Length of time for Minnesota Department of Human Rights to reach determination in discrimination cases highest in 10 years

  • Article by: ALEJANDRA MATOS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 9, 2013 - 9:16 AM

Edward Foster Graham was fired from his job in February 2012. He had always received positive job reviews and was never reprimanded, he said. But a week before his termination, Graham accused a supervisor of discrimination.

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wisebookSep. 8, 13 8:14 AM

I worked for the Department of Human Rights in my last year of law school (1997) and at that time they had twice as many investigators as they have today. At that time, it took an average of 120 days to close a case. The reality is that the state legislature has cut their budget over and over since then so make a decision. Either you want that government service and you are willing to fund it or you don't want that government service and close the Department and make people go directly to court. You do citizens no good when you make them wait over a year to examine their case. The legislature should decide what they want.

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gemie1Sep. 8, 13 8:43 AM

I just had a case with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. The problem is not only the backlog. The state statutes only allow them to have a very narrow interpretation. By having the department, it gives people the illusion that they have rights, but we do not. More damage is being done by the department continually sending back No Probable Cause and allowing medical facilities and businesses to think that their behaviors and actions are okay. This department with its limited funding and very, very limited and narrow scope, is doing more harm than good in our state. If the department is to exist, then it needs more funding and the state legislature needs to widen the scope. The burden is to high at this level of investigation for the charging party. It is ridiculous.

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stpaulgurlSep. 8, 13 9:21 AM

Perhaps it would be interesting to really whistle-blow and investigate how many administrative staff the Commissioner has hired since he was appointed Commissioner (to manage all of his public speaking engagements, self-promotion, etc.) rather than hire people who actually do the work of investigating cases. What would also be interesting is if the whistle blower highlighted the salary of the investigators vs. the salary of all of the admin team that the Commissioner has hired--mainly to self-promote. Just sayin'.

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akmscottSep. 8, 13 9:29 AM

It's such a long waiting list because there are so many more whining, crying babies out there trying to get something for nothing!

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fursideSep. 8, 13 9:56 AM

Wait till it happens to you akmscott. The violations are rampant because managers and owners believe that they have God-like powers and their illegal and capricious actions are not going to get them in trouble; because of the de-funding that has gone on under the GOP to take away our right to live in a free and modern society. This is not the old west, there are rules and those rules were implemented to deal with a very large and diverse population in the modern world with an new demands on employees and employers. To not respect our innate human rights puts us into a race to the bottom. Please think.

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totaltruthSep. 8, 1310:09 AM

The vast majority of these cases are just people looking for an easy road to an additional entitlement. Always looking to be a victim. And always pointing the finger at someone else.

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yogibear6363Sep. 8, 1311:26 AM

A good example of a government small enough to drown in David Koch's bathtub. Somewhere Grover Norquist is smiling.

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rayk1800Sep. 8, 1311:28 AM

As an old white guy, I think the ratio of unsupported cases VS ones with probable violations is about right. But I believe every case needs to be looked at in a timely manner. I've see questionable things at places I've worked in the past. Usually if a company wants to let you go, they will find a reason that won't be a risk to the company. As far as Graham's case, sounds like management already had decided his future without doing anything yet at the time of the lunch. However, if his performance reviews were good, they shouldn't have let him go for filing a complaint. More detail is required from both sides on why the complaint was denied.

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nativesonzzSep. 8, 1311:44 AM

If an obvious false claim is made, there should be repercussions for an individual who makes the claim. It's like the idiot who calls 911 for directions to the grocery store.

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fursideSep. 8, 1312:07 PM

If the agencies are not strong enough to enforce fairness with regard to discrimination; then the liability insurers through rate increases will play a role in employers (both private and public) actively behaving themselves ethically rather than on just vague enough to avoid legal action. When their is a legal question the remedy is legal question being answered either administratively or through the courts and lawsuits. This is what we do rather than revenge and counter revenge. It is the corporate structure in public and private entities which give people personal power without personal responsibility. Thank God there are organizations such as the MDHR and the AG's office to fight for those of us without resources and the ability to circle the wagons. They need to be strengthened; they are our champions.

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