This is a summary of employment discrimination laws in Minnesota and how employers can protect themselves.
In Minnesota, employees are protected from discrimination by both federal and state law. A discrimination claim requires that the employer has taken some adverse employment action against the employee because the employee belongs to a protected class. Even employees employed “at will” are protected from discrimination.
Protected classes are groups of people with a common characteristic who cannot be targeted for discrimination because of that characteristic.
Under federal and Minnesota state law, protected classes include
Sexual orientation is an additional protected class under Minnesota law (but not federal law).
Adverse action is defined as an employers action that has “had some materially adverse impact on employee’s employment.” Coffman v. Tracker Marine, L.P., 141 F.3d 1241, 1245 (8th Cir. 1998).
Adverse action must have more than a tangential effect on an employee’s employment; mere inconvenience or unhappiness on the part of the employee is not actionable adverse employment action.
Examples of adverse action include actions such as
Less commonly, courts have found adverse action where an employer effectuated
However, adverse actions do not include
Employment attorneys represent employers and executives. If you are an employer or executive facing an employment discrimination issue, you are welcome to contact us to evaluate your situation.