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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1987 

                        CHAPTER 375-H.F.No. 1419 
           An act relating to human rights; requiring the Indian 
          affairs council to develop certain programs; changing 
          certain procedures in cases before the department of 
          human rights; amending Minnesota Statutes 1986, 
          sections 3.922, subdivision 6; 363.05, subdivision 1; 
          363.06, subdivisions 1 and 4; and 363.071. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 3.922, 
subdivision 6, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 6.  [DUTIES.] The primary duties of the council shall 
be to: 
    (1) clarify for the legislature and state agencies the 
nature of tribal governments, the relationship of tribal 
governments to the Indian people of Minnesota; 
    (2) assist the secretary of state in establishing an 
election of at large members of the council; 
    (3) make recommendations to members of the legislature on 
desired and needed legislation for the benefit of the statewide 
Indian community and communicate to the members of the 
legislature when legislation has or will have an adverse effect 
on the statewide Indian community; 
    (4) provide, through the elected apparatus of the council, 
an effective conduit for programs, proposals and projects to the 
legislature submitted by tribal governments, organizations, 
committees, groups or individuals; 
    (5) provide a continuing dialogue with members of the 
appropriate tribal governments in order to improve their 
knowledge of the legislative process, state agencies and 
governmental due process; 
    (6) assist in establishing Indian advisory councils in 
cooperation with state agencies delivering services to the 
Indian community; 
    (7) assist state agencies in defining what groups, 
organizations, committees, councils or individuals are eligible 
for delivery of their respective services; 
    (8) assist in providing resources, tribal and other, in the 
delivery of services to the statewide Indian community; 
    (9) act as a liaison between local, state and national 
units of government in the delivery of services to the Indian 
population of Minnesota; 
    (10) assist state agencies in the implementation and 
updating of studies of services delivered to the Indian 
community; 
    (11) provide, for the benefit of all levels of state 
government, a continuing liaison between those governmental 
bodies and duly elected tribal governments and officials; 
    (12) interreact with private organizations involved with 
Indian concerns in the development and implementation of 
programs designed to assist Indian people, insofar as they 
affect state agencies and departments; and 
    (13) act as an intermediary, when requested and if 
necessary between Indian interests and state agencies and 
departments when questions, problems or conflicts exist or arise;
    (14) provide information for and direction to a program 
designed to assist Indian citizens to assume all the rights, 
privileges, and duties of citizenship, and to coordinate and 
cooperate with local, state, and national private agencies 
providing services to the Indian people; 
    (15) develop educational programs, community organization 
programs, leadership development programs, motivational 
programs, and business development programs for the benefit of 
Indian persons who have been, are, or will be subject to 
prejudice and discrimination; and 
    (16) cooperate and consult with appropriate commissioners 
and agencies to develop plans and programs to most effectively 
serve the needs of Indians.  
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 363.05, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read:  
    Subdivision 1.  [FORMULATION OF POLICIES.] The commissioner 
shall formulate policies to effectuate the purposes of this 
chapter and shall: 
    (1) exercise leadership under the direction of the governor 
in the development of human rights policies and programs, and 
make recommendations to the governor and the legislature for 
their consideration and implementation; 
    (2) cooperate and consult with appropriate commissioners 
and agencies in developing plans and programs to most 
effectively serve the needs of Indians, to assist women and to 
fulfill the purposes of this chapter; 
    (3) establish and maintain a principal office in St. Paul, 
and any other necessary branch offices at any location within 
the state; 
    (4) (3) meet and function at any place within the state; 
    (5) (4) employ such hearing examiners, attorneys, clerks 
and other employees and agents as the commissioner may deem 
necessary and prescribe their duties; 
    (6) (5) to the extent permitted by federal law and 
regulation, utilize the records of the department of jobs and 
training of the state when necessary to effectuate the purposes 
of this chapter; 
    (7) (6) obtain upon request and utilize the services of all 
state governmental departments and agencies; 
    (8) (7) adopt suitable rules for effectuating the purposes 
of this chapter; 
    (9) (8) issue complaints, receive and investigate charges 
alleging unfair discriminatory practices, and determine whether 
or not probable cause exists for hearing; 
    (10) (9) subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take 
testimony, and require the production for examination of any 
books or papers relative to any matter under investigation or in 
