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1983 Minnesota Session Laws

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                         Laws of Minnesota 1983 

                        CHAPTER 276--S.F.No. 529
           An act relating to human rights; prohibiting 
          discrimination because of disability; providing 
          penalties; clarifying the meaning of a change in the 
          time for filing suit in the district court; amending 
          Minnesota Statutes 1982, sections 363.01, subdivision 
          25, and by adding subdivisions; 363.02, subdivisions 1 
          and 5; 363.03, subdivisions 1, 3, 4, and 7; and 
          repealing Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 363.03, 
          subdivision 4a.  
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 363.01, 
subdivision 25, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 25.  [DISABILITY.] "Disability" means a mental or 
physical any condition which constitutes a handicap or 
characteristic that renders a person a disabled person.  A 
disabled person is any person who (1) has a physical or mental 
impairment which substantially limits one or more major life 
activities; (2) has a record of such an impairment; or (3) is 
regarded as having such an impairment. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 363.01, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read:  
    Subd. 25a.  [QUALIFIED DISABLED PERSON.] "Qualified 
disabled person" means:  
    (1) with respect to employment, a disabled person who, with 
reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions 
required of all applicants for the job in question; and 
    (2) with respect to services and programs, a disabled 
person who, with physical and program access, meets the 
essential eligibility criteria required of all applicants for 
the program or service in question.  
     For the purposes of this subdivision, "disability" excludes 
any condition resulting from alcohol or drug abuse which 
prevents a person from performing the essential functions of the 
job in question or constitutes a direct threat to property or 
the safety of others.  
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 363.01, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read:  
    Subd. 33.  [PHYSICAL ACCESS.] "Physical access" means (1) 
the absence of physical obstacles that limit a disabled person's 
opportunity for full and equal use of or benefit from goods, 
services, and privileges; or, when necessary, (2) the use of 
methods to overcome the discriminatory effect of physical 
obstacles.  The methods may include redesign of equipment, 
assignment of aides, or use of alternate accessible locations.  
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 363.01, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read:  
    Subd. 34.  [PROGRAM ACCESS.] "Program access" means (1) the 
use of auxiliary aids or services to ensure full and equal use 
of or benefit from goods, services, and privileges; and (2) the 
absence of criteria or methods of administration that directly, 
indirectly, or through contractual or other arrangements, have 
the effect of subjecting qualified disabled persons to 
discrimination on the basis of disability, or have the effect of 
defeating or impairing the accomplishment of the objectives of 
the program.  
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 363.02, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [EMPLOYMENT.] The provisions of section 
363.03, subdivision 1, shall not apply to: 
    (1) The employment of any individual 
    (a) by his parent, grandparent, spouse, child, or 
grandchild, or 
    (b) in the domestic service of any person; 
    (2) A religious or fraternal corporation, association, or 
society, with respect to qualifications based on religion, when 
religion shall be a bona fide occupational qualification for 
employment; 
    (3) The employment of one person in place of another, 
standing by itself, shall not be evidence of an unfair 
discriminatory practice; 
    (4) An age restriction applied uniformly and without 
exception to all individuals established by a bona fide 
apprenticeship program established pursuant to chapter 178, 
which limits participation to persons who enter the program 
prior to some specified age and the trade involved in the 
program predominantly involves heavy physical labor or work on 
high structures.  Neither shall the operation of a bona fide 
seniority system which mandates differences in such things as 
wages, hiring priorities, lay-off priorities, vacation credit, 
and job assignments based on seniority, be a violation of the 
age discrimination provisions of section 363.03, subdivision 1, 
so long as the operation of such the system is not a subterfuge 
to evade the provisions of chapter 363; 
    (5) With respect to age discrimination, a practice whereby 
by which a labor organization or employer offers or supplies 
varying insurance benefits or other fringe benefits to members 
or employees of differing ages, so long as the cost to the labor 
organization or employer for such the benefits is reasonably 
equivalent for all members or employees; 
    (6) A restriction imposed by state statute, home rule 
charter, ordinance, or civil service rule, and applied uniformly 
and without exception to all individuals, which establishes a 
maximum age for entry into employment as a peace officer or 
firefighter. 
