel, clerical staff, and the public.

48-1118. Unlawful practice; charge; time for filing; prescreening procedure and determination; investigation; confidential informal actions; procedure; violation; penalty; interrogatories.

(1) Whenever it is charged in writing under oath or affirmation by or on behalf of a person or persons claiming to be aggrieved and such charge sets forth the facts upon which it is based that an employer, employment agency, or labor organization has engaged in an unlawful employment practice, the commission staff shall furnish such employer, employment agency, or labor organization with a copy of such charge within ten days, including a statement of the date, place, and circumstances of the alleged unlawful employment practice. Prior to initiating any investigation, the commission staff shall screen a charge pursuant to an established, clearly defined
prescreening procedure to determine subject matter jurisdiction to handle such charge. Any charge without sufficient subject matter jurisdiction shall not be investigated and notice of such prescreening determination shall be promptly conveyed by the executive director to the person claiming to be aggrieved. When a charge is determined to be within the subject matter jurisdiction of the commission, the commission staff shall make an investigation of such charge, but such charge shall not be made public by the commission. If the executive director determines after such investigation that there is not reasonable cause to believe that the charge is true, the executive director shall dismiss the charge and promptly notify the person claiming to be aggrieved and the respondent of his or her action. If the executive director determines after such investigation that there is reasonable cause to believe that the charge is true, the commission shall endeavor to eliminate any such alleged unlawful employment practice and settle any claim by informal methods of conference, conciliation, persuasion, mediation, or arbitration.
The settlement efforts shall be scheduled and completed within thirty days of the probable cause finding. Nothing said or done during and as a part of such endeavors may be made public by the commission without the written consent of the parties or used as evidence in a subsequent proceeding. Any officer or employee of the commission who makes public in any manner whatever any information in violation of this subsection shall be guilty of a Class III misdemeanor except as provided in subdivision (3) of section 48-1117.

(2) A written charge of violation of the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act shall be filed within three hundred days after the occurrence of the alleged unlawful employment practice and notice of the charge, including a statement of the date, place, and circumstances of the alleged unlawful employment practice, shall be served upon the person against whom such charge is made within ten days thereafter.

(3) A respondent shall be required to file with the commission a written response to the written charge of violation within thirty days after service upon the respondent. Failure to file a written response within thirty days, except for good cause shown, shall result in a mandatory reasonable cause finding against the respondent by the executive director. Failure by any complainant to cooperate with the commission, its investigators, or staff, except for good cause shown, shall result in dismissal of the complaint by the executive director.

(4) In connection with any investigation of a charge filed under this section, the commission or its authorized agents may, at any time after a charge is filed, issue or cause to be served interrogatories and shall have at all reasonable times access to, for the purposes of examination, and the right to copy any evidence or records of any person being investigated or proceeded against that relate to unlawful employment practices covered by the act and are relevant to the charge under investigation. The commission may seek preparation of and judicial enforcement of any legal process or interrogatories through the office of the Attorney General.

48-1119. Unlawful practice; complaint; notice; hearing; witnesses; evidence; findings; civil action authorized; order.

(1) In case of failure to eliminate any unlawful employment practice by informal methods of conference, conciliation, persuasion, mediation or arbitration the commission may order a public hearing. If such hearing is ordered, the commission shall cause to be issued and served a written notice, together with a copy of the complaint, requiring the person, employer, labor organization, or employment agency named in the complaint, hereinafter referred to as respondent, to answer such charges at a hearing before the commission at a time and place which shall be specified in such notice. Such hearing shall be within the county where the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred. The complainant shall be a party to the proceeding, and in the discretion of the commission any other person whose testimony has a bearing on the matter may be allowed to intervene therein. Both the complainant and the respondent, in addition to the commission, may introduce witnesses at the hearing. The respondent may file a verified answer to the allegations of the complaint and may appear at such hearing in person and with or without counsel. Testimony or other evidence may be introduced by either party. All evidence shall be under oath and a record thereof shall be made and preserved. Such proceedings shall, so far as practicable, be conducted in accordance with the rules of evidence applicable in the district courts of the State of Nebraska, and shall be of public record.

