The article Individual in the class: marital Status Discrimination in Employment provides a history of Minnesota’s current and unique definition of marital discrimination. Read this history, which includes actual court cases, and then read Charge of Marital Status Discrimination… (Auto Value Store Case).
Minnesota is a progressive state and this is another area where we stand firm in our laws regardless of what the rest of the country is doing.
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights – link to Chapter 363A State Statutes https://mn.gov/mdhr/yourrights/mhra/
Subd. 24.Marital Status
“Marital status” means whether a person is single, married, remarried, divorced, separated, or a surviving spouse and, in employment cases, includes protection against discrimination on the basis of the identity, situation, actions, or beliefs of a spouse or former spouse. http://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=363a.03
Subd. 2. Employer
Except when based on a bona fide occupational qualification, it is an unfair employment practice 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, sexual orientation, or age to:
Refuse to hire or to maintain a system of employment which unreasonably excludes a person seeking employment; or
Discharge an employee; or
Discriminate against a person with respect to hiring, tenure, compensation, terms, upgrading, conditions, facilities, or privileges of employment.https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=363a.08
Separately, conscientious objection has been in our news lately. Yet, the state of Minnesota does not have a law guiding health care professionals when serving patients whose needs contrast with personal ethical beliefs. Read What pharmacists ‘conscientious objectors’ might learn and Pharmacy Refusal 101, and consider the following. If health organizations do not have a specific policy to address this issue, it leaves the door open for controversy between caregivers and patients.
Share your thoughts on the Minnesota law and whether the ruling in the Auto Value Store case was justified. Do you agree or disagree with the more progressive marriage definition? Why or why not?
Consider the two articles, What pharmacists ‘conscientious objectors’ might learn and Pharmacy Refusal 101. As a manager, how would you handle an employee who exercised a conscientious objection? Do you have experience with a similar case that shapes your perspective? You might choose to focus your essay on these questions or share other insights that are important to you: Should managers discuss this during an interview process and use this information as criteria for hiring? Should employees retain their position, even though they refused to perform their duties? Should organizations allow this if other staff are available to carry out the task without objection? What about in rural areas where there may not be a back-up provider?
Include a response to the following questions in your essay. Does your organization have a policy on conscientious objection? What does it or what should one include? Should Minnesota develop a law? Why or why not?
Make sure to reference the articles in your response. If you would like to enhance your response, feel free to locate other articles from reputable sources or share a personal or work-related example.