The Human Rights Act, Minnesota’s comprehensive civil rights law declares that certain types of differential treatment are unfair discriminatory practices. Laws governing discrimination in employment are very similar to that of many other states. Discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, status with regard to public assistance, disability or age is considered unlawful.
It is also a violation of the act and Minnesota (MN) job discrimination law in the workplace to aid or abet another in committing illegal discrimination; take reprisal against a person for filing a charge, participating in an investigation, or opposing illegal discrimination; or to take reprisal against a person because of their association with persons who have disabilities or who are of a different race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation or national origin.
The employment provisions limit collection and use of information about disabilities and require many employers to make reasonable accommodations for disabilities. Equitable treatment of pregnancy – related conditions is required. Under Minnesota (MN) job discrimination law employers, employment agencies and labor organizations are expected to prohibit sexual harassment; and prohibit interference with pension rights. Harassment of an individual or group of individuals also falls under anti-discrimination laws.
Minnesota (MN) job discrimination law covers all aspects of employment practices from recruiting procedures to termination. When recruiting such as in advertising or interviewing employers or employment agencies may not classify individuals or attempt to exclude certain individuals. All employees should be afforded the same rate of pay, compensation and other terms of employment for the same work performed. Employees cannot be discharged without cause on the sole basis of race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation or national origin. For an employer, employment agency or labor organization to comply with requests to screen or refer applicants on a discriminatory basis would be a violation.
Labor laws concerning discrimination experience changes nearly every year. Minnesota’s employers are required to put up posters at the business explaining discrimination if they have at least one employee. The Minnesota Complete Labor Law poster is available to reflect all the most current state, federal, and OSHA laws. Most Federal labor laws concerning discrimination against age, disabilities, child labor, worker’s compensation, and other types of discrimination were put into place in the 1970s. But these laws undergo revisions all the time, and employees must be made aware of their rights.
In addition to the Federal Discrimination Acts, there are Minnesota state requirements that must be followed by every employer. OSHA requires posting of these state labor laws as well, so employers must display both in order to be in compliance. After all, there may be differences in the way the state and Federal laws read.
I noticed that Minnesota’s law prohibits employers giving preference to older workers over younger ones. This is often called reverse age discrimination, and under Federal law it is not prohibited. The Federal government’s Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects workers over age 40. But the state chose to cover younger employees under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, which has been in existence since 1955. This is an interesting example of the way the state and the Federal government can treat the subject of discrimination in the workplace.
The discrimination notice says that an employer cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation (including by definition, gender identity), status with regard to public assistance, disability or age.
In my opinion, with over 1.45 Minnesotans being past the age of 50 and 680,000 Minnesotans disabled—and that’s just two examples– a lot of people need to know about discrimination in the workplace. Information about changes in scheduling, job reassignment, or other methods of accommodating employees need to be made available to them, but at the same time employers do not have to suffer “undue hardship” in order to accommodate those employees.