(2) No person shall be excused from testifying or from producing any book, document, paper, or account in any investigation, or inquiry by, or hearing before the commission when ordered to do so, upon the ground that the testimony or evidence, book, document, paper, or account required of such person may tend to incriminate such person in or subject such person to penalty or forfeiture; but no person shall be prosecuted, punished, or subjected to any forfeiture or penalty for or on account of any act, transaction, matter, or thing concerning which such person shall have been compelled under oath to testify or produce documentary evidence; except that no person so testifying shall be exempt from prosecution or punishment for any perjury committed by such person in his or her testimony. Such immunity shall extend only to a natural person who, in obedience to a subpoena, gives testimony under oath or produces evidence, documentary or otherwise, under oath. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as precluding any person from claiming any right or privilege available to such person under the fifth amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

(3) After the conclusion of the hearing, the commission shall, within ten days of the receipt of the transcript or the receipt of the recommendations form the hearing officer, make and file its findings of fact and conclusions of law and make and enter an appropriate order. The hearing officer need not refer to the page and line numbers of the transcript when making his or her recommendation to the commission. Such findings shall be in sufficient detail to enable the court on appeal to determine the controverted questions presented by the proceedings and whether proper weight was given to the evidence. If the commission determines that the respondent has intentionally engaged in or is intentionally engaging in any unlawful employment practice, it shall issue and cause to be served on such respondent an order requiring such respondent to cease and desist from such unlawful employment practice and order such other affirmative action as may be appropriate respondent an order requiring such respondent to cease and desist from such unlawful employment practice and order such other affirmative action as may be appropriate, which may include, but shall not be limited to, reinstatement or hiring of employees, with or without back pay. Backpay liability shall not accrue from a date more than two years prior to the filing of the charge with the commission. Interim earnings or amounts earnable with reasonable diligence by the person or persons discriminated against shall operate to reduce the back pay otherwise allowable.

(4) A complainant who has suffered physical, emotional, or financial harm as a result of a violation of section 48-1104 or 48-1114 may, at any stage of the proceedings prior to dismissal, file an action directly in the district court of the county where such alleged violation occurred. If the complainant files a district court action on the charge, the complainant shall provide written notice of such filing to the commission, and such notification shall immediately terminate all proceedings before the commission. The district court shall docket and try such case as any other civil action, and any successful complainant shall be entitled to appropriate relief, including temporary or permanent injunctive relief, general and special damages, reasonable attorney's fees, and costs.

(5) No order of the commission shall require the admission or reinstatement of an individual as a member of a labor organization or the hiring, reinstatement, or promotion of an individual as an employee, or the payment to him or her of any back pay, if such individual was refused admission, suspended, or expelled, or was refused employment or advancement or was suspended or discharged for any reason other than discrimination on account of race, color, religion, sex, disability, marital status, or national origin or in violation of section 48-1114. If the commission finds that a respondent has not engaged in any unfair employment practice, it shall within thirty days state its findings of fact and conclusions of law. A copy of any order shall be served upon the person against whom it runs or his or her attorney and notice thereof shall be given to the other parties to the proceedings or their attorneys. Such order shall take effect twenty days after service thereof unless otherwise provided and shall continue in force either for a period which may be designated therein or until changed or revoked by the commission.

(6) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, until a transcript of the record of the proceedings is filed in the district court as provided in section 20 of this act, the commission provided in section 48-1120 of this act, the commission may, at any time upon reasonable notice, and in such a manner it shall deem proper, modify or set aside, in whole or in part, any finding or order made by it [Sec. 48-1119, as amended by L.B. 701, L. 2003, effective three months after the adjournment of the legislature].

48-1121. Posting excerpts of law.

Every employer, employment agency, and labor organization subject to the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act shall post in a conspicuous place or places on his, her, or its premises a notice to be prepared or approved by the commission which shall set forth excerpts of the act and such other relevant information which the commission deems necessary to explain the act.

48-1122. Contracts with state and political subdivisions; requirements.

Every contract to which the state or any of its political subdivisions is a party shall contain a provision requiring the contractor and his subcontractors not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment, to be employed in the performance of such contract, with respect to his hire, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of his race, color, religion, sex, disability, or national origin.

48-1123. Violations; penalty.