question; authorize hearing examiners to exercise the authority 
conferred by this clause; 
    (11) (10) attempt, by means of education, conference, 
conciliation, and persuasion to eliminate unfair discriminatory 
practices as being contrary to the public policy of the state; 
    (12) conduct research and study discriminatory practices; 
    (13) publish and distribute the results of research and 
study when in the judgment of the commissioner the purposes of 
this chapter, will be served thereby; 
    (14) (11) develop and conduct programs of formal and 
informal education designed to eliminate discrimination and 
intergroup conflict by use of educational techniques and 
programs the commissioner deems necessary; 
    (15) (12) make a written report of the activities of the 
commissioner to the governor each year and to the legislature by 
November 15 of each even-numbered year; 
    (16) (13) accept gifts, bequests, grants or other payments 
public and private to help finance the activities of the 
department; 
    (17) (14) create such local and statewide advisory 
committees as will in the commissioner's judgment aid in 
effectuating the purposes of the department of human rights; 
    (18) appoint a hearing examiner to preside at a public 
hearing on any complaint; 
    (19) (15) develop such programs as will aid in determining 
the compliance throughout the state with the provisions of this 
chapter, and in the furtherance of such duties, conduct research 
and study discriminatory practices based upon race, color, 
creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital 
status, status with regard to public assistance, familial 
status, or other factors and develop accurate data on the nature 
and extent of discrimination and other matters as they may 
affect housing, employment, public accommodations, schools, and 
other areas of public life; 
    (20) (16) develop and disseminate technical assistance to 
persons subject to the provisions of this chapter, and to 
agencies and officers of governmental and private agencies; 
    (21) (17) provide staff services to such advisory 
committees as may be created in aid of the functions of the 
department of human rights; 
    (22) (18) make grants in aid to the extent that 
appropriations are made available for that purpose in aid of 
carrying out duties and responsibilities, but no grant in aid 
shall be made without first obtaining the advice and consent of 
the board; and 
    (23) develop educational programs, community organization 
programs, leadership development programs, motivational 
programs, and business development programs for the benefit of 
those persons theretofore and hereafter subject to prejudice and 
discrimination; 
    (24) provide information for and direction to a program 
designed to assist Indian citizens to assume all the rights, 
privileges, and duties of citizenship; and to coordinate and 
cooperate with local, state and national and private agencies 
providing services to the Indian people; and 
    (25) (19) cooperate and consult with the commissioner of 
labor and industry regarding the investigation of violations of, 
and resolution of complaints regarding section 363.03, 
subdivision 9. 
    In performing these duties, the commissioner shall give 
priority to those duties in clauses (8), (9), and (10) and to 
the duties in section 363.073.  
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 363.06, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read:  
    Subdivision 1.  [CHARGE FILING ACTIONS.] Any person 
aggrieved by a violation of this chapter may bring a civil 
action as provided in section 363.14, subdivision 1, clause (a), 
or may file a verified charge with the commissioner or the 
commissioner's designated agent, stating.  A charge filed with 
the commissioner must be in writing on a form provided by the 
commissioner and signed by the charging party.  The charge must 
state the name and address of the person alleged to have 
committed an unfair discriminatory practice, setting and set out 
a summary of the details of the practice complained of and, if 
applicable, providing.  The commissioner may require a charging 
party to provide the address of the person alleged to have 
committed the unfair discriminatory practice, names of 
witnesses, documents, and any other information required by the 
commissioner necessary to process the charge.  The commissioner 
may dismiss a charge when the charging party fails to provide 
required information.  The commissioner within five ten days of 
the filing shall serve a copy of the charge and a request for a 
response and a form for use in responding to the charge upon the 
respondent personally or by registered or certified mail.  After 
the filing of a charge the commissioner shall notify the 
charging party in writing of any change in the status of the 
charge.  A copy of the notice shall be mailed to the 
respondent The respondent shall file with the department a 
written response to the charge within 20 days of receipt of the 
charge.  
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 363.06, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 4.  [INQUIRY INTO CHARGE.] (1) Consistent with clause 
(7), the commissioner shall promptly inquire into the truth of 
the allegations of the charge.  The commissioner shall make an 
immediate inquiry when a charge alleges actual or threatened 
physical violence.  The commissioner shall also make an 
immediate inquiry when it appears that a charge is frivolous or 
without merit and shall dismiss those charges. 
