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Know your rights. Know how to respond.

employment discrimination happens

What is employment discrimination?

The Omaha Municipal Code Section 13-89 prohibits unfair or unequal treatment in employment practices and policies, including:

  • Advertising for a job
  • Hiring practices (applications, interviews, selection criteria)
  • Referrals by employment agencies
  • Salary, job classification, work duties, working conditions, and fringe benefits
  • Promotions, demotions, suspensions, layoffs, recalls or terminations

The discriminatory act must be based on a person’s:

  • Race
  • Gender Identity 
  • National origin 
  • Sex 
  • Religion
  • Creed
  • Color
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Marital Status
  • Sexual Orientation

Exemptions to this statute do exist, specifically in regard to religious or denominational organizations who may give preference to individuals of the same religion for certain types of jobs.

Who Is Regulated?

The following groups are regulated under the anti-employment discrimination statute:

  • Employers located within the Omaha city limits and who employ six or more people
  • Employment agencies and placement services
  • Labor organizations

What Are Examples Of Job Application And Interview-Related Discrimination?

It is the employer’s right to establish job-related requirements and to seek the most qualified individual for the job. Therefore, the employer should only ask those questions necessary to determine the applicant’s eligibility for employment.

Examples of prohibited pre-employment questions include:

  • Are you married?
  • What church do you attend?
  • How many children do you have?
  • What year did you graduate from high school?
  • What is your native language?

What If I Have A Disability?

Employers are responsible to provide reasonable accommodations, which are defined as not imposing an undue hardship on the employer’s business. Examples of reasonable accommodations include:

  • Job restructuring
  • Job sharing
  • Adjustments to the work environment; e.g., raising desks to accommodate wheelchairs
  • Providing qualified readers, interpreters or assistants

What If I Need Religious Accommodations?

Employers must reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious practices unless an undue hardship would result. Two examples of accommodating religious practices are:

  • Allowing the employee to observe a religious holiday by trading work days with a voluntary, qualified co-worker
  • Granting flexible work schedules

What Are My Rights If I Become Pregnant?

Employers must make reasonable accommodations, such as:

  • Allowing the pregnant employee to sit (instead of standing) while working
  • Excusing from or providing assistance for lifting tasks
  • Allowing time off for doctor’s appointments
  • Provide leave – with or without pay – for a reasonable period of time for disabilities due to and resulting from pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions
  • Grant return rights by allowing the employee to resume her original job or return to a position of comparable status and pay without loss of accumulated service credits and privileges

What About Sexual Harassment?

Employers are liable for acts of sexual harassment committed by themselves, their agents or supervisory employees. They are also liable for sexual harassment committed by other employees or non-employees, if they know, or should have known, of the conduct and fail to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. Harassment may include any form of offensive behavior, such as:

  • Unwanted sexual advances
  • Offering jobs, promotions or benefits in exchange for sexual favors
  • Threatening to demote, fire or withhold benefits if an employee protests, refuses or ignores sexual advances
  • Unwanted leering, making sexual gestures or displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons or posters
  • Unwanted derogatory comments, slurs, jokes, suggestive or obscene letters or notes
  • Unwanted touching, assault, impeding or blocking of movement

How Do I File An Employment Discrimination Complaint?

If you believe that you have been discriminated against in an employment matter, you may file a complaint with the Omaha Human Rights & Relations Department (OHRRD). The Department has a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which prevents the duplication of effort in filing and processing a charge when there is common jurisdiction. Where federal and local laws differ, the charge is automatically referred to the most appropriate agency.

Complaints must be filed within 300 days after the alleged act of discrimination occurred.

A person wishing to file a charge should:

  • Be prepared to present specific facts about the alleged act(s) of discrimination
  • Keep records and documents about the complaint, such as applications, evaluations, paycheck stubs, notices and the like
  • Keep the OHRRD updated about changes of address

If you would like to file a complaint, you may:

Call us at:

Phone: 402-444-5055
Fax: 402-444-5058
TTY: 402-444-5031

Visit us at:

Omaha Douglas Civic Center
1819 Farnam St., Suite 502
Omaha Nebraska 68183

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Fairness shouldn't be a fairy tail. Discrimination happens don't ignore it. Call 402-444-5055