Minnesota Sexual Harassment laws & HR compliance analysis

Minnesota Sexual Harassment: What you need to know

The Minnesota Human Rights Act, which applies to all employers in the state, prohibits discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation (including gender identity), marital status, familial status, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), and sexual harassment (MN Stat. Sec. 363A.03 et seq.).
"Familial status" is defined as the condition of one or more minors being domiciled with (1) their parent or parents or the minor’s legal guardian or (2) the designee of the parent or parents or guardian with the written permission of the parent or parents or guardian.
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“Sexual harassment” is any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical contact, or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature, when:
• Submission to the conduct or communication is made a term or condition of obtaining employment.
• Submission to or rejection of the conduct or communication is used as a factor in decisions affecting an individual's employment.
• The conduct or communication substantially interferes with an individual's employment or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment environment, and the employer knows or should know of the existence of the harassment and failed to take timely and appropriate action (MN Stat. Sec. 363A.03).
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that a hostile work environment claim under the state human rights law may be based on sex, even if the offending conduct is not sexual harassment (LaMont v. Independent School Dist. No. 728, 814 N.W.2d 14 (Minn. 2012)). The lower court in this case had ruled that the state law did not protect individuals ...

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