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MDHR and Workforce Certificates of Compliance

Workforce Certificates

What is a workforce certificate?

A workforce certificate is a certificate issued to a business by the Commissioner of Human Rights. The Commissioner issues the workforce certificate to a business upon reviewing its affirmative action plan.

What businesses need to obtain a workforce certificate of compliance?

Any business that employs 40 or more employees in a state and that seeks to enter into a contract for goods or services with the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, the Metropolitan Council, the Minneapolis Metropolitan Airports Commission, or the Metropolitan Mosquito Control Commission (bid award entities) that is over $100,000 or is likely to exceed $100,000.

What if a business signs a contract with a bid award entity that exceeds $100,000 and the business does not have a workforce certificate? 

The Commissioner may take action to void the contract between a business and the bid award entity when the contract exceeds $100,000 and the business does not have a workforce certificate. 

Are there any contracts with the State that are exempt?

Yes. Contracts for investments options under Minn. Stat. §356.645 between the State Board of Investment and businesses and firms are exempt.

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Workforce Certificate Audits

Each Workforce Certificate-holder can expect to be audited at some point during its 4-year certification period. 

Learn More about Workforce Certificate Audits.

Apply for a Workforce Certificate

A business may apply for a workforce certificate by submitting the following information to the Commissioner:  

  • Online paymentThe $150 application fee. You can pay online with a credit or debit card, or through your checking or savings account with an electronic check.  You can also mail a check. Checks submitted by mail should be made payable to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.
  • Affirmative Action Plan: MDHR offers an AAP Toolkit to streamline the process (If the plan has been previously approved by the federal government or a local municipality in Minnesota, please provide documentation as to when the plan was approved.) 
  • An application form that is signed by the Board Chair or Chief Executive Officer.

Please do not staple your check or money order to your affirmative action plan. Please indicate the name of your business in the memo section of your check or money order. The information can be mailed to the Department at the following address: 

MDHR Contract Compliance Division 
Minnesota Department of Human Rights 
Freeman Building 625 Robert Street North
Saint Paul, MN 55155 

Information may also be sent electronically at compliance.MDHR@state.mn.us

To pay for a Workforce Certificate online now:


How long are workforce certificates valid? 

A workforce certificate is valid for four years from the date the workforce certificate is issued.  Businesses need to annually submit information to the Department to ensure their certificate remains valid. Businesses should notify the Department of any changes to their address or contact information.

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