Contact & About Information
The Olmsted County Human Rights Commission responds proactively to diversity issues. The commission strives to make our community, Olmsted County, free of discrimination and to promote equal opportunity for all our people.
The Olmsted County Human Rights Commission was formed on April 14, 1998 under Resolution Number 98-58 after the City of Rochester Human Rights Commission was abolished. The commission has 13 commissioners and 2 youth commissioners.
Minnesota Statutes Chapter 363, Subdivision 23 states: Duties to be dealing with discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, or familial status. Read about the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
To report a human rights violation or for any human rights related issues, please call 507-328-7300.
The Human Rights Commission meets the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in Conference Room #4 located on the 1st floor of the Government Center.
What We Do
For any Human Rights related issues, please call 507-328-7300.
- Facilitate voluntary no fault mediation for citizens.
- Collaborate in partnership with the State Department of Human Rights and the League of Minnesota Human Rights Commissions (LMHRC).
- Coordinate activities with other community groups and organizations involved in Human Rights issues
Reason for New County Commission
- To provide a legal avenue for all Olmsted County to find remedies for Human Rights issues.
- To provide an opportunity other than the courts for the remedy.
- To cover all of the protected classes provided to the citizens of Minnesota.
Olmsted County wanted to establish a place that could provide an informational database to identify common themes which would help us focus on particular Human Rights training needs.
Olmsted County wanted to support other initiatives to address Human Rights concerns.
Maintenance of a Hate Crimes Taskforce
- Develop a group that can respond to issues in our community.
- Stand up for victims and be fair in response to claims until information is available.
Human Rights Award which acknowledge the work of individuals, groups, organizations, and businesses.
Sponsor enrichment activities celebrating diversity.
What is illegal discrimination?
Go to the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
- Employers refuse to hire, discharge, restrict benefits, or conditions.
- Labor organizations deny membership, fail to represent, refer jobs, or otherwise treat differently.
- Employment agencies reject applications, refer for employment, or screen applicants.
Housing and Real Property
- Owners or agents refuse to sell or rent, or treat clients differently.
- Realtors withhold available property or services, or claim the presence of certain residents makes the environment undesirable.
- Lenders deny or discriminate terms and conditions of financial assistance or services.
A place of business, entertainment, transportation, or privately owned facility denies its premises or services, discriminates in the access or use of them.
- A government facility or service denies or limits services or benefits or fails to provide physical and program access.
- A public transit service fails to physical access and equitable service to persons who have disabilities.
- Educational institution fails to make reasonable accommodations for program access for persons with disabilities.
- Educational institution or its staff excludes or expels or discriminates against a student or person seeking enrollment.
- Refuses to conduct business.
- Discriminates in the terms, conditions, or performance of a business arrangement.
Other prohibited practices
- Aid or abet another in committing illegal discrimination.
- Cause reprisal or retaliation because a person opposed a practice forbidden by the Minnesota Human Rights Act, filed a charge or participated in a manner brought under the Act; or because a person associated with a person or group of persons who are disabled or of a different race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin.
How Are Your Rights Protected?
A person who claims to have been discriminated against in violation of the MHRA within Olmsted County may file a complaint with the Olmsted County Human Rights Commission within one year of when the discrimination took place.
What are your rights?
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights is the state agency within the Governor’s Cabinet responsible for enforcing the Minnesota Human Rights Act. The Human Rights Act is a state law prohibiting discrimination in Minnesota. Every person in Minnesota is protected by the Human Rights Act because every person, based on personal characteristics such as race or sex, belongs to one or more of the protected classes below:
- National Origin
- Marital Status
- Familial Status
- Public Assistance Status
- Sexual Orientation
Local Human Rights Commission Activity
The Human Rights Act protects everyone in Minnesota because everyone has a race, sex, and many of the other characteristics that are listed.
For any Human Rights related issues, please call 507-328-7300.
Mediation & Conflict Solutions (MCS), a not-for-profit program of Olmsted Outreach, secured a grant from Olmsted County to provide services to the citizens as follows:
"Respond to calls for service for the Olmsted County Human Rights Commission. These services include, but are not limited to, the collection of data on calls for service; reporting and providing written reports of human rights activity; providing referral services to callers; and setting up and conducting mediations with trained mediators."
MCS and its employees and/or volunteers are independent from the County.
Mediation & Conflict Solutions
1700 North Broadway Suite 124
PO Box 6541
Rochester, MN 55903-6541
Contact Human Rights Commission
Do you think you have experienced discrimination? Are you interested in training on cultural diversity or on preventing sexual harassment within your organization? Are you unsure of where to turn for help?
Contact the office of the Human Rights Commission of Olmsted County. Our staff will be pleased to explain the services we offer.
151 4th Street SE
Rochester, MN 55904
At Mediation & Conflict Solutions (MCS), we work with people from across southeast Minnesota who want to solve their own issues efficiently and effectively, without using the formal court system. Our clients have disputes or conflicts with other people, and they want to resolve the differences in a safe and unbiased environment, voluntarily, without filing a lawsuit. Whether you live in Rochester, Olmsted County or beyond, if you want to learn more about how successful mediation works, we can help!