Minnesota Civil Rights Advocate Speaks on Wokrplace Discrimination

April 19th, 2013

Minneapolis residents may recognize the name of Velma J. Korbel, who is the director of the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights. Among other responsibilities, the municipal department helps to enforce alleged violations of title seven of the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances, which is the codified compilation of laws passed by the City Council. Title seven addresses civil rights.

Now in her third year, Director Korbel recently addressed a group of Minnesota residents, affirming the department’s goal of reaching employment equity. One recent initiative involves publicly funded construction projects. For example, the workplace diversity goals for the Minnesota Viking stadium are to have 32 percent minority and six percent female employees.

Velma J. Korbel’s Plan to Battle Discrimination

However, one local resident questioned why the department does not set specific goals for various ethnic groups, such as African Americans. Korbel explained that federal guidelines require data gathering only in the categories of women and minorities for such city projects.

Although the department may not be setting specific hiring goals for separate groups, it remains committed to investigating complaints of unlawful racial or gender discrimination. For example, city officials were able to resolve 132 cases in 2012, of which 76 involved complaints of racial discrimination. City resources will also be earmarked for improved community outreach, as well as the preparation of an employment tool kit for use by all departments citywide.

This post illustrates that administrative channels may be available for victims of unlawful discrimination in the workplace. However, many workers may hesitate to file a claim until they fully understand how such complaints are processed and investigated. In that regard, an employment attorney might have insights about civil rights procedures, as well as strategies for protecting workers against employer retaliation after filing an employment discrimination claim.

Source: tcdailyplanet.net, “Minneapolis civil rights director to ‘ride herd’ on hiring goals, still won’t report specifically on hiring of Blacks,” Charles Hallman, April 10, 2013.

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