John A. Klassen, PA Minnesota Employment Law Attorney
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Civil rights violations and addressing workplace discrimination

It is important that individuals in Minnesota and other states across the nation understand their rights. When an employee faces workplace discrimination, they should understand that this is a civil rights violation. Employment discrimination could cause serious damage to the employee, and they should understand how to address the issue properly.

Recently, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights spoke at a community forum. He spoke about and highlighted the efforts of the state to achieve both equality and inclusion in the workplace and other areas such as health care, state government practices as well as procurement practices. An important part of his presentation was the commissioner's discussing ways to deal with these forms of discrimination and causes of action available to the victims of discrimination.

With regards to employment discrimination, it was explained that victims could initiate the process on their own by filing a complaint. It was further explained that these complaints must be filed within one year of the civil rights violation in order to preserve their rights. The state's statutes of limitation for these claims are one year, which requires complaints to be filed within that time period.

Understanding the legal rights of an employee will help better educate both employees and employers. Having presentations about these issues helps inform the public and assists those currently dealing with these issues.

Employees should note that they do have rights regarding any unlawful form of workplace discrimination. It is important to speak out and address the situation even if they are unsure if it is in fact workplace discrimination. Speaking with someone could help educate them and guide them through the process if they seek to file a complaint for the damages they have suffered.

Source: Twin Cities Daily Planet, "MN Human Rights Commission updates community on new legislation at equity-focused C.h.a.t. event," Brandi Phillips, Sept. 28, 2014

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