Proposed Amendment Could Lead the Way, Providing Victims of Workplace Sexual Harassment a Clearer Legal Path

April 30th, 2018

As an employment attorney, I’ve witnessed the courage it takes to bring a workplace sexual harassment claim forward, and the legal hurdles victims of sexual harassment in the workplace must clear in order to achieve justice. In late March, I was asked to share my professional perspective at the Minnesota House Subcommittee on Workplace Safety and Respect. My testimony, and that of others, helped Minnesota’s legislative leaders gain a greater understanding of the significant barriers the current “severe or pervasive” legal requirement presents, not only at the Capitol but also in workplaces all across our state.

I’m pleased a bill that would amend the Minnesota Human Rights Act to expand the category of behavior that could contribute to an “intimidating, hostile or offensive” work environment was recently introduced by House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, and backed by other Republican and DFL House members. Under this proposal, victims of workplace sexual harassment or discrimination in Minnesota could find it easier to take formal action against their harassers.

This is a bipartisan issue and if the bill passes Minnesota will become a national leader in fighting workplace sexual harassment. I am honored to play a part in bringing greater awareness to this issue and helping facilitate policy discussion and meaningful change.

Read the proposed amendment: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/

I encourage you contact your House Representative and State Senator and ask them to support this bill. Minnesota Legislature Contact List.

Read recent media coverage of this story:

MPR: Change to sexual harassment standard legal standard gains backing

StarTribune: Minnesota lawmakers consider updating harassment policies

MinnPost: Lawmakers unveil proposal to redefine what sexual harassment means in Minnesota

Emma R. Denny Recognized by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star and as one of the Top Women Attorneys in Minnesota, Emma currently serves on the governing council of the Minnesota State Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law. She has successfully litigated cases in state and federal court and negotiated favorable resolutions for clients facing discrimination, whistleblower, harassment, FMLA, ERISA, disability and religious accommodation, wage, retaliation, contract agreements and a host of other disputes.

Learn more about Emma Denny.

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