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Minnesota Department of Human Rights Obtains Successful Resolution in Lawsuit against CSL Plasma for Gender Identity Discrimination

[St. Paul] The Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) today announced that CSL Plasma is required to make structural changes at all of its locations in Minnesota so that transgender and non-binary Minnesotans can donate plasma without being turned away because of their gender identity. 

This announcement comes after MDHR sued the plasma collection center for violating the Minnesota Human Rights Act, the state's civil rights law, when it barred a transgender woman and a non-binary Minnesotan from donating plasma. 

“With some of the strongest civil rights laws in the country, Minnesota continues to work toward becoming a state where transgender and non-binary Minnesotans are accepted, protected, and celebrated,” said Governor Tim Walz. “I am grateful for the diligent work of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights on behalf of Minnesotans who have been discriminated against. Every victory like this brings us one step closer to our vision of One Minnesota.” 

The resolution of the lawsuit, which is outlined in the proposed /mdhr/assets/CSL%20Plasma%20Joint%20Motion_tcm1061-501482.pdfConsent Agreement and Final Order filed in Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District Court in Hennepin County, requires CSL Plasma to: 

  • Ensure no employee refuses a potential donor because of their gender identity. 
  • Allow donors to self-identify their gender. 
  • Provide LGBTQ+ equity training to employees. 
  • Submit reports to MDHR documenting the reason for deferring any donor whose gender identity differs from their assigned sex at birth and/or gender marker on personal identification documents. 

Once the agreement is approved by Hennepin County District Court, the court will have the power to enforce these measures and failure to comply could lead to penalties. 

"There is no place for hate or discrimination in Minnesota,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “This consent agreement affirms that trans and non-binary Minnesotans have the right to donate life-saving plasma without being turned away because of their gender identity. I am proud to continue building on Minnesota’s legacy of acceptance for LGBTQ+ Minnesotans.” 

Refusing to provide services to transgender and non-binary Minnesotans violates the state’s civil rights law. Minnesota was the first state in the country to prohibit gender identity discrimination in 1993. 

“CSL Plasma’s discriminatory actions stop today,” said Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero. “This agreement is yet another example that discrimination against transgender and non-binary Minnesotans is illegal and not in alignment with the values of our state.” 

About MDHR’s Lawsuit Against CSL Plasma 

In March 2019, MDHR filed suit against CSL Plasma for denying a transgender woman from donating her plasma multiple times at collection centers in Duluth and Minneapolis because of her gender identity. In response to the lawsuit, CSL Plasma claimed they updated their policies based on guidance from the Federal Drug Administration that prohibits the consideration of gender identity in determining donor eligibility. 

However, in September 2019, CSL Plasma in Minneapolis refused to allow a non-binary Minnesotan from donating their plasma because their gender identity did not align with their assigned sex at birth. In response, MDHR amended its lawsuit to add this unlawful discrimination to demonstrate CSL Plasma’s continued discrimination. 

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights is the state's civil rights enforcement agency. If you experienced or witnessed discrimination or bias call the Discrimination Helpline at 1-833-454-0148 or submit this online form

Documents: 

  • /mdhr/assets/CSL%20Plasma%20Joint%20Motion_tcm1061-501482.pdfConsent Agreement and Final Order
  • /mdhr/assets/Consent%20Agreement%20%20Order%20%28court%20approved%29%20%28002%29_tcm1061-501864.pdfConsent Agreement and Final Order (Signed by Hennepin County District Court Judge Karen Janisch)
/mdhr/assets/Consent%20Agreement%20%20Order%20%28court%20approved%29%20%28002%29_tcm1061-501864.pdf

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