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Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS)

2019 Equal Employment Opportunity Action Plan

Live Accordion

I. Plan Purpose

The Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services’ Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Plan reaffirms the Department’s commitment to fair and equitable treatment of applicants and employees without regard to race, color, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, religion, creed, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, political beliefs, genetic information, military service or veteran's status, culture, social origin or condition, or ancestry unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).

The Department complies with, and strictly enforces, the State of Montana’s EEO, Nondiscrimination, and Harassment Prevention policy (ARM, 2.21.4001-4029), which serves as the basis of this policy and plan and has developed its own EEO, Nondiscrimination, and Harassment Prevention policy (see Appendix 2 and Appendix 2a).

In addition to the State and Department policies, the department is responsible for ensuring adherence to the federal and state laws, rules, and regulations, including:

Title 49, Chapter 3, Part 2, MCA, Governmental Code of Fair Practices, specifically:

49-3-201, Employment of state and local government personnel.

(1) State and local government officials and supervisory personnel shall recruit, appoint, assign, train, evaluate, and promote personnel on the basis of merit and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, political ideas, sex, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, or national origin.

(2) All state and local governmental agencies shall:

(a) promulgate written directives to carry out this policy and to guarantee equal employment opportunities at all levels of state and local government;

(b) regularly review their personnel practices to ensure compliance; and

(c) conduct continuing orientation and training programs with emphasis on human relations and fair employment practices.

(3) The Department of Administration shall ensure that the entire examination process, including appraisal of qualifications, is free from bias.

(4) Appointing authorities shall exercise care to ensure utilization of minority group persons.

The Department strives to achieve and maintain a qualified workforce that includes a representation of women and minorities that approximates their availability in the Montana labor market. This plan identifies areas for improvement and proposes goals and strategies for increasing representation of women and minorities where underrepresentation is identified.

The plan assigns key duties and responsibilities of managers and employees within the Department and identifies actions the Department will take to identify, analyze, and, if necessary, resolve potential barriers to employment.

II. EEO, Nondiscrimination, and Harassment Policy Statement

The Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services provides equal access to employment, programs, services, and activities without regard to race, color, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, religion, creed, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, political beliefs, genetic information, military service or veteran's status, culture, social origin or condition, or ancestry with the exception of special programs established by law. Likewise, the Department will not tolerate discrimination or harassment because of a person’s marriage to or association with individuals in one of the previously mentioned protected classes. All employees have a right to work in an environment free from all forms of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment.

The Department provides reasonable accommodations, upon request, to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of their job, enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment, and promote equal opportunity in hiring, unless doing so would create an undue hardship on the department. The Department will also, upon request, make reasonable modifications to policies and procedures and provide effective communication to enable individuals with disabilities to participate in programs, services, or activities provided through the department, unless doing so would create an undue burden or fundamental alteration to a program.

The Department does not retaliate or allow, condone, or encourage others to retaliate against any customer, applicant, or current or former employee for opposing unlawful discriminatory practices, filing a discrimination complaint or participating in a discrimination proceeding, including testifying in court.

The Department makes good faith efforts to equalize employment opportunities at all levels of department where there is evidence of barriers to employment for those classes of people who have traditionally been denied equal employment opportunity.

Implementation of this Department's Equal Employment Opportunity Plan is the responsibility of each division administrator, manager and supervisor.

The Department contact is Lloyd Sparks, Department EEO Officer, 406-444-1386, LSparks@mt.gov, 111 N. Sanders, Rm 202, Helena, MT 59620