    (7) Nothing in this chapter concerning age discrimination 
shall be construed to validate or permit age requirements which 
have a disproportionate impact on persons of any class otherwise 
protected by section 363.03, subdivision 1 or 5. 
    It is not an unfair employment practice for an employer, 
employment agency or labor organization: 
    (i) to require or request a person to undergo physical 
examination, which may include a medical history, for the 
purpose of determining the person's capability to perform 
available employment, provided (a) that an offer of employment 
has been made on condition that the person meets the physical or 
mental requirements of the job; (b) that the examination tests 
only for essential job-related abilities; and (c) that the 
examination, unless limited to determining whether the person's 
disability would prevent performance of the job, is required of 
all persons conditionally offered employment for the same 
position regardless of disability; or 
    (ii) to conduct an investigation as to the person's medical 
history for the purpose of determining the person's capability 
to perform available employment with the consent of the 
employee, to obtain additional medical information for the 
purposes of establishing an employee health record;  
    (iii) to administer pre-employment tests, provided that the 
tests (a) measure only essential job-related abilities, (b) are 
required of all applicants for the same position regardless of 
disability unless limited to determining whether the person's 
disability would prevent performance of the job, and (c) 
accurately measure the applicant's aptitude, achievement level, 
or whatever factors they purport to measure rather than 
reflecting the applicant's impaired sensory, manual, or speaking 
skills, except when those skills are the factors that the tests 
purport to measure; or 
    (iii) (iv) to limit receipt of benefits payable under a 
fringe benefit plan for disabilities to that period of time 
which a licensed physician reasonably determines a person is 
unable to work; or 
    (iv) (v) to provide special safety considerations for 
pregnant women involved in tasks which are potentially hazardous 
to the health of the unborn child, as determined by medical 
criteria. 
    Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 363.02, 
subdivision 5, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 5.  [DISABILITY.] Nothing in this chapter shall be 
construed to prohibit any program, service, facility or 
privilege afforded to a person with a disability which is 
intended to habilitate, rehabilitate or accommodate that 
person.  It is a defense to a complaint or action brought under 
this chapter that the person bringing the complaint or action 
suffers from has a disability which in the circumstances and 
even with reasonable accommodation, as defined in section 
363.03, subdivision 1, clause (6), poses a serious threat to the 
health or safety of the disabled person or others.  The burden 
of proving this defense is upon the respondent. 
    Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 363.03, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read:  
    Subdivision 1.  [EMPLOYMENT.] Except when based on a bona 
fide occupational qualification, it is an unfair employment 
practice: 
    (1) For a labor organization, because of race, color, 
creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, status 
with regard to public assistance, disability, or age, 
    (a) to deny full and equal membership rights to a person 
seeking membership or to a member; 
    (b) to expel a member from membership; 
    (c) to discriminate against a person seeking membership or 
a member with respect to his hire, apprenticeship, tenure, 
compensation, terms, upgrading, conditions, facilities, or 
privileges of employment; or 
    (d) to fail to classify properly, or refer for employment 
or otherwise to discriminate against a person or member. 
    (2) For an employer, because of race, color, creed, 
religion, national origin, sex, marital status, status with 
regard to public assistance, membership or activity in a local 
commission, disability, or age, 
    (a) to refuse to hire or to maintain a system of employment 
which unreasonably excludes a person seeking employment; or 
    (b) to discharge an employee; or 
    (c) to discriminate against a person with respect to his 
hire, tenure, compensation, terms, upgrading, conditions, 
facilities, or privileges of employment. 
    (3) For an employment agency, because of race, color, 
creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, status 
with regard to public assistance, disability, or age, 
    (a) to refuse or fail to accept, register, classify 
properly, or refer for employment or otherwise to discriminate 
against a person; or 
    (b) to comply with a request from an employer for referral 
of applicants for employment if the request indicates directly 
or indirectly that the employer fails to comply with the 
provisions of this chapter. 
