Do You Have a Case?

A Guide to Employment Discrimination: Human Rights Commission Activity

Why do you believe the discrimination happened because of your Local Human Rights Commission Activity?

  1. Do you know someone who was not active with a local human rights commission, who was treated differently than you in the same situation?
  2. Was your activity on a local human rights commission questioned or criticized by your employer?
  3. Was your activity on a local human rights commission disparaged by your employer?

NO, none of these sounds like my situation.

YES, at least one of these fits my situation.


What are local human rights commissions and what do they do?

Local human rights commissions are appointed by units of government to promote human rights in their communities. Some commissions mediate human rights disputes; some have programs that respond to hate crimes.

There are approximately 40 local human rights commissions in Minnesota, which are affiliated with a non-profit organization, the League of Minnesota Human Rights Commissions.

Why are these questions (about the reason for the discrimination) important?

The state Human Rights Act doesn't protect against unfair treatment that happened to a member of a protected class (such as a person of a certain race or sex) — unless that treatment happened because the person was a member of that protected class.

One way to help prove that the treatment happened because you are a member of a protected class is to show that other people who were of a different class (such as a different race or sex) weren't subjected to the same treatment.

But I know what happened and why... can't you take my word for it?

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights is a neutral investigative agency. It's our job to impartially investigate charges of discrimination, and determine whether there is "probable cause" to believe that the events a charging party alleges happened — and that they happened because of the charging party's protected class status.

Like any investigative agency, we look for evidence. The more specific information you can give us — including the names of witnesses — the better we can investigate your charge.