The Potluck

Minnesota moves to close case against plasma company for gender identity discrimination

By: - August 15, 2023 4:26 pm

Blood plasma donation during coronavirus pandemic

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights on Tuesday announced that CSL Plasma had implemented changes to prevent plasma-donating Minnesotans from being turned away because of their gender identity. 

The department said it has filed a joint motion with the company to close the case because CSL Plasma has fulfilled the requirements laid out in a consent decree, including providing its employees with LBGTQ training and setting policies to prevent employees from turning people away due to their gender identity.

“Today we celebrate the progress that has been made so that trans and non-binary Minnesotans can live with dignity, free from discrimination,” said Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero in a statement. “Our consent decree has provided CSL Plasma with the tools and framework needed to root out discriminatory practices from its business. I am grateful for the work CSL Plasma has done.”

The Department of Human Rights filed the consent decree in 2021 after suing CSL Plasma for barring a transgender woman from donating plasma at centers in Duluth and Minneapolis and for refusing to allow a non-binary resident from donating their plasma because their gender identity didn’t align with their birth sex. 

The state said the company’s refusal to serve the Minnesotans violated the state’s civil rights law.

Plasma is a liquid component of blood that helps regulate blood pressure and delivers hormones and proteins to different parts of the body. A person may need plasma, for example, if they lose a lot of blood during a surgery.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends centers use the same questionnaires for donors regardless of their sexual orientation, sex or gender.

The FDA earlier this year updated its blood donation guidelines to allow more gay and bisexual men to donate blood. Prior to the change, the FDA allowed donations only from men who have sex with other men if they hadn’t had sex with other men for three months.

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Michelle Griffith
Michelle Griffith

Michelle Griffith covers Minnesota politics and policy for the Reformer, with a focus on marginalized communities. Most recently she was a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead in North Dakota where she covered state and local government and Indigenous issues.