    The commissioner shall then give priority to investigating 
and processing those charges, in the order below, which the 
commissioner determines have one or more of the following 
characteristics:  
    (a) there is evidence that the respondent has intentionally 
engaged in a reprisal;  
    (b) there is evidence of irreparable harm if immediate 
action is not taken;  
    (c) there is potential for broadly promoting the policies 
of this chapter;  
    (b) there is evidence that the respondent has intentionally 
engaged in a reprisal; 
    (d) (c) a significant number of recent charges have been 
filed against the respondent;  
    (e) (d) the respondent is a government entity; 
    (f) the charge is supported by substantial documentation, 
witnesses, or other evidence 
    (e) there is potential for broadly promoting the policies 
of this chapter; or 
    (f) the charge is supported by substantial and credible 
documentation, witnesses, or other evidence.  
    The commissioner shall inform charging parties of these 
priorities and shall tell each party if their charge is a 
priority case or not.  
    On other charges the commissioner shall make a 
determination within 12 months after the charge was filed as to 
whether or not there is probable cause to credit the allegation 
of unfair discriminatory practices, and 
    (2) If the commissioner determines after investigation that 
no probable cause exists to credit the allegations of the unfair 
discriminatory practice, the commissioner shall, within ten days 
of the determination, serve upon the charging party and 
respondent written notice of the determination.  Within ten days 
after receipt of notice, the charging party may request in 
writing, on forms prepared by the department, that the 
commissioner reconsider the determination.  The request shall 
contain a brief statement of the reasons for and new evidence in 
support of the request for reconsideration.  At the time of 
submission of the request to the commissioner, the charging 
party shall deliver or mail to the respondent a copy of the 
request for reconsideration.  The commissioner shall either 
reaffirm or reverse the determination of no probable cause 
within 20 days after receipt of the request for reconsideration, 
and shall within ten days notify in writing the charging party 
and respondent of the decision to reaffirm or reverse. 
    A decision by the commissioner that no probable cause 
exists to credit the allegations of an unfair discriminatory 
practice shall not be appealed to the court of appeals pursuant 
to section 363.072 or sections 14.63 to 14.68. 
    (3) If the commissioner determines after investigation that 
probable cause exists to credit the allegations of unfair 
discriminatory practices, the commissioner shall serve on the 
respondent and the respondent's attorney if the respondent is 
represented by counsel, by first class mail, a notice setting 
forth a short plain written statement of the alleged facts which 
support the finding of probable cause and an enumeration of the 
provisions of law allegedly violated.  If the commissioner 
determines that attempts to eliminate the alleged unfair 
practices through conciliation pursuant to subdivision 5 have 
been or would be unsuccessful or unproductive, the commissioner 
shall issue a complaint and serve on the respondent, by 
registered or certified mail, a written notice of hearing 
together with a copy of the complaint, requiring the respondent 
to answer the allegations of the complaint at a hearing before a 
hearing examiner an administrative law judge at a time and place 
specified in the notice, not less than ten days after service of 
said complaint.  A copy of the notice shall be furnished to the 
charging party and the attorney general. 
    (4) If, at any time after the filing of a charge, the 
commissioner has reason to believe that a respondent has engaged 
in any unfair discriminatory practice, the commissioner may file 
a petition in the district court in a county in which the 
subject of the complaint occurs, or in a county in which a 
respondent resides or transacts business, seeking appropriate 
temporary relief against the respondent, pending final 
determination of proceedings under this chapter, including an 
order or decree restraining the respondent from doing or 
procuring an act tending to render ineffectual an order the 
commissioner may enter with respect to the complaint.  The court 
shall have power to grant temporary relief or a restraining 
order as it deems just and proper, but no relief or order 
extending beyond ten days shall be granted except by consent of 
the respondent or after hearing upon notice to the respondent 
and a finding by the court that there is reasonable cause to 
believe that the respondent has engaged in a discriminatory 
practice.  Except as modified by this section, the Minnesota 
rules of civil procedure shall apply to an application, and the 
district court shall have authority to grant or deny the relief 
sought on conditions as it deems just and equitable.  All 
hearings under this section shall be given precedence as nearly 
as practicable over all other pending civil actions. 