Any person, employer, labor organization, or employment agency who or which willfully resists, prevents, impedes, or interferes with the commission or any of its members or representatives in the performance of duty under the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act or willfully violates an order of the commission shall be guilty of a Class III misdemeanor. Procedure for the review of the order shall not be deemed to be such willful conduct.

48-1125. Title of Act.

Sections 48-1101 to 48-1125 and section 1 of this act shall be known and may be cited as the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act.

48-1126. State and governmental agencies; suits against.

The state and governmental agencies created by the state may be sued upon claims arising under the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act in the same manner as provided by such law for suits against other employers.

Equal Pay

48-1220. As used in sections 48-1219 to 48-1227.01, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) Employee shall mean any individual employed by an employer, including individuals employed by the state or any of its political subdivisions including public bodies;

(2) Employer shall mean any person engaged in an industry who has fifteen or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, any agent of such person, and any party whose business is financed in whole or in part under the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority Act, and includes the State of Nebraska, its governmental agencies, and political subdivisions, regardless of the number of employees, but such term shall not include the United States, a corporation wholly owned by the government of the United States, or an Indian tribe;

(3) Wage rate shall mean all compensation for employment including payment in kind and amounts paid by employers for employee benefits as defined by the commission in regulations issued under sections 48-1219 to 48-1227;

(4) Employ shall include to suffer or permit to work;

(5) Commission shall mean the Equal Opportunity Commission; and

(6) Person shall include one or more individuals, partnerships, limited liability companies, corporations, legal representatives, trustees, trustees in bankruptcy, or voluntary associations.

48-1221. Prohibited acts.

(1) No employer shall discriminate between employees in the same establishment on the basis of sex, by paying wages to any employee in such establishment at a wage rate less than the rate at which the employer pays any employee of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs which require equal skill, effort and responsibility under similar working conditions. Wage differentials are not within this prohibition where such payments are made pursuant to:

(a) An established seniority system;

(b) a merit increase system; or

(c) a system which measures earning by quantity or quality of production or any factor other than sex.

(2) An employer who is paying a wage differential in violation of the provisions of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227 shall not, in order to comply with it, reduce the wage rates of any employee.

(3) No person shall cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against any employee in violation of the provisions of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227.

(4) No employer may discharge or discriminate against any employee by reason of any action taken by such employee to invoke or assist in any manner the enforcement of the provisions of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227.

48-1222. Equal Opportunity Commission; powers.

(1) The commission shall have the power and the duty to carry out the provisions of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227.

(2) For this purpose, the commission shall have the power to enter the place of employment of any employer to inspect and copy payrolls and other employment records, to compare character of work and operations on which persons employed by him are engaged, to question such person, and to obtain such other information as is reasonably necessary to the administration and enforcement of the provisions of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227.

(3) The commission shall have power to examine witnesses under oath, and to require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of any documentary evidence relating to the subject matter of any investigation undertaken pursuant to this section. Witnesses summoned by the commission shall be paid the same fees as are allowed witnesses attending the district court. In the event of the failure of a person to attend, testify or produce documents under or in response to a subpoena, the district court for the county in which the appearance is requested on application of the commission may issue an order requiring such person to appear before the commission, or to produce documentary evidence, and any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by the court as a contempt thereof.

(4) The commission is authorized to endeavor to eliminate pay practices unlawful under the provisions of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227, by informal methods of conference, conciliation and persuasion, and to supervise the payment of wages owing to any employee under the provisions of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227.

(5) The commission shall have power to issue such regulations, not inconsistent with the purpose of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227, as it deems necessary or appropriate to carry out its provisions.

48-1223. Violation of sections; damages; attorney's fees; agreements, effect; action; order of court.

(1) Any employer who violates the provisions of section 48-1221 shall be liable to the employee or employees affected in the amount of their unpaid wages, and, in instances willful violation, in employee suits under subsection (2) of this section up to an additional equal amount as liquidated damages.

(2) Action to recover such liability may be maintained in any court of competent jurisdiction by any one or more employees for and in behalf of himself or themselves and other employees similarly situated. The court in such action shall, in cases of violation in addition to any judgment awarded to the plaintiff or plaintiffs, allow a reasonable attorney's fee to be paid by the defendant, and costs of the action.

(3) No agreement by any such employee to work for less than the wage to which such employee is entitled under the provisions of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227 shall be a bar to any such action or to a voluntary wage restitution of the full amount due under the provisions of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227.

