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Familial Status and the WESA Law

The Minnesota Human Rights Act: Employment Familial Status Discrimination

On May 11, 2014, Governor Mark Dayton signed the Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA), which amended the prohibitions against employment discrimination in the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA). Now, discrimination based on “familial status” in hiring, promotion, retention and other employment decisions is illegal in Minnesota.

Familial Status in Employment 

Discriminatory practices by employers, employment agencies and others include:

  • Hiring: Employer presumes a job candidates with family care-taking responsibilities would not be able to successfully perform the job if offered the position.

  • Promotion: Employer presumes that employees with care-giving responsibilities are unable to provide quality work and therefore denied opportunities or promotions.

  • Retention and other employment decisions

Familial status in Housing 

Discriminatory practices by owners, lessees, brokers, agents, financial institutions, and others include:

  • Advertising or suggesting in rental applications, directly or indirectly, a refusal to contract with a party because of their familial status.

  • Discrimination based on familial status in the terms, conditions or privileges of the sale, rental or lease of any real property, and

  • Refuse to sell, rent, lease or otherwise deny to or withhold from any person or group of persons any real property because of familial status

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