ASSISTANC E TO BUSINESS CLINIC HUMAN RIGHTS BUREAU 2019 AGENDA Run through the functions of the Human Rights Bureau administrative process Run through some practical tips Talk about some current hot spots including disability, harassment and retaliation.
HUMAN Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere RIGHTS BUREAU - MLK Exclusive Remedy WHAT IS THE HUMAN
RIGHTS BUREAU ? Intake Intake Investigati Investigati ons ons Provides Provides Voluntary
Resolution Resolution Services Services Education and Outreach Outreach FUN FACTS Complain ts!
We get about 5000 calls in a year Intakes! We conduct about 1000 intakes Drafts! We draft about 500 complaints THE BUREAU IS A RESOURCE FOR EMPLOYERS AS WELL!
INFORMAL INVESTIGATIO N The bulk of our time is spent conducting informal investigations into the complaints. Our job is to figure out whether a preponderance of the evidence supports the allegation of discrimination.
review Comparati ve Data 5 Research PRACTICAL POINTER Understand the timelines (we only have 180 days) this is NOT a lot of time
given our current caseloads. PRACTICAL POINTER If youre a charging party, understand that were only investigating what is IN the complaint, so understand your complaint. If youre a respondent, understand your defense. PRACTICAL
POINTER Be truthful and straight forward with your investigator. PRACTICAL POINTER If we are asking for information that you dont think is relevant talk to us tell us why and we can work with
you. Ask questions! Were not the gotcha people and we wont hide the ball. PRACTICAL POINTER The Bureau cannot turn away a viable complaint. If you are frustrated with the Bureau for investigating a complaint, remember the Bureau is obligated
by law to investigate complaints. VOLUNTARY RESOLUTION/MEDIATION The Bureau is trained to provide voluntary resolution/mediation services. IT IS COMPLETELY VOLUNTARY. RESOLVE AND EDUCATE
We offer early mediation to resolve complaints prior to investigation Generally the process takes far less time and is far more economical than investigation and litigation which can take upwards of 18 months to 2 years Provides information to employers and employees to prevent discrimination cases PROTECTED CLASSES:
Race Color National origin Religion Creed Sex Age Physical or mental disability Marital status Political belief (government / employees) Family status (housing only) Retaliation
PROTECTED AREAS: MHRA Employment Public Accommodations Housing Financing and Credit Education Insurance and Retirement plans Governmental Services These statutes cover public entities in their
role as an employer and also in how they provide services to the general public. ECT J B U S R E Y O L
MP D E N N A A E T IS A T S H T
? S TO BO W A L AL R E D E F THRE E HOT
SPOT S DISABILITY HARASSMEN T RETALIATION At a minimum Montana employers should understand rights and responsibilities under disability laws including: 1. When is it appropriate to ask an applicant/employee about his or her disability?
2. What triggers the obligation to engage in an interactive process with an employee/applicant to provide a reasonable accommodation? 3. What to do when you have performance issues that involve a person with a disability? RESOURCES HRB www.montanadiscrimination.org ROCKY MOUNTAIN DBTAC www.rockymountainada.org EEOC www.eeoc.gov
Job Accommodation Network (JAN) www.askjan.org Harassment is conduct that targets a person because of protected class status. In order to be unlawful, that conduct has to be unwelcome and be severe and/or pervasive enough to alter the working conditions (for employment). ARE YOU A LEADER IN THE WORKPLACE? Values: Leaders need to believe harassment
is wrong and invest in people that hold similar values. Awareness: Leaders need to be willing to look internally and actively pursue information about the prevalence of harassment (e.g., via climate surveys). Vocal and Visible Leaders need to be vocal about their beliefs and sincerely
convey a sense of urgency in stopping and preventing harassment. Accountability: Leaders need to address harassment in a swift, effective, and proportionate manner. Leadership holds supervisors and managers accountable for stopping harassment. GET IN FRONT
OF HARASSMENT! BE PROACTIVE! If you are responsible for training your employees (or even talking to your employees) simply telling them, Do not harass your coworkers! is not enough. Studies have shown that employers need to be specific and provide clear guidance about what is and what is not acceptable. This isnt to suggest that you have to cover everything. However, specificity gives employees an idea of what
the parameters are and it sets the tone. GENERAL. Dont harass people because of their race, well write you up. SPECIFIC. It is unacceptable to use racial slurs in this workplace. Just dont! Dont mock Native American names or culture.
Do not assume every Native American is a member of the same tribe. It is unacceptable to mock a persons accent or cultural or religious garb. This company has a clear antiharassment policy and if you violate this policy there will be consequences up to and including termination. TEACH YOUR EMPLOYEES ITS O.K. TO SPEAK UP! Stand up for your co-workers! Dont be an idle bystander!
If you think someone is being targeted, talk to that person and let him/her know the options! Document the incident and notify management or human resources. TAKE PROMPT, EFFECTIVE ACTION TO BE SURE THE BEHAVIOR STOPS IMMEDIATELY RETALIATION. WHAT IS
RETALIATION? It is unlawful to take a significant adverse act against a person because he or she has opposed an unlawful discriminatory practice or because he or she has participated in any manner in an
investigation or proceeding. BEST PRACTICES FOR PREVENTING AND ADDRESSING RETALIATION FOR EMPLOYERS* After someone engages in protected activity, make sure there is clear
communication of expectations (dont simply expect everything to spontaneously return to normal). * Taken in part from Protecting whistleblowers OSHA BEST PRACTICES FOR PREVENTING AND ADDRESSING RETALIATION FOR
EMPLOYERS Routinely educate and train your staff on both discrimination and retaliation and promote a highly visible and vigorous grievance system for retaliation claims. Ensure leadership commitment to the anti-retaliation environment. BEST PRACTICES
FOR PREVENTING AND ADDRESSING RETALIATION FOR EMPLOYERS Where possible, seek independent input and oversight for decisions that may impact a person that has engaged in protected activity and continue to
monitor the environment. Thank you for your time and attention! RESOURCES: www.montanadiscrimination.org www.eeoc.gov Marieke Beck (406) 444-4344
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