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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library


Fair Employment Practices Commission

Active dates:1955-1962
Function:

The legislature charged the Commission with the responsibility "to foster the employment of all individuals in this state in accordance with their fullest capacities, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, or national origin, and to safeguard their rights to obtain and hold employment without discrimination."

History:

The Minnesota Legislature passed the Minnesota State Act for Fair Employment Practices in 1955. The Act established a Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC) to formulate policies to effectuate the purposes of the act and related duties (Laws of Minnesota 1955, chapter 516). The FEPC consisted of nine members, one from each congressional district, appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. The commissioners' terms were set at five years, and at least one of the members had to be a lawyer. The commission's chairman was designated by the governor and the executive director was chosen by the commission.

The duty of the FEPC was to formulate policies to put the Fair Employment Practices Act into effect. The commission was given the power to employ attorneys; to issue, receive, and investigate complaints alleging discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, or national origin; to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and take testimony relating to discrimination complaints; and to conduct research on discriminatory employment practices.

If a complaint of employment discrimination could not be resolved through education, conference, conciliation, and persuasion, the governor was empowered to set up a three-member board of review drawn from a panel of twelve members previously appointed by the governor. The board held public hearings and rendered a decision that could be enforced by, or appealed to, the state district court.

In 1961, the FEPC was succeeded by the State Commission Against Discrimination (SCAD), when its jurisdiction was amended to include fair housing practices (Laws of Minn. 1961, chap. 428). The law took effect December 31, 1962. Administration of the law became the responsibility of the Commission, which after July 1, 1962, was known as the State Commission Against Discrimination instead of the Fair Employment Practices Commission.

Membership:

The Commission was to have nine members, one from each congressional district, appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. The commissioners' terms were set at five years, and at least one of the members had to be a lawyer. The commission's chair was designated by the governor and the executive director was chosen by the commission. See agency notebook record for commission membership lists.

Commission chairs: Eugenie Anderson, 1955-1961; William Cratic, 1961-1965; Kennon V. Rothchild, 1965-1967.

Executive Directors: Wilfred C. Leland, 1955-1963; James C. McDonald, 1963-1965; Walter S. Warfield, 1965; Viola May Kanatz, 1965-1967.
 

Record last updated: 12/21/2020
 

Additional print information on this group may be available in the Library's collection of agency notebooks. Please contact a librarian for assistance. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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