Nebraska’s legal history on the enforceability of non-compete agreements is usually a surprise for employers who view Nebraska as pro-business. Nebraska courts routinely invalidate employee non-compete agreements that venture beyond restricting the employee from doing business with and soliciting customers with whom that employee did business and had personal contact. If there is a non-compete component to the agreement, or if the non-solicitation applies to all customers, Nebraska courts typically invalidate the entire agreement. Companies using a one-size-fits-all agreement for their Nebraska employees are routinely victimized by this surprise. The reaction is typically a scramble to litigate in a venue outside the Cornhusker state.
Articles About Nebraska Labor And Employment Law.
On April 13, 2016, Nebraska’s breach notification statute was amended when Governor Pete Ricketts signed LB835 into law. The Amendment included a variety of changes, including a regulator notification requirement and broadens the definition of “personal information” in the state data breach notification statute, Neb. Rev. Stat. §87-802 – 87-804. These amendments become effective on July 20, 2016.
Aligning Nebraska with a small, but growing, number of states that have legislated additional protections for pregnant individuals in the workplace, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has signed an amendment (L.B. 627) to the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act (“NFEPA”) requiring reasonable accommodations for pregnant individuals with “known physical limitations.”
Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman has approved a new Nebraska law that extends veterans preference in hiring to the spouses of permanently disabled veterans. The new law goes into effect January 1, 2015.
“Paid time off” (PTO) hours are indistinguishable from earned vacation time under the Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act; accordingly, since that Act requires an employer to pay earned but unused vacation leave to an employee upon separation of employment, employers must likewise pay terminating employees their unused PTO benefits upon separation of employment, the Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled. Fisher v. PayFlex Systems, USA, Inc., and Norton v. PayFlex Systems, USA, Inc., 285 Neb. 808 (May 3, 2013).
A Federal Court in Nebraska issued a preliminary injunction enforcing an employee non-compete agreement in a case that explains, for the first time, what a Nebraska court may consider “solicitation.” The case, Farm Credit Services of America v. Opp, No. 8:12-cv-382 (D. Neb. 2013), involved a crop insurance salesman, Opp, who signed a non-compete agreement at the beginning of his employment. The employer, FCSA, provided crop insurance sales training, helped Opp satisfy licensing and continuing education requirements, and assigned him a set of policies to service. FCSA also helped Opp develop customers by providing him leads and financial support to entertain customers. Opp was eventually terminated in May 2012.
Two recent bills introduced in the current session of Nebraska’s Unicameral Legislature would affect employers in Nebraska by imposing additional obligations on them to employees and applicants.
Add Nebraska to the growing number of states that have granted civil immunity to employers that provide job references to prospective employers of their current or former employees. Approved by Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman on April 10, 2012, the law, LB 959, will take effect on July 18, 2012.
The City of Omaha has joined many other major American cities in barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Omaha City Council, by a 4-3 vote, approved an ordinance extending protections to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons. Mayor Jim Suttle signed the ordinance into law, which went into effect March 28. The amendment to Omahaâ€™s equal employment opportunity ordinance prohibits employers, employment agencies, job training programs, labor groups, public accommodations and businesses that contract with the City from discriminating against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.