A Guide to Employment Discrimination
Do You Have a Case?
Find out... or just learn about your rights and responsibilities under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. This is the text version of the interactive guide; You will be asked some questions and be provided with information and suggestions based on your answers.
How long ago did the discrimiination happen?
- More than a year ago.
It appears to be too late... Under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, you must file your charge within one year of the time the discrimination took place. If more than a year has passed, you are not eligible to file a charge. There is an exception where the parties were engaged in a dispute resolution process that may temporarily suspend the running of the limitation period. If you think this may apply in your case, contact the department immediately to see if this applies to your situation (651.539.1100).
- Less than a year ago.
You are within the one-year statute for filing a charge with our agency; proceed to the next step: the reason why you think you were discriminated against.
FAQ about the Statute of Limitations (SOL)
Why is the date important?
The Minnesota Human Rights Act requires that you file a charge within one year of the date the discrimination took place.
But even if you're not close to that deadline, it's best to file a charge as soon as possible. If you wait, your memory may not be as fresh, and witnesses may be more difficult to locate.
If the discrimination happened more than a year ago, is there nothing I can do?
There is an exception where the parties were engaged in a dispute resolution process that may temporarily suspend the running of the limitation period. If you think this may apply in your case, contact the department immediately to see if this applies in your situation.
If you are ineligible to file a charge of discrimination because more than a year has passed, you may, in some situations, have other remedies that are outside the scope of the Human Rights Act. You may wish to consult an attorney regarding other possible remedies. The Department of Human Rights cannot advise you in this matter.
Can I file a charge if the discrimination began more than a year ago but was ongoing?
If your complaint involves a pattern of behavior (such as continuing harassment due to a protected class factor), you would still be eligible to file a charge concerning the harassment that has occurred within the past year. In some instances, the department can consider actions that occurred more than a year before the charge is filed if there are also timely incidents (within a year).
Do other agencies have the same one-year deadline?
The federal EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) also has jurisdiction over cases of discrimination in employment. However, their deadline under federal law is 300 days, about two months shorter than the state Human Rights Act's one-year deadline.
The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights and the St. Paul Department of Human Rights, which investigate charges of discrimination within their jurisdictions, also have one-year time limits.