RIGHTS BLOG: Updates from the Department of Human Rights


Posted on 6/27/14

The Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA), which was signed into law by Governor Dayton on May 11, 2014, makes it illegal for employment discrimination to occur based on familial status.

This means employers may not consider a person’s familial status when making hiring, retention, or other employment decisions.  Familial status is understood as a parent or guardian living with at least one minor, a person who is pregnant or someone who is in the process of obtaining legal custody of a minor. 

Before WESA, the Human Rights Act had prohibited discrimination based on familial status in the area of housing only. Since WESA, it is no longer acceptable for an employer to refuse to hire someone, deny them a promotion or other job-related opportunities, or terminate them because they have a child under the age of 18.

Parents with children over the age of 18, and those who are caring for aging parents, are not covered by these new familial status protections. But if they were to experience discrimination at work because they are caring for older children or parents, it is possible they could file a claim based gender-discrimination or other protections in the Act.

You can find more information regarding familial status on MDHR’s website, which includes Frequently Asked Questions on familial status.


Department of Human Rights commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act with television progam on local cable and YouTube through July 5.

Posted on 6/13/14

When President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law in 1964, America would not suddenly become the land of opportunity for everyone, but it would never be same again.
July 2 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act that ended legal segregation throughout the country and outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

This weekend, MDHR’s television show “Living the Legacy: The Civil Rights Act of 1964” will begin airing on metro cable stations CTV15 and Metro 6.

MDHR's Living the Legacy show will feature insightful interviews from Minnesota's leaders including Governor Mark Dayton, Civil Rights Leader Dr. Josie Johnson, Macalester College Professor Emeritus of History El-Kati, Community Organizer Nathaniel Khaliq, and Freedom Rider Claire O’Connor. Living the Legacy show will begin airing this weekend on CTV15 in Roseville and Metro 6 in the Twin Cities. Watch the promo and plan to watch one of the following viewings.

Metro 6 – June 14 to July 5

Saturday 7– 8:30 p.m.
Sunday 3 – 4:30 a.m.
Sunday 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Monday 2:30 – 4 p.m.
Tuesday 7:30 – 9 p.m.
Wednesday 4:30 – 6 a.m.
Wednesday 9:30 – 11 a.m.
Thursday 7 – 8:30 p.m.


Monday, June 16 9 p.m.
Tuesday, June 17 5 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Thursday, June 19 5:30 p.m.
Friday, June 20 1:30 a.m. & 9:30 a.m.
Tuesday, June 24 3 p.m. & 11 p.m.
Wednesday, June 25 7 a.m.
Friday, June 27 3 p.m.
Saturday, June 28 1 a.m. & 8 a.m.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 Fact Sheet