John A. Klassen, PA Minnesota Employment Law Attorney
612-217-4988 877-390-4527

LGBTQ employee rights cases and how they will affect Minnesota

Here and across the U.S., employee rights and employment discrimination is garnering significant attention as a growing number are seeking to ensure they are treated fairly. Getting a job and keeping a job should be based on ability and capacity to complete the necessary tasks. Workers cannot be penalized regardless of their gender, age, national origin, race, sexual orientation, disability and more. Employment laws protect workers and prospective employees. Still, it is important to keep track of certain cases that can affect people who fall into certain categories. For those who are LGBTQ, pending Supreme Court cases are bringing forth speculation as to how they will affect Minnesota workplaces.

Those who believe they have been discriminated against or are concerned about how being LGBTQ can hinder their employment should keep an eye on these cases and understand the basic laws that are already in place to protect them. While the Supreme Court prepares to hear several LGBTQ cases, Minnesotans should be cognizant of the 1993 Human Rights Act and how that state law shields people from discrimination due to sexual orientation and similar factors. Although the federal laws are not completely clear, the laws in Minnesota should leave no doubt as to how LGBTQ people are protected.

The Supreme Court cases include one in which a worker for Georgia child welfare lost his job for joining a gay softball league. A woman who is transgender lost her job in Michigan when she said she was transitioning.

In our state, these cases would allow the people who were discriminated against to file a workplace discrimination case because of the Human Rights Act. While the Supreme Court is not expected to decide on the cases before it until spring of 2020, Minnesotans are shielded by the law and can lodge a claim if they were confronted by an employee rights violation and employment discrimination for being LGBTQ.

Despite the laws that protect LGBTQ people, there are still situations where employers might discriminate against these individuals. They might dismiss them wrongfully, refuse to hire them despite their qualifications, refuse to give them promotions or commit other illegal acts.

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