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Your Rights & Responsibilities

What is Illegal Discrimination?

The most common form of unlawful discrimination occurs when people are treated differently because of a protected characteristic. This type of discrimination is bias based on stereotype or intentional discrimination. For example, an employer fires Jayne but does not fire Paul after both employees miss work on Monday. If the employer fired Jayne because of a belief that as a woman she will miss work more often than its male employees because women have childcare responsibilities, the decision by the employer is a form of discrimination called disparate treatment.  

Disparate Impact

Another common form of unlawful discrimination occurs when a neutral policy or practice adversely impacts people of a protected class more than other classes or unequally. This is called disparate impact discrimination. For example, an employer deciding that for certain positions in its company, it will only hire employees who have a college degree. As earning a college degree varies among different protected groups, the decision of the employer to require a college degree may amount to disparate impact discrimination if the employer can"t demonstrate a business need for requiring job applicants to have a college degree.

Deadline: For Filing a Claim

You must file a charge within one year of when the discrimination occurred or when you learned of the discrimination. If you fail to file your charge within one year, you will lose your ability to obtain relief under the Human Rights Act.

Learn More

Learn more about your rights under the Minnesota Human Rights Act and the role of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights in ending discrimination.

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