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A Basic Overview of Civil Rights: Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

Omaha law prohibits unfair or unequal treatment in employment practices and policies such as:

  • job advertisement.

  • hiring practice (application forms, interviews, selection).

  • referral by employment agencies.

  • salary, job classification, work duties, working conditions, and fringe benefits.

  • promotion, demotion, suspension, layoff, recall, or termination.

The unfair act must be based on a person's:

  • race

  • national origin

  • religion

  • color

  • age

  • sex

  • creed

  • disability

  • marital status

  • retaliation

  • sexual orientation**

  • gender identity**

*Exemptions include religious or denominational organizations who may give preference to individuals of the same religion for certain types of jobs.

**Employers are not required to provide employment benefits to same sex partners.

Who is regulated?

  • Private employers with six or more employees located in the Omaha area.

  • employment agencies and placement services.

  • labor organizations.

Job applications and interviews

The law prohibits pre-employment practices or policies which:

1) ask information from applicants (prior to employment) concerning the applicant's race, sex, national origin, age, religion, color, creed, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity.

2) result in the disproportionate screening-out of members of such protected groups; or

3) are not relevant to successful job performance.

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.

Sexual harassment at the workplace

The law defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This may include many forms 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.

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.

Pregnancy discrimination

The law prohibits employers from failing to hire an applicant because she is pregnant, or discharging or penalizing an employee in the terms, conditions, and privileges of employment because she is pregnant.

1) Employers must make "reasonable accommodations" such as: allowing the pregnant employee to sit, instead of stand, while working; excusing from or providing assistance for lifting tasks; allowing time off for doctor's appointments.

2) Employers are also required to 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. A "reasonable period of time" is that determined by the employee's physician with regard to her physical condition and her specific job requirements.

3) Such employees have return rights to their original jobs or to positions of comparable status and pay (without loss of accumulated service credits and privileges).

Employees with disabilities

The law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for a qualified employee with a disability. An accommodation is reasonable if it does not impose an undue hardship on the employer's business. Examples of reasonable accommodations are:

  • job restructuring or job sharing.

  • adjustments to the work environment, such as raising desks to accommodate wheelchairs.

  • providing qualified readers, interpreters, or assistants.

Religious accommodations

The law requires employers to reasonably accommodate an employee's religious practices unless an undue hardship would result. Two examples of accommodation for religious practices are:

  • allowing the employee to observe a religious holiday by trading work days with a voluntary, qualified co-employee.

  • granting flexible work schedules.

When to file:

A charge must be filed within 180 days of the alleged act of discrimination.

Follow this link for information on Filing a charge

This is a general summary of the employment discrimination laws and does not have the force or effect of city, state or federal laws. If there are any inconsistencies, specific rules and laws will control.