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NEBRASKA EQUAL OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION: Eliminating Discrimination in Nebraska

RIGHTS


The Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission (NEOC) is a neutral Administrative agency created by statute in 1965 to enforce the public policy of the state against discrimination. The principal function of the NEOC is to receive, investigate and pass upon complaints of unlawful discrimination occurring anywhere within the State of Nebraska in the areas of:

The NEOC is also empowered to attempt to eliminate unlawful discriminatory practices through various means of alternative dispute resolution. In addition, the NEOC provides information and assistance regarding civil rights laws and enforcement to individuals and organizations that request it.

Laws Enforced

The NEOC is authorized to enforce the following statutes:

  • Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act (FEPA)
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (Age Act)
  • Nebraska Fair Housing Act
  • Providing Equal Enjoyment of Public Accommodations (PA Law)
  • Equal Pay Act of Nebraska

To prevent duplication of proceedings, the NEOC is authorized by federal statue to investigate complaints alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the U.S. Fair Housing Act. The NEOC can do that when the federal charges are also filed under the listed state laws.

Coverage and Scope


Employment

Discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), disability, marital status or age is prohibited in Nebraska. In general, covered entities include most private and non-profit employers with 15 or more employees under FEPA and the Equal Pay Act and 20 or more employees under the Age Act. Also covered are State and local government subdivisions of any size, along with employment agencies and labor organizations.

Unlawful employment practices can include discrimination in the areas of:

  • hiring and promotion (such as classification, recruitment, selection);
  • compensation (pay and benefits);
  • discipline (termination, warnings);
  • and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment (such as training and development, relationships and associations; accommodation of disabilities or religious beliefs; and freedom from workplace harassment.
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Housing

Discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or familial status is prohibited in Nebraska. Covered entities generally include residential property owners, property managers, realtors and multiple listing services. However, exemptions exist for dwellings owned or operated by religious organizations and bona fide private clubs for noncommercial purposes, housing for older persons and owner-occupied private homes in which no more than three sleeping rooms are rented. Unlawful housing practices include discrimination in residential property such as in advertisement, acquisition (showing, negotiating or transmitting offers for sale or rental), financing and possession (terms, conditions and peaceful enjoyment).

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Public Accommodations

Discrimination in the enjoyment of places of public accommodation is prohibited in Nebraska on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion or sex. Covered entities generally include an establishment offering goods and services to the general public. Limited exemptions exist for bona fide private clubs and public accommodations owned or operated by religious organizations. Unlawful practices include:

  • withholding or denial of services;
  • withholding privileges of facilities of public accommodations;
  • and unlawful segregation in place of public accommodation.

All of the laws enforced by the NEOC contain provisions barring retaliation. Anyone who has opposed any practice made unlawful by the statues or who has participated in any manner in any proceeding to enforce the statues is protected.

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