III. Responsibilities

  • Department Director
    • Designate an EEO officer and ADA coordinator for the Department
    • Direct agency managers to carry out the goals and objectives of the EEO action plan and support efforts to implement the plan
  • Managers and Supervisors
    • Implement and adhere to the department’s EEO action plan
    • Treat individuals with dignity and respect and promote an inclusive work environment where individuals are afforded the opportunity to reach their fullest potential
    • Make hiring decisions based on individual competencies and qualifications
    • Recognize individual differences as a key element of organizational and team success
    • Value the rights of all Montanans to benefit from equal access to employment and programs, services, and activities offered to the public
    • Identify problem areas and eliminate barriers that impede EEO within their respective area
    • Promptly notify the Department’s EEO officer or HR staff of allegations of discrimination or harassment
    • Communicate the Department’s EEO policy to employees assigned to their work unit and hold staff accountable for violations
    • Assist the EEO officer and HR staff with conducting periodic audits of employment processes to promote EEO action plan goals and objectives
  • EEO Officer
    • Implement and maintain the Department’s EEO program
    • Train employees on diversity and inclusion and EEO, nondiscrimination, and harassment prevention
    • Post the Department’s EEO, Nondiscrimination, and Harassment statement, posters, and related materials in areas visible to employees and the public
    • Assist employees and managers with resolving EEO issues
    • Investigate allegations of discrimination and harassment as needed
    • Periodically update the Department's EEO action plan,
    • Report the agency's progress toward minimizing underutilization of women and minorities to the Department by March 31 of each year
    • Develop internal procedures for providing meaningful access (interpreters, translators, etc.) to programs, services, and activities for customers with limited English proficiency
    • Review and recommend changes in policies, procedures, programs and physical accommodations to facilitate EEO action plan implementation
  • Human Resources Staff
    • Review the Department’s EEO action plan with managers and update the plan as needed
    • Evaluate compensation to ensure internal practices are based on individual merit and qualifications
    • Assist managers in identifying potential causes of underutilization (employment barriers) and recommend appropriate action
    • Inform management of the latest developments in the area of utilization of women, minorities, and disabled persons
    • Train managers and supervisors on their duties and responsibilities under the EEO program
    • Ensures the EEO Policy Statement and Complaint Resolution Procedure is posted on official bulletin boards
    • Evaluate internal recruitment, selection, and promotion processes for effectiveness
  • Employees
    • Comply with the standards set forth in the EEO, Nondiscrimination, and Harassment Prevention Policies
    • Treat employees, clients, and the general public with dignity and respect without regard to race, color, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, religion, creed, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, political beliefs, genetic information, military service or veteran's status, culture, social origin or condition, or ancestry

IV. Utilization Analysis

The utilization analysis report compares the Department’s workforce to Montana’s labor force using weighted availability. If the Department’s workforce in a particular job group is less than the labor force, then the job group will be defined as underutilized.

The Department used the 2006-2010 American Community Survey (ACS) Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Tabulation, State and Local Government Job Categories, to compile metrics and categorize the Department’s workforce. The tabulation is based on the American Community Survey (ACS) 2006-2010 five-year data, which the Census Bureau released in March of 2013.

These job categories include:

01  Officials and Administrators
02  Professionals
03  Technicians
04  Protective Service: Sworn
05  Protective Service: Not Sworn (Not currently used)
06  Administrative Support
07  Skilled Craft Workers
08 Service-Maintenance

Each state job title is assigned an occupational code that links to the census counts for that occupational area by sex, race and ethnicity, EEO Occupational Group, and State and Local Government Job Categories. These categories are similar, if not identical, to the job categories used by State and Local governments in reporting EEO-4 survey data.

Underutilization occurs when the percentage of employees in a protected group (women or minorities) is less than their labor force availability. The EEO Tabulation serves as the primary external benchmark for analyzing the race, ethnicity, and sex composition of an organization's internal workforce, and the equivalent external labor market, within a specified geography and job category. Montana is used for the relevant labor market in the utilization analysis. A negative number in the field indicates underutilization. If there is no underutilization, a zero will be in the field.

The weighted availability takes into account the proportional relevance of each job code total (employee count), rather than treating each job code total equally. This weighted average is used in calculating the availability (labor force) at the occupational group level and at the EEO category level for females and minorities. For example, when calculating the occupational group availability, a job code with 15 employees will carry more weight than a job code with only two employees for the weighted availability.

EEO Tabulation for Women and Minorities

A.    Detailed Analysis

a.    Women:
Montana’s Department of Public Health & Human Services (DPHHS) has maintained an above average percentage of female representation within its workforce since 2014 (currently at 76.63%). Female representation continues to improve in the Paraprofessional positions as compared to 2014 and 2017, however analysis still shows underutilization in this job category. DPPHS will continue to focus on this Paraprofessional job category going forward, as well as the other categories reflecting underutilization. DPHHS has and will continue to encourage and support recruitment and retention of women for all categories. The following job categories reflect current underutilization for women:

i.    Protection Services underutilized by 2
ii.    Paraprofessionals underutilized by 54
iii.    Office / Clerical underutilized by 1
iv.    Technicians underutilized by 1

2017 analysis:
Protective Services underutilization of 2
Paraprofessionals underutilization of 59
Technicians underutilized of 1
Skilled Craft underutilization of 1

b.    Minorities:

Montana’s DPHHS has maintained an average minority representation in its workforce of at least 7.0%. In 2017 representation was 7.75% and is currently at 9.23%. While the Department has improved and shown an increase in recruiting minorities within both the Professional and Paraprofessional job categories, analysis still shows these two categories as underutilized. The labor force within Montana has only a 9.6% minority representation. This limited group creates many challenges for the Department in being able to recruit and maintain qualified minority placement statistics. Approximately half of the minority labor force within Montana consists of American Indian & Alaskan Native population. Since 2014 and before, DPHHS has maintained its consistency in recruiting qualified American Indian & Alaskan Native for Department placements when compared to the overall percentage of minorities in the Montana labor force. The following job categories reflect current underutilization for Minorities:

i.    Officials / Administrators underutilization by 4
ii.    Professionals underutilization by 94
iii.    Paraprofessionals underutilization by 22
iv.    Office / Clerical underutilization by 9
v.    Technicians underutilization by 2
vi.    Service Maintenance by 3

