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Minnesota: Discrimination Claim Under State Human Rights Act May Proceed

March 08, 2019 (1 min read)

A divided Supreme Court of Minnesota held that a firefighter may proceed against his employer for its alleged discrimination under Minnesota’s Human Rights Act (“HRA”) in spite of the fact that he had already received workers’ compensation benefits for a work-related injury; his civil action was not barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act (“WCA”). Following a series of injuries, the firefighter was given a prescription for flat-bottomed shoes (i.e., shoes without a heel). His employer initially reimbursed the firefighter for the expense of black tennis shoes, but later a Deputy Chief told the firefighter he could not wear them since they did not comply with firefighting regulations. The firefighter contended the employer’s action in failing to accommodate his need for special shoes violated the HRA. The majority held that the firefighter could pursue claims under both the WCA and the HRA because each provided a different, distinct cause of action that redressed a discrete type of injury to an employee.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Daniel v. City of Minneapolis, 2019 Minn. LEXIS 92 (Feb. 27, 2019)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 100.03.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see