Nebraska Bill to Put Discrimination Rules under State

Nebraska Bill to Put Discrimination Rules under State

By Michael Avok, Associated Press. CREATED Jan 10, 2012

Lincoln, NE (AP) - Nebraska's counties and cities wouldn't be able to enforce their own anti-discrimination laws that go beyond statewide rules under a measure introduced Tuesday in the Legislature that aims to make regulations more uniform.

LB 912 would ensure that businesses not be subjected to piecemeal regulations made by cities or counties, said state Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha.

Under the measure, a county, municipality or other political subdivision would not be allowed to enforce a local law or rule that deviates from the state's anti-discrimination policies. Those include protections in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Nebraska Fair Employment Act and the Nebraska Fair Housing Act.

McCoy, who introduced the bill, said people in one city deserve the same protection under the law as those working in another city.

He said businesses need uniform anti-discrimination rules, especially as more employees are working from home or could be in a town other than where their company is located.

Under state control, someone telecommuting from Waverly, Neb., for a Lincoln business would be assured equal protection, McCoy said.

"We have a long history in our state of making things consistent," McCoy said. "Consistency is always best."

He pointed to concealed weapons permits and smoking bans, which were once regulated by cities and counties and are now under state jurisdiction.

"In those cases, we just had to have a consistent standard across the state," he said.

McCoy's bill also is aimed at improving the effectiveness of counties and municipalities to punish and eliminate discrimination.


(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)