    (4) For an employer, employment agency, or labor 
organization, before a person is employed by an employer or 
admitted to membership in a labor organization, to 
    (a) require the person to furnish information that pertains 
to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital 
status, status with regard to public assistance or disability, 
unless, for the purpose of national security, information 
pertaining to national origin is required by the United States, 
this state or a political subdivision or agency of the United 
States or this state, or for the purpose of compliance with the 
public contracts act or any rule, regulation or laws of the 
United States or of this state requiring information pertaining 
to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital 
status, status with regard to public assistance or disability is 
required by the United States or a political subdivision or 
agency of the United States; or 
    (b) cause to be printed or published a notice or 
advertisement that relates to employment or membership and 
discloses a preference, limitation, specification, or 
discrimination based on race, color, creed, religion, national 
origin, sex, marital status, status with regard to public 
assistance, disability or age. 
    (5) For an employer, an employment agency or a labor 
organization, with respect to all employment related purposes, 
including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs, not 
to treat women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or 
disabilities related to pregnancy or childbirth, the same as 
other persons who are not so affected but who are similar in 
their ability or inability to work. 
    (6) For an employer with 50 or more permanent, full-time 
employees, an employment agency or a labor organization, not to 
make reasonable accommodation to the known disability of a 
qualified disabled person unless the employer, agency, or 
organization can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose 
an undue hardship on the business, agency, or organization. 
"Reasonable accommodation" means steps which must be taken to 
accommodate the known physical or mental limitations of a 
qualified disabled person.  "Reasonable accommodation" may 
include but is not limited to:  (a) making facilities readily 
accessible to and usable by disabled persons; and (b) job 
restructuring, modified work schedules that do not reduce the 
total number of hours normally worked, acquisition or 
modification of equipment or devices, and the provision of aides 
on a temporary or periodic basis.  
    In determining whether an accommodation would impose an 
undue hardship on the operation of a business or organization, 
factors to be considered include:  
    (a) the overall size of the business or organization with 
respect to number of employees or members and the number and 
type of facilities;  
    (b) the type of the operation, including the composition 
and structure of the work force, and the number of employees at 
the location where the employment would occur;  
    (c) the nature and cost of the needed accommodation;  
    (d) the reasonable ability to finance the accommodation at 
each site of business; and 
    (e) documented good faith efforts to explore less 
restrictive or less expensive alternatives, including 
consultation with the disabled person or with knowledgeable 
disabled persons or organizations.  
    In the case of an accommodation for a job applicant, any 
cost in excess of $50 imposed on the prospective employer shall 
be deemed an undue hardship if no alternative costing $50 or 
less exists.  A prospective employer need not pay for an 
accommodation for a job applicant which costs $50 or less if it 
is available from an alternative source without cost to the 
employer or applicant.  
    Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 363.03, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS.] It is an unfair 
discriminatory practice: 
    To deny any person the full and equal enjoyment of the 
goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and 
accommodations of a place of public accommodation because of 
race, color, creed, religion, disability, national origin or 
sex.  It is an unfair discriminatory practice for a taxicab 
company to discriminate in the access to, full utilization of or 
benefit from service because of a person's disability.  Nothing 
in this subdivision requires any person to exercise a higher 
degree of care for a person having a disability or to modify 
property in any way except as required by the accessibility 
provisions of the state building code.  
    Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 363.03, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
     Subd. 4.  [PUBLIC SERVICES.] It is an unfair discriminatory 
practice: 
    (1) To discriminate against any person in the access to, 
admission to, full utilization of or benefit from any public 
service because of race, color, creed, religion, national 
origin, disability, sex or status with regard to public 
assistance or to fail to ensure physical and program access for 
disabled persons unless the public service can demonstrate that 
providing the access would impose an undue hardship on its 
operation.  In determining whether providing physical and 
program access would impose an undue hardship, factors to be 
considered include:  
    (a) the type and purpose of the public service's operation; 
    (b) the nature and cost of the needed accommodation;  
    (c) documented good faith efforts to explore less 
restrictive or less expensive alternatives; and 
    (d) the extent of consultation with knowledgeable disabled 
persons and organizations.  
