The Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of physical or mental disability (NE Rev. Stat. Sec. 48-1101 et seq.). The law covers private employers with 15 or more employees and all state and government agencies regardless of size.
The term “disability” means:
• A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
• Having a record of such an impairment
• Being regarded by others as having such an impairment
The term disability does not include homosexuality, bisexuality, transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, voyeurism, exhibitionism, gender-identity disorders not resulting in physical impairments, other sexual behavior disorders, problem gambling, kleptomania, pyromania, or psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from current illegal use of drugs (NE Rev. Stat. Sec. 48-1102 (9)).
Federal law compared. Although the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has similar provisions to the state law, amendments to the ADA broadened its definition of disability and expressly changed the ADA's definition of a "regarded as" disability. Under the amended ADA, a person is regarded as having an ADA disability if he or she is subjected to an adverse employment action (e.g., demotion or firing) because of an actual or perceived impairment. The impairment does not have to substantially limit a major life activity in order to meet the definition of a "regarded as" disability.
The courts in Nebraska look to federal law for guidance in the interpretation of the state human rights law. Therefore, the changes in the ADA may affect decisions made by state courts in disability discrimination ...