Human Rights

Overview

The Human Rights Division of the Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity is responsible for investigating complaints of discrimination that have taken place within the City of Saint Paul.

The Human Rights Division is a neutral, fact-finding agency and does not represent either party in its investigations. Please note that as a matter of practice, to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest, the Human Rights division does not investigate charges of discrimination filed against another department of the City of Saint Paul. City of Saint Paul Legislative Code Chapter 183 empowers the Human Rights division to investigate human rights complaints on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Creed
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Marital Status
  • Familial Status
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation
  • National Origin
  • Ancestry
  • Status with regard to Public Assistance

U.S. Supreme Court Rules in favor of sexual orientation and gender identity

On June 15, 2020 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that transgender employees are protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The Court ruled that Title VII's ban on sex discrimination extends to an employee's sexual orientation and transgender status thus it cannot be used as a basis for an employee's termination. The Saint Paul Human Rights Ordinance and the Minnesota Human Rights Act have long prohibited discrimination based on one's sexual orientation and gender identity.  Employees now have additional protection under federal law. You can read the Court's decision at https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/17-1618_hfci.pdf

City of Saint Paul Fair Housing Statement

Each year in April we celebrate the passage of the Fair Housing Act, an important piece of civil rights legislation providing protection against discrimination in housing. Read the 2020 HREEO Fair Housing Statement Below:

City of Saint Paul Renter's Rights during COVID-19 

The City of Saint Paul wants residents to know their renter's rights during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city has provided the following frequently asked questions. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding your rights. 

Human Rights & Equal Economic Opportunity Commission

The HREEO Commission is responsible for monitoring and advising the department on promoting justice, equity, and confronting discriminatory practices occurring within the City of Saint Paul. The HREEO Commission hears and determines discrimination complaints, serves in an advisory capacity to the Human Rights Director, and serves as the Fair Housing Council. 

Mayor's Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities

Human Rights Specialists serve as the city-staff liaisons for the Mayor's Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities (MACPD). The MACPD is responsible for advising and making recommendations to the Mayor and City Council regarding problems, issues, and opportunities facing people with disabilities, specifically, focusing on issues related to employment, public education, and accessibility.

Police Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission

The Police Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission (PCIARC) is housed in the Human Rights Department. This group of nine civilians reviews complaints against Saint Paul Police Department Officers and makes recommendations to the Chief of Police. The Commission's coordinator works with individuals to help them file complaints and navigate the complaint process.

Human Rights Specialists

Human Rights Specialists conduct investigations based on complaints the division receives. Upon investigation of a complaint and applicable law, Human Rights Specialists make a recommendation of Probable Cause (PC) or No Probable Cause (NPC) subject to the approval of the director. Human Rights Specialists may also facilitate Pre-Determination Settlement Agreements (PDSA) and conciliation sessions when there is a finding of PC.

Human Rights Division Audit 

In 2017, the HREEO Commission completed an audit of the Human Rights Division. The purpose of the audit was to identify assets and gaps in the case management and review process, and to produce recommendations to ensure greater effectiveness, efficiency, transparency, and accountability in service to the community.

Human Rights Videos

Watch our public service announcements and learn more about your civil rights. 

Additional Human Rights and Fair Housing information

The Human Rights Division also performs educational functions such as informing Saint Paul residents and community members about the importance of creating an inclusive community. Contact us for additional information or to request for a presentation.