Many Minnesotans who have been the victims of sexual harassment at work suffer in silence. Often, victims fear that no one will believe them if they report what is really going on, or that no one will do anything about it. They may fear that the powerful forces at their workplace are too entrenched to change anything when an employee reports harassment. But, one thing that gets the attention of an employer is money, and sexual harassment can be very expensive for employers.
Unfair and unlawful discrimination at work can come in many forms. Racial, religious, sexual and disability discrimination are just some of the types that can come up when a Minnesota worker is mistreated in the workplace. In some cases, more than one type of employment discrimination can come up at the same time.
Both Minnesota and federal law provide protections for workers who speak up when they feel their employers are doing something illegal. When the employer retaliates against a whistle-blower employee, the employee may take legal action against the employer.
Minnesota and federal laws protect workers against racial discrimination and religious discrimination at work. When workers are fired, not hired, denied promotions or suffer other negative employment action because of prohibited discrimination, they can file claims against the employer. However, proving discrimination requires evidence and it can be hard to get solid evidence in many cases.
Age discrimination in the workplace is prohibited under both Minnesota and federal laws, but it is becoming more common all the time. According to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, workers filing claims related to wrongful discharge due to age discrimination represented 23 percent of all individuals filing claims in 2012. They represented on 19 percent in 1997. Meanwhile, the percentage of individuals filing claims for race discrimination decreased and the percentage filing sex discrimination held steady.