What does Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity/Gender Expression protected class status mean?

On June 15, 2020 in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, No. 17-1618, the United States Supreme Court held that firing an individual based on their sexual orientation or transgender status violates Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex. The court explained,  “discrimination based on homosexuality or transgender status necessarily entails discrimination based on sex; the first cannot happen without the second.” The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provides the example, “if an employer fires an employee because she is a woman who is married to a woman but would not do the same to a man married to a woman, the employer is taking action because of the employee’s sex because the action would not have taken place but for the employee being a woman.” The EEOC goes on to illustrate that, “if an employer fires an employee because that person was identified as a male at birth, but uses feminine pronouns and identifies as a female, the employer is taking action against the individual because of sex since the action would not have been taken but for the fact the employee was originally identified as male.” * 

The State of Minnesota, through the Minnesota Human Rights Act, prior to the Supreme Court ruling, provided protections to individuals based on sexual orientation/gender identity/gender expression. 

*Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination”

Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity/Gender Expression Discrimination

Sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression discrimination is verbal or physical conduct that is directed at an individual because of their sexual orientation/gender identity/gender expression.

Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity/Gender Expression Harassment

Sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression harassment is an illegal form of discrimination and is defined as verbal or physical conduct directed at an individual because of their sexual orientation that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent

Target of Discrimination or Harassment

If you feel physically threatened, remove yourself from the situation and seek help immediately from University Security at 389-2111, or dial 911 for the Mankato Police Department. If the situation is not physically threatening, and you feel comfortable talking to the individual.

Can Discrimination or Harassment Happen to You?

Discrimination or harassment can occur in a variety of relationships, including faculty - student, supervisor - employee, student - student, employee - employee, and other relationships with persons having business with or visiting the campus.

Investigation of Discrimination and/or Harassment Complaints

Minnesota State Mankato is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and educational opportunity. Equal Opportunity & Title IX, under Board Policy 1B.1 Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination in Employment and Education, assists students/employees.

Retaliation Prohibited

Retaliation is prohibited by Minnesota State Mankato. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, intentionally engaging in any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment against an individual because that individual made a complaint under the 1B.1 Nondiscrimination Policy.