Minnesota Discrimination Attorney

Employment Discrimination in the Workplace

It is against the law for an employer to discriminate in the workplace in the following areas:

  • Race, color, national origin: Employers are prohibited from making employment decisions based on an applicant {or employee’s} race, color of skin, or national origin. Within Minnesota, the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA), makes it illegal to treat employees of different races or country of origin different than other employees. If employers create a hostile work environment for their minority employees, those employees may have a cause of action in the courts.
  • Religious Discrimination: Employers are not permitted to base their employment decisions for employees of different religious beliefs or practices different than their other employees. Minnesota laws require the employer to make accommodations so that all employees can observe their religious beliefs while at work. Disputes over the reasonableness of employer accommodations are often litigated in the courts.
  • Sex Discrimination: Employers may not practice gender discrimination in their employment practices. The Minnesota Human Rights Act, and the federal Title VII law forbid gender-based discrimination in the workplace. Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination, and of course that is illegal as well. Any form of gender discrimination affecting salary, advancement is prohibited in the workplace.
  • Marital Status Bias: Marital status discrimination by employers is prohibited, and may occur when both spouses work for the same employer. If one of the spouses if terminated for performance reasons, and then the remaining spouse is fired because of the relationship with the terminated spouse, that can be a cause of civil litigation. Laws now recognize same-sex marriages and full employee benefits must be recognized by employers for gay couples.
  • Public Assistance Bias. Employers may not discriminate against employees because they receive public assistance. Applicants or employees on social security disability, WIC, or food stamps, cannot be treated differently in terms of wages, promotions, vacation pay, etc. In Minnesota it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee because they receive any type of public assistance. Thus, if you are on Welfare, Social Security, Disability, Public Assistance, WIC, or receive food stamps or other state subsidized benefits, it is illegal for your employer to discriminate against you on those grounds. Employers may not base termination decisions on these public benefits either.
  • Family Status Bias. Same-sex couples have a legally protected status and may raise children, as can single mothers or fathers. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees because of their family status. Female employees who become pregnant, are protected against their employer withholding advancement and promotions, or declining to give pay increases.
  • Disability Bias: Employers may not discriminate against an employee with disabilities. That means employers must make reasonable attempts to accommodate a disabled employee in order to perform that job. Of course, it is illegal to terminate disabled workers because of their disability, or because of reasonable costs involved in provided accommodations for disabled workers.
  • Sexual Orientation Bias: Employers must treat gay, lesbian, and bisexual employees on a completely equal basis as all other employees. Indeed, those categories are considered a protected class under Minnesota’s Human Rights Act (MHRA).
  • Age Discrimination. Employers are prohibited from using an employee’s age as a basis for employment decisions, provided the employee is at least 25 years of age. A federal law, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employers from basing employment decisions on any employee over age 40.

The law firm of Tarshish Cody PLC will discuss your specific circumstances of possible employer discrimination, and determine if you may have a legal basis for compensation and damages. Our attorneys do not bill unless we win your case. Call 952-361-5556 (or fill out the free case evaluation form below) and schedule a free initial consultation.

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