Affirmative Action in Minnesota

Business woman

Before an individual is actually hired, a company that contracts with the government should consider what effect the hiring will have on its affirmative action obligations to recruit and advance qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities and covered veterans. Federal, state and local laws each have different criteria for compliance with their respective affirmative action or equal employment opportunity requirements. Covered employers and federal, state and local criteria include:


Each prime contractor or subcontractor that has 50 or more employees and a federal contract of $50,000 or more; or government bills of lading totaling $50,000 or more; or a depository of government funds; or issues U.S. savings bonds/notes, must develop a written affirmative action plan that covers minorities, women, persons with disabilities and covered veterans. Employers must implement the written affirmative action program, keep it on file and update it annually. The employer is also required to prepare the standard Form 100 (EEO-1), and a VETS-100 Reporting Form as well as satisfy other record-keeping obligations.17 The EEO-1 and VETS-100 Forms must be filed annually by September 30th each year. The Department of Labor’s Employment Standards Administrator’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) oversees federal affirmative action plans.


In Minnesota, if an employer employed more than 40 full-time employees on a single working day during the previous 12 months and it holds or submits a bid or proposal for a state contract for goods or services in excess of $100,000, the employer is required to have a written affirmative action plan for the employment of qualified minority, female and disabled individuals.18 The plan must be approved by the Commissioner of Human Rights, who then issues a Certificate of Compliance. This Certificate, which is a requirement for bidding on state contracts, is valid for two years. Covered employers must also submit an annual compliance report. The Department of Human Rights is responsible for enforcing compliance with this statute.


Minneapolis and St. Paul have city ordinances governing affirmative action requirements for contractors with the city.19 Minneapolis requires contractors and subcontractors that do more than $50,000 of work with the city in a fiscal year to have a written affirmative action plan.20 The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights and the St. Paul Department of Human Rights enforce the respective city ordinances. Other cities may have similar ordinances.

Employers doing business with government entities or acting as subcontractors to businesses who contract with government entities should check with the entities involved and their own legal counsel concerning their affirmative action obligations.

CREDITS: This post is an excerpt from An Employer’s Guide to Employment Law Issues in Minnesota, originally produced through a collaborative effort between the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Lindquist & Vennum, P.L.L.P.

This post is part of a series of posts on hiring an employee in Minnesota.

17. 41 C.F.R. § 60-1.12 (2007). The OFCCP amended its record-keeping requirements in 2006.
18. Minn. Rules § 5000.3420 subp. 1 (2007); Minn. Rules § 5000.3410 subp. 2 (2007); Minn. Stat. § 363A.36 subd. 1(a) (2007).
19. St. Paul Ordinance § 183.04.
20. Minneapolis Code of Ordinances Title 7, Chapter 139.50.

Leave a Public Comment