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Your Rights in Public Accommodations

Public Accommodations

A public accommodation is an entity which  provides goods, services or facilities to the public. 

Under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, public accommodations is a protected area, and it is illegal to treat you differently in this area because of your race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability or sexual orientation.

With limited exceptions, the following actions constitute a violation of the Human Rights Act in public accommodations.

When, because of their protected class status, businesses, entertainment providers, transportation facilities, etc., whose goods, services and, facilities are extended, offered, sold, or otherwise made available to the public:

  • Refuse to provide goods or services to certain individuals
  • Deny certain individuals the full and equal enjoyment of goods or services
  • Refuse to reasonably accommodate an individual with a disability who is accompanied by a service animal

Significant Exemptions in Public Accommodations

  1. Respondents that may be exempt under one or more circumstances include the following:
    1. An accommodation that maintains separate restrooms, locker rooms, and similar places, relating to sex.
    2. Employees or volunteers of non-public service organizations whose primary function is providing occasional services to minors, such as youth organizations, with respect to qualifications based on sexual orientation.
  2. Restrictions relating to sex do not apply to restricting membership on an athletic team or in a program or event to participants of one sex if the restriction is necessary to preserve the unique character of the team, program, or event and it would not substantially reduce comparable athletic opportunities for the other sex.

See Minn. Stat. 363A.24

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