Employment Discrimination in Minnesota

Avoid employment discrimination against protected classes in Minnesota.

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What are the protected classes in Minnesota?

In all 50 states, federal law makes it illegal to discriminate based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions)
  • Disability
  • Age (40 and older)
  • Citizenship status
  • Genetic information

In addition, Minnesota state law also prohibits discrimination based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions)
  • Disability: physical, mental, or sensory
  • Age (18 to 70)
  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Sexual orientation (includes perceived sexual orientation)
  • Gender identity
  • Member of local commission
  • Receiving public assistance

How many employees must a company in Minnesota have to be subject to antidiscrimination laws?

Under federal law, companies with 15 or more employees are covered by Title VII, the primary law prohibiting employment discrimination, the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination based on genetic information. Companies with 20 or more employees are subject to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the federal law that prohibits discrimination against employees 40 years or older. Companies with four or more employees must comply with the employment discrimination provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of citizenship status. And all companies of any size must pay men and women equally for doing equal work, by virtue of the Equal Pay Act.

In Minnesota, companies with one or more employees are subject to the state's antidiscrimination law.

What government agency regulates workplace discrimination in Minnesota?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that regulates workplace discrimination. You can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by calling 800-669-4000 or check out its website at www.eeoc.gov. The website will help you locate an EEOC field office in Minnesota.

The Department of Human Rights enforces state antidiscrimination law in Minnesota. You can contact the Department of Human Rights at 651-296-5663 or 800-657-3704 or go to its website.

For more information on employment discrimination, see The Manager's Legal Handbook, by attorneys Lisa Guerin and Amy DelPo (Nolo).

Last updated on 2/22/13.

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