2017 analysis:
Office / Administrators underutilization of 5
Professionals underutilization of 122
Paraprofessionals underutilization of 30
Office / Clerical underutilization of 5
Technicians underutilization of 9
Service Maintenance underutilization of 6

 

V. Goals, Objectives, Action Steps / Strategies

  1. Goals

DPHHS’s goal is to create a workforce that is more reflective of the labor force in Montana. DPHHS will make good faith efforts to identify the underutilization of women and minorities. DPHHS will also work to recruit and retain qualified individuals with disabilities in all employment levels.

Barriers to employment can cause underutilization. Therefore, DPHHS will review their recruitment, selection, and promotion processes as well as the on-the-job experience of employees to ensure that women, minorities and individuals with disabilities receive equal opportunities to secure employment and promotion.

DPHHS will focus its efforts on:

•    Identifying underutilization of women and minorities
•    Recruiting and retaining qualified women, minorities and individuals with disabilities
•    Establishing and maintaining processes and procedures to ensure women and minorities have equal opportunities to secure employment and career advancement

DPHHS has used the utilization analysis report to determine which job categories are underutilized for women and minorities and has set the following hiring goals for the following year.

The second and third columns of this chart show underutilization. The fourth and fifth columns show the agency’s hiring goals for each group in each category. 

Any placement goals established in the Department’s EEO Action Plan are not rigid and inflexible quotas that must be met. The Department’s goals do not imply preferential treatment or lower standards and should not be interpreted as imposed quotas. Quotas are expressly forbidden by this plan. The Department’s hiring practices comply with 49-3-201(1), MCA, Employment of State and Local Government Personnel, which states, “State and local government officials and supervisory personnel shall recruit, appoint, assign, train, evaluate, and promote personnel on the basis of merit and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, political ideas, sex, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, or national origin.”

VI. EEO Action Plan Distribution

A.    Internal

The Department will: 
i.   Review the EEO policy during new employee orientation and other trainings as required
ii.  Provide periodic updates to director and agency managers as needed
iii. Post the Director’s EEO Policy Statement to the Department’s intranet

B.    External

The Department will:

i.   Post the Director’s EEO Policy Statement to the Department’s public-facing website
ii.  Discuss with the Department’s Public Information Officer the importance depicting women, minorities, and people with disabilities in public announcements, multi-media releases, and the like which may involve Department employees, programs, services and activities.
 

VII. Objectives and Action Steps / Strategies

Objective #1: Recruitment and Selection

Action Steps / Strategies to Achieve this Objective:

DPHHS’s recruitment goal is to increase women and minority representation in underutilized categories by attracting qualified candidates to apply for vacancies in these categories. Hiring managers will review applicants’ qualifications to be sure qualified individuals are treated in a nondiscriminatory manner. Vacancy announcements for positions in underutilized categories may include the statement:

Women (and / or) minorities may be under-represented in this position and are encouraged to apply. 

DPHHS will continue to work with recruitment sources that have effective contact with women and minorities and individuals with disabilities to improve recruitment efforts. DPHHS may send vacancy announcements to Native American recruitment sources, the Interagency Committee for Change by Women, disability rehabilitation and advocacy centers, and any other source DPHHS identifies as appropriate. 

DPHHS may collaborate with the Interagency Committee for Change by Women to have DPHHS representatives attend regular committee meetings and when applicable occupy a seat on the committee. 

DPHHS may collaborate with Montana universities in attracting students in fields of study related to those required for DPHHS positions. DPHHS may collaborate with Montana universities to participate and attend tribal related career fairs. 

Evaluation: Action steps for 2017 included the Department identifying sources that target women and minorities in the Professional and Paraprofessional roles, and the Department’s HR group working with hiring managers to promote DPHHS as a good place for women and minorities to work. 

Current analysis reflects an overall percentage increase of female representation within the DPHHS workforce from 76.24% in 2017 to 76.63% for 2019. DPHHS seen an increase of .17% within the Paraprofessional roles for the female workforce in 2019. The minority representation within the overall DPHHS workforce for 2019 had an increase from 7.75% in 2017 to 9.23%. DPHHS seen a 1.35% increase in minority representation within the Professional roles for 2019 from 2017, and a 2.02% increase within the Paraprofessional roles from 2017 to 2019. 


