Humans Rights Act Retaliation

Dealing with discrimination at work can be a nerve-wracking and isolating experience, especially when it’s a direct result of speaking up against illegal workplace activities. When employees face criticism or retaliation from filing a charge, testifying, or assisting in discrimination investigations against their employer, they are protected under Minnesota’s Human Rights Act. 

If you have recently experienced retaliatory behaviors for doing the right thing, our team is here to help you get the justice you deserve. Whether you spoke out about unlawful actions, testified against an employer, or were wrongfully terminated or mistreated, we have the experience to help you receive the compensation and justice you deserve for all your emotional pain and suffering.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with the knowledgeable Minnesota human rights attorneys at MSB.

Have you recently suffered retaliation or discrimination in the workplace? While this can be an emotionally charged time, you don’t need to deal with it independently. MSB is here to advocate for you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about what the process will look like and how we can help.

Understanding Human Rights Act Retaliation


When you suffer harassment, intimidation, or retaliation at work after filing a discrimination charge, you may also seek additional reprisal charges. If the department finds probable cause to support your claims, you can seek financial compensation and other remedies. As long as you file a claim in good faith – meaning you believe it to be true and not motivated by emotional or external factors – you will be protected under the Human Rights Act prohibition against reprisal. 

Even if your original claim is unsubstantiated, you should not be subject to unjust termination or reprisal. There are some clear examples of human rights retaliation that can occur within the workplace, including:

• A worker gets demoted for complaining about a coworker or employer’s crass comments about women, people of color, and other identifying features.

• An employee is fired, demoted, or adversely treated for filing a complaint with the Department of Human Rights.

• Employees are forbidden from speaking about a discrimination case against the company. This includes firing an employee for participating in the investigation.

• An employee is fired for providing testimony in a discrimination investigation involving their workplace.

Another excellent example of this is when an employee files a claim of sexual harassment, and the employer responds by switching their schedule or starts treating them adversely. Even if the pay rate does not change, this action can still be detrimental to your wellbeing.

Protected Classes 

While there are some slight variations in terms from state to state, Minnesota’s Human Rights Act makes it illegal for employers to unlawfully discriminate against employees based on any identifying features, including:

• Race/Ethnicity
• Religion
• Gender Identity
• Marital Status
• Sexual Orientation
• Pregnancy Status
• Age
• Disability
• Familial Status
• National Origin

Any individual who has committed unfair discriminatory practices is susceptible to repercussions.

Perpetrators include but are not limited to:

• Employers
• Labor Organizations
• Employment Agencies
• Public Accommodations
• Public Services
• Educational Institutions
• Real Estate Brokers, Salespersons, or Owners
• Agents

Filing a Discrimination Claim

Two primary state administrative agencies handle discrimination claims:

Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR): This agency covers workplaces with only 1-14 employees and can assist individuals with resolving claims without filing in court. The only stipulation is that you must file within one year of the date when the discrimination occurred.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): Since the EEOC is a federal administrative agency, it can handle larger businesses of 15 or more people. To file with the EEOC, you have 300 days from the incident to contact your local office.

Both agencies have a “work-sharing agreement” that allows them to cooperate to process claims effectively, so you don’t need to apply to both. Once you submit a claim, you will receive confirmation whether they decide to investigate or disregard your claim. If they conclude that the discrimination did not occur, they will send you a “Notice of Right to Sue.” Conversely, if they verify your discrimination claim, they will try and reach a settlement with your employer or pursue a lawsuit on your behalf. 

This process can be tedious and time-consuming, so it’s best to work with the knowledgeable and caring attorneys from MSB.

MSB: Advocating for Your Wellbeing

We understand how emotionally and (potentially) financially draining it can be to bring a human rights case against an employer, especially when there is a risk of reduced pay or unlawful termination. However, you may be eligible to receive the compensation and justice you deserve if your employer has retaliated against you for reporting, filing, or testifying in a human rights case against the company. 

Even if you aren’t pursuing financial compensation, it’s still vital to seek damages from your employer since it will help you cover any expenses and feel vindicated. Additionally, if you pursue work elsewhere, it could positively impact your hiring experience.

MSB is here to help you find the best response to this stressful situation. Instead of feeling stuck or uncertain about what to do, take action by contacting our trusted human rights attorneys today!

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