    (5) If a lessor, after engaging in a discriminatory 
practice defined in section 363.03, subdivision 2, clause (1), 
(a), leases or rents a dwelling unit to a person who has no 
knowledge of the practice or of the existence of a charge with 
respect to the practice, the lessor shall be liable for actual 
damages sustained by a person by reason of a final order as 
provided in this section requiring the person to be evicted from 
the dwelling unit. 
    (6) In any complaint issued under this section, the 
commissioner may seek relief for a class of individuals affected 
by an unfair discriminatory practice occurring on or after a 
date 300 days prior to the filing of the charge from which the 
complaint originates. 
    (7) The commissioner may adopt policies to determine which 
charges are processed and the order in which charges are 
processed based on their particular social or legal 
significance, administrative convenience, difficulty of 
resolution, or other standard consistent with the provisions of 
this chapter. 
    (8) The hearing examiner chief administrative law judge 
shall adopt policies to provide sanctions for intentional and 
frivolous delay caused by any charging party or respondent in an 
investigation, hearing, or any other aspect of proceedings 
before the department under this chapter.  
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 363.071, is 
amended to read:  
    363.071 [HEARINGS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [CONDUCT OF HEARINGS.] A complaint issued 
by the commissioner shall be heard as a contested case, except 
that the report of the hearing examiner administrative law judge 
shall be binding on all parties to the proceeding and if 
appropriate shall be implemented by an order as provided for in 
subdivision 2.  The hearing shall be conducted at a place 
designated by the commissioner, within the county where the 
unfair discriminatory practice occurred or where the respondent 
resides or has a principal place of business.  The hearing shall 
be conducted in accordance with sections 14.57 to 14.62, and is 
subject to appeal in accordance with sections 14.63 to 14.68. 
    Subd. 1a.  [HEARINGS 180 DAYS AFTER CHARGE.] At any time 
after 180 days from the filing of a charge, if there has been 
neither a finding of probable cause nor of no probable cause, 
the charging party may file a request with the commissioner to 
appear at a hearing on the party's own behalf or through a 
private attorney.  The amount of time during which a case is 
involved in significant settlement negotiations, is being 
investigated by another enforcement agency under a work sharing 
agreement, or has been referred to mediation or to a local human 
rights commission for no fault grievance processing is not 
counted in computing the 180 days.  Tolling of the time during 
settlement negotiations requires written approval of the 
charging party or the party's attorney.  The right of a charging 
party to file a request for hearing does not apply in cases that 
have been certified as complex by the commissioner within 60 
days of the filing of the charge.  A case may not be certified 
as complex unless it involves multiple parties or issues, 
presents complex issues of law or fact, or presents 
substantially new issues of law in the discrimination area.  
Within five days of certifying a case as complex, the 
commissioner shall give notice of the certification to the 
charging party and the respondent.  The commissioner shall make 
a determination of probable cause or no probable cause within 
one year of the filing of a case in which the time has not been 
counted or a case certified as complex.  Upon receipt of the 
request, the commissioner shall review the documents and 
information held in the department's files concerning the charge 
and shall release to the charging party and respondent all 
documents and information that is are accessible to the charging 
party and respondent under sections 13.01 to 13.87.  The 
commissioner shall forward the request for hearing to the office 
of administrative hearings, which shall promptly set the matter 
for hearing.  If the charging party prevails at this hearing, 
the hearing examiner administrative law judge may require the 
respondent to reimburse the charging party for reasonable 
attorney's fees.  
    Subd. 2.  [DETERMINATION OF DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICE.] The 
hearing examiner administrative law judge shall make findings of 
fact and conclusions of law, and if the hearing examiner 
administrative law judge finds that the respondent has engaged 
in an unfair discriminatory practice, the hearing examiner 
administrative law judge shall issue an order directing the 
respondent to cease and desist from the unfair discriminatory 
practice found to exist and to take such affirmative action as 
in the judgment of the examiner administrative law judge will 
effectuate the purposes of this chapter.  Such The order shall 
be a final decision of the department.  The examiner 
administrative law judge shall order any respondent found to be 
in violation of any provision of section 363.03 to pay a civil 
penalty to the state.  This penalty is in addition to 
compensatory and punitive damages to be paid to an aggrieved 
party.  The hearing examiner administrative law judge shall 
determine the amount of the civil penalty to be paid, taking 
into account the seriousness and extent of the violation, the 
public harm occasioned by the violation, whether the violation 
was intentional, and the financial resources of the respondent.  
