The Minnesota State Fair is requiring all 37 of its licensed police officers to re-apply for their jobs ahead of the 2020 season.
The State Fair confirmed to BMTN that it is currently evaluating the licensing and training of its State Fair police force before this year's Great Minnesota Get-Together.
As a result, all of the previously employed State Fair police officers and potential new hires have been told that they must "satisfy and/or successfully complete nine requirements" that the fair deems necessary.
The move was first reported on Monday evening by KSTP, who spoke to one of the affected officers who claimed that the State Fair is requiring a college degree as one of the requirements.
They are alleging that there could be age discrimination at play, given at least 16 officers in the group told to re-apply are over the age of 50 and who became officers before a degree was a requirement.
The same officer told the TV station he's filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that he has been subject to retaliation as he had pursued a union affiliation.
Complaints have also reportedly been filed with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.
Here's the full statement sent to BMTN by Minnesota State Fair Police Chief Paul Paulos.
"A key priority of the Minnesota State Fair is to provide all guests, vendors and employees a safe environment to visit and in which to work. Part of doing that includes a continual evaluation of the fair’s various security measures including, as one key component, its police department. Going into 2020, we evaluated the licensing and training requirements for our State Fair police force (37 licensed police officers) and established requirements that each officer satisfy all POST Board (Peace Officer Standards and Training) and other requirements the Fair deemed necessary. To that end, beginning February 1, 2020 and thereafter, an individual who previously has been employed or is a potential new hire interested in a police officer position with the State Fair must satisfy and/or successfully complete nine requirements."