A Guide to Employment Discrimination: Reprisal
Why do you believe the discrimination happened because of your involvement in a Discrimination Complaint (Reprisal)?
- Were you terminated, disciplined, harassed or intimidated after filing a charge with the Department of Human Rights?
- Were you terminated, disciplined, harassed or intimidated because you opposed discrimination or participated in an investigation of discrimination?
- Were you terminated, disciplined, harassed or intimidated for associating with persons of a different race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation or national origin, or persons who have disabilities?
NO, none of these sounds like my situation.
YES, at least one of these fits my situation.
What does reprisal mean?
Reprisal is retaliation, such as intimidation, harassment, or other adverse treatment, motivated by conduct protected under the Human Rights Act. Protected conduct includes filing a charge, opposing discrimination, participating in an investigation of alleged discrimination, and similar activities; and associating with persons of a different race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation or national origin, or persons who have disabilities.
Reprisal is prohibited regardless of whether there was any merit to the complaint of discrimination that led to the retaliation.
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.