The term civil rights refers to the rights of all individuals to be protected equally under a given jurisdiction's laws (typically state and federal). Therefore, a civil rights violation occurs when an individual is treated unfairly because of his or her gender, religious beliefs, skin color, or some other arbitrary characteristic. The people who fall under a given category, such as women and racial minorities, are part of a protected class in the context of civil rights law. For instance, if a Muslim family applying to lease an apartment were discriminated against because of their religion, they may file a lawsuit for having their civil rights violated.
Civil rights protections typically cover the areas of employment, housing, and public access. This means employers and landlords may not discriminate, while disabled individuals, for example, must have access to public facilities.
Federal civil rights protections extend to residents throughout the U.S., but some states also provide protections either for additional classes or to expand federal protections.
Civil Rights Protections in Nebraska: Overview
Nebraska has a few different statutes addressing civil rights in employment, housing, and public access. The Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act (FEPA) prohibits discrimination against employees (or job applicants) on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), disability, or marital status at workplaces with at least 15 employees. The Nebraska Age Discrimination in Employment Act (The Age Act), which covers employers with at least 20 employees, prohibits any type of age discrimination.
Additional details about Nebraska civil rights laws are listed in the following table. See FindLaw's Discrimination section for more articles and resources.
|Code Section||Ch. 20-301, et seq. (Generally); 48-1001, et seq. (Age); 48-1101, et seq. (Employment)|
|Agency||Equal Opportunity Commission|
|Administrative Preemption||Generally: No; Age: Yes; Employment: Yes|
|Private Action Permitted?||Yes|
|Attorney Fees Recoverable by Plaintiff?||Generally: Yes; Age: Not specified; Employment: Yes|
|Statute of Limitations||300 days; Generally and Age: variable|
Note: State laws are subject to change at any time, most commonly through the enactment of newly signed legislation but sometimes through the decisions of higher courts or other means. You may want to contact a Nebraska civil rights attorney or employment law attorney, or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Nebraska Civil Rights Law: Related Resources