     Physical and program access must be accomplished within six 
months of the effective date of this section, except for needed 
architectural modifications, which must be made within two years 
of the effective date of this section.  
     (2) For public transit services to discriminate in the 
access to, full utilization of, or benefit from service because 
of a person's disability.  Public transit services may use any 
of a variety of methods to provide transportation for disabled 
people, provided that persons who are disabled are offered 
transportation that, in relation to the transportation offered 
nondisabled persons, is:  
    (a) in a similar geographic area of operation.  To the 
extent that the transportation provided disabled people is not 
provided in the same geographic area of operation as that 
provided nondisabled people, priority must be given to those 
areas which contain the largest percent of disabled riders.  A 
public transit service may not fail to provide transportation to 
disabled persons in a geographic area for which it provides 
service to nondisabled persons if doing so will exclude a 
sizeable portion of the disabled ridership;  
    (b) during similar hours of operation;  
    (c) for comparable fares;  
     (d) with similar or no restrictions as to trip purpose; and 
     (e) with reasonable response time.  
     Public transit services must meet these five criteria for 
the provision of transit services within three years of the 
effective date of this section.  
    Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 363.03, 
subdivision 7, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 7.  [REPRISALS.] It is an unfair discriminatory 
practice for any employer, labor organization, employment 
agency, public accommodation, public service, educational 
institution, or owner, lessor, lessee, sublessee, assignee or 
managing agent of any real property, or any real estate broker, 
real estate salesperson or employee or agent thereof to 
intentionally engage in any reprisal against any person because 
that person: 
    (1) Opposed a practice forbidden under this chapter or has 
filed a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any 
matter in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under this 
chapter; or 
    (2) Associated with a person or group of persons who are 
disabled or who are of different race, color, creed, religion, 
or national origin.  
    A reprisal includes, but is not limited to, any form of 
intimidation, retaliation, or harassment.  It is a reprisal for 
an employer to do any of the following with respect to an 
individual because that individual has engaged in the activities 
listed in clause (1) or (2):  refuse to hire the individual;  
depart from any customary employment practice; transfer or 
assign the individual to a lesser position in terms of wages, 
hours, job classification, job security, or other employment 
status; or inform another employer that the individual has 
engaged in the activities listed in clause (1) or (2).  
    Sec. 11.  [REPEALER.] 
    Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 363.03, subdivision 4a, is 
repealed.  
    Sec. 12.  [CLARIFICATION OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT.] 
    The purpose of this section is to clarify the intent of an 
amendment to the Human Rights Act adopted as Laws 1978, chapter 
793, section 74.  This section does not alter the meaning of 
that enactment.  The legislature did not intend, by Laws 1978, 
chapter 793, section 74 to deprive a charging party under the 
Human Rights Act of one remedy while preserving another remedy. 
A party with a charge pending in the human rights department on 
the effective date of Laws 1978, chapter 793, section 74 could 
have elected either to continue the charge for investigation by 
the department or, as expressly stated in Laws 1978, chapter 
793, section 74, could have withdrawn the charge and filed a 
civil action in district court within 90 days of the withdrawal. 
Therefore, notwithstanding that any party's charge was filed 
prior to the effective date of Laws 1978, chapter 793, section 
74, a party who after the effective date of the 1978 act, 
withdrew a charge from the department and complied with the time 
limits of the 1978 act for filing an action in district court, 
may maintain the action.  The state may not raise the defense of 
res judicata in connection with any such action commenced before 
the effective date of this section.  
     Sec. 13.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
     Sections 1 to 12 are effective the day following final 
enactment. 
    Approved June 6, 1983

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