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Joshua Newville, Minnesota Employment Lawyer, Civil Rights Attorney, and Mediator

Gender identity discrimination involves treating an individual unfavorably or differently because of their gender identity, or because they are transgender. Transgender is a term used to describe people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.

Minnesota Gender Identity Discrimination Attorney

As a civil rights attorney, I have significant experience with cases involving gender identity discrimination. If you have questions about this complex and evolving area of law, please consider scheduling a consultation or starting an online case review today.  

What laws prohibit gender identity discrimination?

The Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) and federal law, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, both prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. This protection extends to various areas of life, including employment, housing, education, and public services.


  • Employment: Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees or job applicants based on their gender identity in hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

  • Housing: The MHRA and the federal Fair Housing Act prohibit housing discrimination based on gender identity. This includes refusing to rent or sell housing, setting different terms or conditions for sale or rental, or falsely denying that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental.

  • Education: The MHRA and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in education. Schools cannot treat students or prospective students differently based on their gender identity.

  • Public Services and Accommodations: The MHRA and the federal Civil Rights Act prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in public services and accommodations. This includes places like hotels, restaurants, theaters, and other public facilities.

What does unlawful gender identity discrimination look like?

Gender identity discrimination can take several forms:

  • Direct Discrimination: This occurs when someone is treated less favorably because of their actual or perceived gender identity. For example, if a transgender woman is denied a job because she is transgender, this is direct discrimination.

  • Indirect Discrimination: This happens when a seemingly neutral policy or practice disproportionately impacts individuals of a certain gender identity. For instance, a company dress code that requires employees to dress according to their sex assigned at birth could be seen as indirect discrimination against transgender employees.

  • Harassment: This includes offensive remarks, derogatory statements, or any unwelcome conduct based on a person's gender identity.

  • Refusal to Accommodate: Employers may also be required to accommodate an employee's gender transition, unless it causes undue hardship. This could include, for instance, allowing a transitioning employee to use restrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

If a person believes they have been a victim of gender identity discrimination, they can seek remedies through the Minnesota Department of Human Rights or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Remedies can include job reinstatement, back pay, compensatory damages, changes in policy, or even punitive damages.

It's important to note that while the MHRA and federal laws provide a strong foundation for combating gender identity discrimination, the nuances of each case can be complex. Therefore, those who have questions regarding this form of discrimination are often best served by consulting with an experienced attorney.

Related Topics:

Minnesota Sexual Orientation Discrimination Attorney
Minnesota Public Accommodation Discrimination Attorney
Minnesota Sex Discrimination Attorney
Minnesota Education Discrimination Attorney
Minnesota Employment Discrimination Attorney
Minnesota Legal Investigations Attorney
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