Posted on 2/6/15
MDHR’s semi-annual report to the legislature (PDF) showed the Department is continuing to make significant progress in making its investigations process more efficient and its decisions in discrimination charges timelier.
The Department of Human Rights acts as a neutral investigator of complaints of possible discrimination prohibited by the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
MDHR continues to improve its investigation efficiency by closing more cases, reducing its inventory of cases, reducing the number of cases more than a year old and reducing the average time to reach a determination by 51 days.
The Department also settled twice as many cases during the reporting period through its efforts to conciliate probable cause determinations between parties. By increasing conciliation between the two parties of a case, you are reducing the burden on the judicial system while reducing legal costs for those involved in the case. Conciliations also provide a quicker final case resolution than litigation in court.
During the reporting period, the Department doubled the number of cases conciliated over the prior six-month period. The Department settled 39 cases for a total of $487,625 in damages. In 2014, the Department conciliated a total of 55 cases for $631,450 in damages.
The Department’s average time to reach a determination during the period was 327 days. This is a decrease of 60 days from the end of 2013. The Department’s effort to close its oldest case files has been successful, and the Department now only has 31 cases over one year old. As of June 2012, the Department had 228 cases older than one year; this is an 86% reduction.
For the past two years the Department has closed more cases than it opened in each 6-month period. During the last six months (July-December), the Department closed 433 cases, which is 144 more cases than were opened. As a result of the Department’s effort in this area, the MDHR’s inventory has dropped from 842 cases at the end of 2012 to 436 cases at the end of 2014.
For its efforts and sustained improvement in closing cases, the Department received a Governor’s Continuous Improvement Award in December. The Department issued determinations 891 cases this past year compared to 790 cases in 2013 and 429 cases in 2012. The Department is closing well over double the number of cases each year than were being closed 5 years ago.
For individuals who believe they have been discriminated against, all of this means that their case will be investigated more promptly and a determination will be made in a timely way. This reflects the Department’s commitment to its mission of making Minnesota discrimination free.
Link to the full article: https://mn.gov/mdhr/news-community/newsroom/