Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 2295

1st Engrossment - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 03/18/2019 02:16pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
Line numbers 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5
1.6 1.7
1.8 1.9 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8
2.9 2.10
2.11 2.12
2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 3.1 3.2
3.3 3.4
3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14
3.15 3.16

A bill for an act
relating to human rights; clarifying the definition of sexual harassment; amending
Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 363A.03, subdivision 43; 363A.08, by adding
a subdivision.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

ARTICLE 1

INTENT

Section 1. new text beginLEGISLATIVE INTENT; SEXUAL HARASSMENT.
new text end

new text begin (a) The legislature hereby declares its intent with regard to interpretation and application
of the law regarding sexual harassment as defined in the Minnesota Human Rights Act,
Minnesota Statutes, section 363A.03, subdivision 43:
new text end

new text begin (1) preventing and correcting sexual harassment is an important public policy of the
state;
new text end

new text begin (2) the legislature states its intent that courts should not be bound by prior federal case
law holding that conduct does not rise to the level of actionable sexual harassment if the
conduct described therein would be considered severe or pervasive in the state. The legislature
rejects the holdings of federal cases including Duncan v. General Motors Co., 300 F.3d 928
(Eighth Circuit 2002); LeGrand v. Arch, 394 F.3d 1098 (Eighth Circuit 2005); Anderson
v. Family Dollar Stores of Ark., Inc., 579 F.3d 858, 860 (Eighth Circuit 2009); and McMiller
v. Metro, 738 F.3d 185 (Eighth Circuit 2013), as inconsistent with the severe or pervasive
standard for sexual harassment under state law;
new text end

new text begin (3) the legislature affirms that state law is not a general civility code. Courts should not
be called upon to consider legal remedies for every incidence of inappropriate, rude, or
offensive behavior in an employment, public accommodations, public services, education,
or housing environment; and
new text end

new text begin (4) the legislature affirms that the Minnesota Human Rights Act is not a strict liability
statute and individuals and entities who are not aware of sexual harassment, or who in good
faith take reasonable steps to prevent or promptly correct sexual harassment, should not be
held liable for sexual harassment committed by others.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2020, and applies to causes
of action arising on or after that date.
new text end

ARTICLE 2

DEFINITION

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 363A.03, subdivision 43, is amended to read:


Subd. 43.

Sexual harassment.

new text begin(a) new text end"Sexual harassment" includes unwelcome sexual
advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical contact or other verbal or
physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:

(1) submission to that conduct or communication is made a term or condition, either
explicitly or implicitly, of obtaining employment, public accommodations or public services,
education, or housing;

(2) submission to or rejection of that conduct or communication by an individual is used
as a factor in decisions affecting that individual's employment, public accommodations or
public services, education, or housing; or

(3) that conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering
with an individual's employment, public accommodations or public services, education, or
housing, or creating an intimidatingdeleted text begin,deleted text endnew text begin ornew text end hostiledeleted text begin, or offensivedeleted text end employment, public
accommodations, public services, educational, or housing environment.

new text begin (b) Harassing conduct or communication under paragraph (a), clause (3), must, under
the totality of the circumstances, be: (1) objectively and subjectively harassing; and (2)
sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the terms or conditions of an individual's employment,
public accommodations, public services, education, or housing and create an abusive
environment. Severe or pervasive sexual harassment may arise from a single significant
instance of harassing conduct or communication, or a series of instances of harassing conduct
or communications.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2020, and applies to causes
of action arising on or after that date.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 363A.08, is amended by adding a subdivision to
read:


new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Sexual harassment. new text end

new text begin (a) In an action under this chapter alleging conduct or
communication described in section 363A.03, subdivision 43, paragraph (a), clause (3), an
employer that knew or should have known of an employee's sexual harassment must not
be liable if the employer exercised reasonable care to prevent or promptly correct sexual
harassment or the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of preventative or
corrective opportunities provided by the employer.
new text end

new text begin (b) This subdivision does not apply if the sexual harassment resulted in a tangible adverse
action.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2020, and applies to causes
of action arising on or after that date.
new text end