Federal and state laws prohibit employers from discriminating against a job applicant or an employee because of the individual’s race, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), age, or disability. These five types of workplace discrimination are described in more detail below.
Race Discrimination in Minnesota
Race discrimination involves treating an individual unfavorably because he or she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race. Such personal characteristics include hair texture, skin color, and certain facial features. Race discrimination can also involve treating an individual unfavorably because he or she is married to (or associated with) a person of a certain race. Discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are the same race.
Religion Discrimination in Minnesota
Religious discrimination involves treating an individual unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, moral, or ethical beliefs. Religious discrimination can also involve treating an individual differently because that person is married to (or associated with) an individual of a particular religion.
Age Discrimination in Minnesota
Age discrimination involves treating an individual less favorably because of his or her age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) forbids age discrimination against people who are 40 years of age or older. The ADEA does not protect workers under 40. However, the Minnesota Human Rights Act prohibits age discrimination in employment and expands protection beyond the ADEA to include people who have reached the “age of majority,” which Minnesota currently defines as 18 years of age or older.
Sex Discrimination in Minnesota
Sex discrimination involves treating an individual unfavorably because of that person’s sex. Discrimination against an individual based on gender identity, transgender status, or sexual orientation is discrimination because of sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions also constitutes unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII.
Disability Discrimination in Minnesota
Disability discrimination occurs when an employer treats an individual with a disability unfavorably because he or she has a disability. Disability discrimination also occurs when an employer treats an individual less favorably because he or she has a history of a disability or because he or she is believed to have a physical or mental impairment that is not minor (even if he or she does not have such an impairment) or transitory (lasting or expected to last six months or less).
If you have been discriminated against by an employer or prospective employer based on your race, religion, sex, disability, or age, contact our workplace discrimination lawyers to discuss whether you may have a legal claim. Our employment attorneys will diligently fight to ensure your rights are protected.