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Employee Discipline: Nebraska

Employee Discipline requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Authors: Marcia A. Washkuhn and Kasey M. Cappellano, Kutak Rock LLP


  • Under Nebraska law, an employer can record its employees' conversations and meetings as long as at least one party consents to the recording. See Recording Meetings.
  • Employees are protected from retaliation for opposing, testifying about or participating in an investigation of violations of Nebraska antidiscrimination laws. See Antidiscrimination Statutes.
  • Employees of the State of Nebraska and municipalities are subject to specifically defined disciplinary procedures. See Civil Service Act; see Public Employees.
  • There is no law in Nebraska prohibiting employers form disciplining employees for drug and alcohol use and abuse in the workplace. See Drug and Alcohol Use.
  • A Nebraska employee's at-will status can be modified by policies in employee handbooks, e.g., a disciplinary policy, or oral statements made to employees. Employees may be entitled to enforce compliance with a disciplinary policy unless the employer retains discretion over discipline and termination decisions. See Employment Contracts Created Through Disciplinary Policies.
  • Both public and private Nebraska employers are permitted to take disciplinary action against employees for off-duty conduct. However, Nebraska law protects employees who engage in political activities, or serve on an election board. See Lawful Behavior Outside Work.
  • Nebraska law protects an employee's privacy by limiting an employer's access to his or her personal social media accounts. See Workplace Privacy Act.
  • Employers should exercise caution when disciplining employees for absenteeism when the attendance issues could be attributable to taking protected leaves under Nebraska law. See Absences.
  • In Nebraska, courts generally disfavor employers' attempts to restrict a former employee's ability to compete. See Restrictive Covenants.
  • Public employees are protected from retaliation through disciplinary or other personnel actions for disclosure of what they reasonably believe to be wrongdoing under the State Government Effectiveness Act. See State Government Effectiveness Act.
  • An employee may bring a claim for wrongful discharge if the reason for termination is in opposition to or violation of strong public policy. See Wrongful Discharge.
  • A number of Nebraska laws protect certain employee activities, e.g., filing claims and joining unions. See Anti-Retaliation Protections.
  • The Nebraska Trade Secrets Act provides a remedy for theft of disclosure of trade secrets. See Trade Secrets and Confidentiality.
  • An employer that requires applicants or employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 must provide an exemption if individuals provide certain documentation to the employer. See COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Exemptions.