(4) At the written request of any employee claiming to have been paid less than the wage to which he may be entitled under the provisions of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227, the commission may bring any legal action necessary on behalf of the employee to collect such claim for unpaid wages. The commission shall not be required to pay the filing fee, or other costs, in connection with such action. The commission shall have power to join various claims against the employer in one cause of action.

(5) In proceedings under the provisions of this section, the court may order other affirmative action as appropriate, including reinstatement of employees discharged in violation of the provisions of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227.

(6) The commission shall have power to petition any court of competent jurisdiction to restrain violations of section 48-1221 and for such affirmative relief as the court may deem appropriate, including restoration of unpaid wages and reinstatement of employees, consistent with the purpose of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227.

48-1224. Limitation of action.

Court action under the provisions of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227 may be commenced no later than four years after the cause of action accrues.

48-1225. Records; employer keep and maintain; contents.

Every employer subject to the provisions of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227 shall make, keep, and maintain such records of the wages and wage rates, job classifications, and other terms and conditions of employment of the persons employed by him, and shall preserve such records for such periods of time, and shall make such reports therefrom as the commission shall prescribe.

48-1226. Copy or abstract of sections; post; furnish employers.

Every person subject to the provisions of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227 shall keep an abstract or copy of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227 posted in a conspicuous place in or about the premises wherein any employee is employed. Employers shall be furnished copies of abstracts of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227 by the state on request without charge.

48-1227. Violations; penalty.

(1) Any person who violates any provision of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227, or who discharges or in any other manner discriminates against any employee because such employee has made any complaint to his employer, the commission, or any other person, or has instituted, or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to sections 48-1219 to 48-1227, or has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding, shall be guilty of a Class III misdemeanor.

(2) Any employer who violates the provisions of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227 by failing to keep the records required hereunder, or to furnish such records to the commission upon request, or who falsifies such records, or who hinders, delays, or otherwise interferes with the commission in the performance of its duties in the enforcement of the provisions of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227, or refuses official entry into any place of employment which it is authorized by the provisions of sections 48-1219 to 48-1227 to inspect, shall be guilty of a Class V misdemeanor.

48-1227.01. Suits against governmental bodies; authorized.

The state, governmental agencies, and political subdivisions may be sued upon claims arising under sections 48-1219 to 48-1227 in the same manner as provided by such sections for suits against other employers.

Age discrimination

48-1004. Prohibited employment practices.

(1) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer:

(a) To refuse to hire, to discharge, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to the employee's terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, otherwise lawful, because of such individual's age, when the reasonable demands of the position do not require such an age distinction; or

(b) To willfully utilize in the hiring or recruitment of individuals for employment otherwise lawful, any employment agency, placement service, training school or center, labor organization, or any other source which so discriminates against individuals because of their age.

(2) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for any labor organization to so discriminate against any individual or to limit, segregate, or classify its membership in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive an individual of otherwise lawful employment opportunities, or would limit such employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his or her status as an employee, or would affect adversely his or her wages, hours, or employment.

(3) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employment agency to fail or refuse to refer for employment or otherwise to discriminate against any individual because of such individual's age or to classify or refer for employment any individual on the basis of his or her age.
(4) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for any employer, employment agency, or labor organization to discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against any person because he or she opposed any unlawful employment practice specified in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act or has filed a charge or suit, testified, participated, or assisted in any proceeding under act.

48-1003. Prohibition limitations.

(1) The prohibitions of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act shall be limited to the employment of individuals who are forty or more years of age.

(2) Nothing contained in the act shall be construed as making it unlawful for an employer, employment agency, or labor organization (a) to take action otherwise prohibited under the act when age is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the particular business, or when the differentiation is based on reasonable factors other than age, such as physical conditions; or (b) to discharge or otherwise discipline an employee for good cause.

AIDS discrimination

20-168. (the following is a portion of this section)

(1) An employer shall not

(a) refuse to hire an individual,

(b) discharge an individual, or

(c) otherwise discriminate against an individual with respect to compensation or terms, conditions, or privileges of employment on the basis that the individual is suffering or is suspected of suffering from human immunodeficiency virus infection or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

20-169. Exceptions.

