Omaha City Counsel Addressed Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as Protected Classes
On March 13, 2012, Ordinance No. 39262 was passed by the Omaha City Counsel addressing sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under Omaha Municipal Code Section 13-84 (the City of Omaha’s antidiscrimination laws) along with the following previously protected classes which include race, color, creed, sex, marital status, national origin, age (40-70) and disability. The Ordinance also amends the Equal Employment Opportunity clause which is required to be included in all contracts with the City of Omaha.
Gender identity is defined as the actual or perceived appearance, expression, identity or behavior of a person as being male or female, whether or not that appearance, expression, identity or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s designated sex at birth. Sexual orientation is defined as actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.
Omaha employers with 6 or more employees (excluding parents, spouses, children or domestic servants) are covered under the Omaha Ordinance. There is an exemption for religious organizations if the job position in question is to perform work connected with the carrying on by such religious organization of its religious activity. There is also an exception for any school, college, university or other educational institution if such school, etc. is substantially owned, supported, controlled or managed by a particular religion or religious institution, the curriculum is directed toward the propagation of a particular religion, and “the choice of employees is necessary to promote the religious principles for which it is established or maintained.”
Covered employers should review their antidiscrimination policies and make any necessary modifications. Please contact a member of our Employment, Labor and Benefits Practice Group if you need any assistance.
A copy of the Ordinance is available here: http://www.cityofomaha.org/cityclerk/images/stories/agenda/ID%2012_02_28/City%20Council/284.pdf