Senate Committee Takes Up Bill to Protect Sexual Harassers

In a hearing today, the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee took up SF 2295, a bill that radically redefines sexual harassment and would place justice out of reach for many victims. The bill codifies an unreasonably high bar for proving that sexual harassment occurred and harmed its victim enough to take seriously.

The following statement is from Gender Justice Advocacy Director Erin Maye Quade:

The ‘Sexual Harasser Protection Act’ is victim-blaming at its worst, and would be a huge step backward for Minnesota. It puts a series of hurdles in front of sexual harassment victims, while shielding the perpetrators. Even more, it lets employers off the hook in cases where they do little - or nothing - to address the problem, or prevent it from occurring in the first place.

“Among its most troubling provisions, SF 2295 lowers the standards by which employers would be held responsible for what happens in their workplace. Employer should be liable if they hire or promote a supervisor who goes on to harass and abuse others in the workplace. It takes more to ensure that workplaces are safe and fair beyond placing a written policy into the employee handbook or holding a one-time training, but this bill lets employers get away with the bare minimum.

Minnesotans have some of the most meaningful civil and human rights protections in the country. We value the right to work, go to school and live free of harassment or discrimination. But this bill would roll back many of the basic legal protections that are part of the Minnesota Human Rights Act. We urge the Senate to reject SF 2295 and any efforts to chip away at essential Minnesota values.”

 
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Erin Maye Quade

Advocacy Director

 

Holding Anoka-Hennepin School District Accountable for Trans Safety

The Anoka-Hennepin School District is once against charged with violating the constitutional and civil rights of LGBTQ students. In a new lawsuit filed Monday morning in Minnesota's Tenth District Court, Gender Justice, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota and the law firm Stinson Leonard Street, working pro bono, asserted that Anoka-Hennepin School District violated the state Constitution's right to due process and equal protection and the Minnesota Human Rights Act by treating transgender student N.H. differently than other students and failing to provide him with an equal education.

Support employees in the workplace – remove the “severe or pervasive” threshold.

Employees have a right to expect that they will have a workplace free of harassment and discrimination, and given a fair chance to succeed. Fixing the problem of sexual harassment will require change on many levels -- this bill is one of the most meaningful and powerful solutions we have.