DULUTH - The Minnesota Department of Human Rights has settled a lawsuit with CSL Plasma that the state says will ensure "transgender and nonbinary Minnesotans can donate plasma without being turned away because of their gender identity."
The department launched a lawsuit in 2019 following complaints by Alice James, a transgender woman, and Charlie Edgar, a nonbinary person, that alleged CSL Plasma would not allow them to donate plasma in Duluth and Minneapolis due to their gender identities.
The state has dropped its claim the company broke the Minnesota Human Rights Act after CSL agreed to allow donors to self-identify their gender and provide training to employees.
"CSL Plasma's employees may not refuse, exclude or defer a potential donor because the donor's self-identified gender identity is different or inconsistent with their assigned sex at birth," according to the settlement filed this week in Hennepin County District Court. "Inconsistencies between a potential donor's self-identified gender and their government-issued identification shall not be a basis to refuse or defer a potential donor."
Minnesota has outlawed gender identity discrimination since 1993 and was the first state in the country to do so.
"CSL Plasma's discriminatory actions stop today," Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero said in a statement Wednesday.
"This agreement is yet another example that discrimination against transgender and nonbinary Minnesotans is illegal and not in alignment with the values of our state."
James and Edgar also reached separate settlements with the company, the terms of which were not disclosed. Their attorney declined to comment.
CSL Plasma, which is based in Florida and has five locations in Minnesota, will not admit to any violations of law as part of the settlement, according to court filings.
"We confirm our compliance with applicable law, and the agreement approved by the court today makes clear that CSL Plasma did not admit to any wrongdoing," the company said in a statement.
Brooks Johnson • 218-491-6496