December 7, 2021

Volume XI, Number 341

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December 06, 2021

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Employees in Minnesota to Have Right to Jury Trial Under Amendment to Human Rights Act

Effective August 1, 2014, Minnesota employees will have a statutory right to a jury trial under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (“MHRA”). This is a significant change to how disputes brought under the MHRA are decided in the courtroom.

Currently, Minnesota Statutes Section 363A.33, subdivision 6, states, “Any action brought pursuant to this chapter shall be heard and determined by a judge sitting without a jury.” The amendment replaces that sentence with the following: “A person bringing a civil action seeking redress for an unfair discriminatory practice … is entitled to a jury trial.” 

MHRA claims are now tried directly to the judge in a court trial, unlike discrimination claims under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act, which are heard by a jury. Starting in August, however, state and federal discrimination claims in Minnesota will be handled similarly and plaintiffs will be allowed a jury trial under both statutes. 

This could lead to more Minnesota plaintiffs bringing their claims in Minnesota state court instead of U.S. District Court.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume IV, Number 170
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About this Author

Brian T. Benkstein, Jackson Lewis, Legal Compliance Lawyer, Complex Class Actions Attorney
Principal

Brian T. Benkstein is a Principal in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is certified as a Labor and Employment Law Specialist through the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Mr. Benkstein exclusively represents employers in matters that arise from employment and labor laws and he defends claims filed against them with state and federal administrative agencies and in the Minnesota state and federal courts.

Mr. Benkstein is an experienced, hands-on litigator. In...

612-359-1772
Gina K. Janeiro, Employment Labor Attorney, Jackson Lewis Law firm
Office Managing Principal

Gina K. Janeiro is Office Managing Principal of the Minneapolis, Minnesota, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She is certified as a Labor and Employment Law Specialist through the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Ms. Janeiro practices in all aspects of employment law and advises and represents clients in the areas of discrimination and harassment, disability management, employment contracts, wage and hour compliance, commission claims, noncompetition litigation, drug testing law, defamation, whistleblower and in closely-held corporation and partnership disputes. Ms...

612-359-1766
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