Actions otherwise prohibited by subsections (1) and (3) of section 1 of this act shall not constitute a violation of the requirements of such section if the individual suffering from or suspected of suffering from human immunodeficiency virus infection or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome poses a direct threat to the health or safety of himself, herself, or other individuals or is unable to perform the duties of the job he or she is applying for or is employed to perform.

Genetic discrimination prohibited by employers.

(1) For purposes of this section:

(a) Employee does not include an individual employed in the domestic service of any person;

(b) Employer means a person who has one or more employees;

(c) Genetic information means information about a gene, gene product, or inherited characteristic derived from a genetic test; and

(d) Genetic test means the analysis of human DNA, RNA, and chromosomes and those proteins and metabolites used to detect heritable or somatic disease-related genotypes or karyotypes for clinical purposes. A genetic test must be generally accepted in the scientific and medical communities as being specifically determinative for the presence, absence, or mutation of a gene or chromosome in order to qualify under this definition. Genetic test does not include a routine physical examination or a routine analysis, including a chemical analysis, of body fluids unless conducted specifically to determine the presence, absence, or mutation of a gene or chromosome.

(2) Except as otherwise required by federal law, an employer shall not:

(a) Fail or refuse to hire, recruit, or promote an employee or applicant for employment because of genetic information that is unrelated to the ability to perform the duties of a particular job or position;

(b) Discharge or otherwise discriminate against an employee or applicant with respect to compensation or the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of genetic information that is unrelated to the ability to perform the duties of a particular job or position;

(c) Limit, segregate, or classify an employee or applicant for employment in a way which deprives or tends to deprive an employee or applicant of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affects the status of an employee or applicant because of genetic information that is unrelated to the ability to perform the duties of a particular job or position; or

(d) Require an employee or applicant for employment to submit to a genetic test or to provide genetic information as a condition of employment or promotion.

(3) Subsection (2) of this section does not prohibit an employee from voluntarily providing to an employer genetic information that is related to the employee's health or safety in the workspace. Subsection (2) of this section does not prohibit an employer from using genetic information received from an employee under this subsection to protect the employee's health or safety.

(4) This section shall not apply to the employment of an individual by his or her parent, spouse, or child.

Discrimination Against Military Service Personnel

Sec. 55-161. [Military personnel; Employment rights].

(1) The parts of the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, 38 USC Chapter 43, listed in subdivisions (a) through (j) of this subsection or any other parts referred to by such parts, in existence and effective as of January 1, 2001, are adopted as Nebraska law. This section shall be applicable to all persons employed in the State of Nebraska and shall include all officers and permanent employees, including teachers employed on a one-year contract basis and elected officials, of the state or of any of its agencies or political subdivisions. The Legislature hereby adopts:

(a) Section 4301(a) --Purposes;

(b) Section 4302 --Relation to other law and plans or agreements;

(c) Section 4303(2),(4),(7) through (13),(15), and (16) and those portions of subparagraph (3) not relating to employment in a foreign country --Definitions;

(d) Section 4304 --Character of service;

(e) Section 4311 --Discrimination against persons who serve in the uniformed services and acts of reprisal prohibited;

(f) Section 4312 --Reemployment rights of persons who serve in the uniformed services;

(g) Section 4313 with the exception of that portion of subparagraph (a) dealing with reemployment of federal employees --Reemployment positions;

(h) Section 4316 --Rights, benefits, and obligations of persons absent from employment for service in a uniformed service;

(i) Section 4317 --Health plans; and

(j) Section 4318 --Employee pension benefit plans.

(2) This section applies to all members performing duty in active service of the state.

(3) The proper appointing authority or employer may make a temporary appointment to fill any vacancy created by the absence of an officer or employee pursuant to this section. Such officer or employee shall not be discharged from his or her former or new position without justifiable cause within one year after reinstatement.

(4) The Commissioner of Labor shall enforce this section.

(5) The Adjutant General shall perform duties assigned to the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or Secretary of Labor in the portions of 38 USC Chapter 43 adopted under this section.

Sec. 55-165. [Violations; Penalties].

Any person, firm, or organization violating section 55-160 or 55-161 shall be guilty of a Class IV misdemeanor and, in addition thereto, shall restore to the employee all rights of which he or she has been illegally deprived.

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