The Miracle of Minneapolis, Employment Law Edition

Many of you proud Minneapolitans may have shared or liked the Atlantic’s article, “The Miracle of Minneapolis,” on social media this past week. The article lauds the Twin Cities for their successes in the areas of housing affordability, income, and employment, among others—painting our cities as shining examples of the American dream. One of the factors the article credits as promoting such successes is “fiscal equalization” – an economic policy where public funds are shared across rich and poor neighborhoods. A follow-up piece from the Washington Post countered that the economics of the “Minneapolis Miracle” haven’t been so great for people of color and other minority groups in the area.

In light of this debate, we here at here at Nichols Kaster want to know: how are we doing on the employment equality front? Workers in Minneapolis have a variety of tools at their exposure when facing discrimination by an employer. This post explores federal laws, the Minnesota Human Rights Act, and the little-known Minneapolis Civil Rights Ordinance to compare these laws in their protections for employees. It also compares employee leave entitlements at the federal, state, and city level.

Minnesota Employment Law

The overall winner is…Minnesota! Both Minnesota laws and the Minneapolis ordinance protect employees in ways that federal laws do not, and neither should be forgotten when evaluating your workplace rights.

These protections don’t come close to ending the conversation about equality in our community. But they are one step toward ensuring that the economic “Minneapolis Miracle" is enjoyed more equally by all.