34,800 LGBT Workers in Nebraska Lack Statewide Protections from Ongoing Discrimination

For Immediate Release:
August 10, 2017

Media Contact:
The Williams Institute
williamsinstitute@law.ucla.edu
(310) 267-4382

34,800 LGBT Workers in Nebraska Lack Statewide Protections from Ongoing Discrimination

Adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s existing non-discrimination law would protect these workers and would not be costly or burdensome for the state to enforce

LOS ANGELES — Approximately 34,800 LGBT workers in Nebraska are vulnerable to employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, according to a new report co-authored by Christy Mallory, State & Local Policy Director, and Brad Sears, David Sanders Distinguished Scholar, at the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute.  Only 22 percent of Nebraska’s workforce is covered by local non-discrimination laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  The state’s non-discrimination law does not include sexual orientation or gender identity.

“A statewide law prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity would bring new protections to thousands of workers without burdening courts and agencies,” said Christy Mallory, senior counsel at the Williams Institute. “Most likely, the cost of handling complaints filed under the law could be absorbed into the existing enforcement system with no need for additional staff or resources.”

Employment discrimination against LGBT people in Nebraska has been documented in a number of sources:

– A 2014 Human Rights Campaign survey of LGBT people in Nebraska found that over 20 percent of respondents reported that they had experienced employment discrimination, and 41 percent reported that they had experienced harassment at work.  A 2010 survey of LGBT people in Omaha similarly found that 33 percent of respondents reported that they had experienced employment discrimination.

– Census data show that in Nebraska, the median income of men in same-sex couples is 8 percent lower than that of men married to different-sex partners.

– Aggregated data from two large public opinion polls find that 79 percent of Nebraska residents think that LGBT people experience a moderate amount to a lot of discrimination in the state.

– Several recent instances of employment discrimination against LGBT people in Nebraska have been documented in media reports, legislative testimony, and complaints to community-based organizations, including reports from public and private sector workers.

Employer policies and public opinion indicate support for non-discrimination protections for LGBT people in Nebraska:

– Out of the ten Fortune 1,000 companies that are headquartered in Nebraska, eight include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies. Six of those companies also include gender identity in their non-discrimination policies.

– In a 2014 poll by the Human Rights Campaign, 48 percent of employed LGBT respondents from Nebraska reported that their employer prohibited discrimination against LGBT people.

– In response to a national poll conducted in 2011, 69 percent of those polled in Nebraska said that Congress should pass a federal law to prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

– A 2016 poll conducted by researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that 74 percent of Nebraskans favored laws protecting LGB people from employment discrimination.

A statewide law prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity would not be administratively burdensome or costly to enforce:

– The law would result in approximately 16 additional complaints being filed each year with the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission.

– The anticipated new complaints could most likely be absorbed into the existing system with no need for additional staff and negligible costs.

Full Report

 

Share Button