Any penalties imposed under this provision shall be paid into 
the general fund of the state.  In all cases where the examiner 
administrative law judge finds that the respondent has engaged 
in an unfair discriminatory practice the examiner administrative 
law judge shall order the respondent to pay an aggrieved party, 
who has suffered discrimination, compensatory damages in an 
amount up to three times the actual damages sustained.  In all 
cases, the examiner administrative law judge may also order the 
respondent to pay an aggrieved party, who has suffered 
discrimination, damages for mental anguish or suffering and 
reasonable attorney's fees, in addition to punitive damages in 
an amount not more than $6,000.  Punitive damages shall be 
awarded pursuant to section 549.20.  In any case where a 
political subdivision is a respondent the total of punitive 
damages awarded an aggrieved party may not exceed $6,000 and in 
that case if there are two or more respondents the punitive 
damages may be apportioned among them.  Punitive damages may 
only be assessed against a political subdivision in its capacity 
as a corporate entity and no regular or ex officio member of a 
governing body of a political subdivision shall be personally 
liable for payment of punitive damages pursuant to this 
subdivision.  In addition to the aforesaid remedies, in a case 
involving discrimination in 
    (a) employment, the examiner administrative law judge may 
order the hiring, reinstatement or upgrading of an aggrieved 
party, who has suffered discrimination, with or without back 
pay, admission or restoration to membership in a labor 
organization, or admission to or participation in an 
apprenticeship training program, on-the-job training program, or 
other retraining program, or any other relief the examiner 
administrative law judge deems just and equitable. 
    (b) housing, the examiner administrative law judge may 
order the sale, lease, or rental of the housing accommodation or 
other real property to an aggrieved party, who has suffered 
discrimination, or the sale, lease or rental of a like 
accommodation or other real property owned by or under the 
control of the person against whom the complaint was filed, 
according to terms as listed with a real estate broker, or if no 
such listing has been made, as otherwise advertised or offered 
by the vendor or lessor, or any other relief the examiner 
administrative law judge deems just and equitable. 
    The examiner administrative law judge shall cause the 
findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order to be served on 
the respondent personally, on the charging party by registered 
or certified mail, and shall furnish copies to the attorney 
general and the commissioner. 
    Subd. 3.  [DISMISSAL OF HEARING.] If the 
examiner administrative law judge makes findings of fact, 
conclusions of law, and an order in favor of the 
respondent, such the order shall be a final decision of the 
department. 
    Subd. 4.  [RESPONDENTS SUBJECT TO STATE LICENSING OR 
REGULATORY POWER.] In the case of a respondent which is subject 
to the licensing or regulatory power of the state or any 
political subdivision or agency thereof, if the hearing examiner 
administrative law judge determines that the respondent has 
engaged in a discriminatory practice, and if the respondent does 
not cease to engage in such discriminatory practice, the 
commissioner may so certify to the licensing or regulatory 
agency.  Unless such determination of discriminatory practice is 
reversed in the course of judicial review, a final determination 
is binding on the licensing or regulatory agency.  Such agency 
may take appropriate administrative action, including suspension 
or revocation of the respondent's license or certificate of 
public convenience and necessity, if such the agency is 
otherwise authorized to take such action. 
    Subd. 5.  [PUBLIC CONTRACTS.] In the case of a respondent 
which is a party to a public contract, if the hearing examiner 
administrative law judge determines that the respondent has 
engaged in a discriminatory practice, the commissioner may so 
certify to the contract letting agency.  Unless such the finding 
of a discriminatory practice is reversed in the course of 
judicial review, a final determination is binding on the 
contract letting agency and such the agency may take appropriate 
administrative action, including the imposition of financial 
penalties or termination of the contract, in whole or in part, 
if such the agency is otherwise authorized to take such the 
action. 
    Subd. 6. [SUBPOENAS.] After the issuance of a complaint 
pursuant to section 363.06, subdivision 4, a charging party or a 
respondent may request that the hearing examiner administrative 
law judge issue subpoenas requiring the presence of witnesses or 
the production for examination of books or papers not privileged 
and relevant to any matter in question at the hearing. 
    Approved June 2, 1987