What is Illegal Discrimination?
The Minnesota Human Rights Act (Minn. Statutes, Chapter 363A), the state's comprehensive civil rights law, declares that certain types of differential treatment are unfair, discriminatory practices and against the law. The Act prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and real property, public accommodations, public services, education, credit services and business.
Not every act that is unfair or unreasonable is illegal. To be considered unlawful under the Human Rights Act, the discrimination must have happened because of one of the following reasons: race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, receipt of public assistance, age, family status (housing only), and Human Rights Commission activity (employment only). These personal characteristics are also called "protected classes."
Does that mean that only some people — and not others — are protected by the Human Rights Act?
No: the Human Rights Act protects everyone in Minnesota, because everyone has a race, sex, and many of the other characteristics that are covered.
The Minnesota Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in the following areas: business, credit, education, employment, housing, public accommodations, and public services. Learn more about prohibited practices in these areas.
View the Jurisdiction Chart which outlines the Minnesota Human Rights Act coverage. The chart shows the characteristics that are protected in employment, housing, education, public accommodations, public services, education, credit services, and in business contracts.
This section provides links to the individual sections of the Minnesota Human Rights Act, Minnesota Statute, Chapter 363A.