Objective #2: Training Programs

Action Steps / Strategies to Achieve this Objective:

Human Resources staff will train supervisors and managers on the recruitment and selection process. DPHHS will train employees on an annual basis focused on the DPHHS EEO, Nondiscrimination, and Harassment Prevention Policy. DPHHS may develop training for supervisors and managers focused on the EEO action plan. 

DPHHS may develop training opportunities for potential applicants specific to resume development and interview etiquette to offer and provide at career fairs. 

Evaluation: DPHHS trained employees every 3 years regarding EEO, Nondiscrimination, and Harassment Prevention. 


Objective #3: Equal Employment Opportunity Awareness

Action Steps / Strategies to Achieve this Objective:

Human Resources staff will:
•    Post vacancy announcements on the state’s online employment system
•    Offer training on topics such as job descriptions, performance management, recruitment, selection, FMLA, ADA, non-discrimination, and the EEO Action Plan. 

DPHHS will offer:
•    Career information and job mentoring

Evaluation: The Human Resource group consistently posts vacancy announcements on the state’s online employment system. The Human Resources group facilitates and provides regular training opportunities for supervisors and managers to include such topics as recruitment and selection process. 


Objective #4: Harassment and Discrimination Prevention

Action Steps / Strategies to Achieve this Objective:

Any person who believes they or another person has been subjected to discrimination is encouraged to report incidents or actions of harassment and / or discrimination to the Human Resources office. 

DPHHS will place a copy of this plan on DPHHS’s external website for access by those outside of DPHHS. DPHHS’s complaint resolution procedure is located in Appendix 5.

Evaluation: DPHHS posts the nondiscrimination notices and complaint procedures on the external website and updates regularly. 
 

Appendix 1 - Description of EEO Categories

1)    Officials and Administrators: Occupations in which employees set broad policies, exercise overall responsibility for execution of these policies, or direct individual departments or special phases of the agency's operations, or provide specialized consultation on a regional, district or area basis. Includes: department heads, bureau chiefs, division chiefs, directors, deputy directors, controllers, wardens, superintendents, sheriffs, police and fire chiefs and inspectors, examiners (bank, hearing, motor vehicle, warehouse), inspectors (construction, building, safety, rent-and- housing, fire, A.B.C. Board, license, dairy, livestock, transportation), assessors, tax appraisers and investigators, coroners, farm managers, and kindred workers.

2)    Professionals: Occupations which require specialized and theoretical knowledge which is usually acquired through college training or through work experience and other training which provides comparable knowledge. Includes: personnel and labor relations workers, social workers, doctors, psychologists, registered nurses, economists, dietitians, lawyers, systems analysts, accountants, engineers, employment and vocational rehabilitation counselors, teachers or instructors, police and fire captains and lieutenants, librarians, management analysts, airplane pilots and navigators, surveyors and mapping scientists, and kindred workers.

3)    Technicians: Occupations which require a combination of basic scientific or technical knowledge and manual skill which can be obtained through specialized post-secondary school education or through equivalent on-the-job training. Includes: computer programmers, drafters, survey and mapping technicians, licensed practical nurses, photographers, radio operators, technical illustrators, highway technicians, technicians (medical, dental, electronic, physical sciences), police and fire sergeants, inspectors (production or processing inspectors, testers and weighers), and kindred workers.

4)    Protective Service Workers: Occupations in which workers are entrusted with public safety, security and protection from destructive forces. Includes: police patrol officers firefighters, guards, deputy sheriffs, bailiffs, correctional officers, detectives, marshals, harbor patrol officers, game and fish wardens, park rangers (except maintenance), and kindred workers.

5)    Paraprofessionals: Occupations in which workers perform some of the duties of a professional or technician in a supportive role, which usually require less formal training and/or experience normally required for professional or technical status. Such positions may fall within an identified pattern of staff development and promotion under a "New Careers" concept. Included: research assistants, medical aides, child support workers, policy auxiliary welfare service aides, recreation assistants, homemakers aides, home health aides, library assistants and clerks, ambulance drivers and attendants, and kindred workers.

6)    Administrative Support (Including Clerical and Sales): Occupations in which workers are responsible for internal and external communication, recording and retrieval of data and/or information and other paperwork required in an office. Includes: bookkeepers, messengers, clerk-typist, stenographers, court transcribers, hearing reporters, statistical clerks, dispatchers, license distributors, payroll clerks, office machine and computer operators, telephone operators, legal assistants, sales workers, cashiers, toll collectors, and kindred workers.

7)    Skilled Craft Workers: Occupations in which workers perform jobs which require special manual skill and a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the process involved in the work which is acquired through on- the-job training and experience or through apprenticeship or other formal training programs. Includes: mechanics and repairers electricians, heavy equipment operators, stationary engineers, skilled machining occupations, carpenters, compositors and typesetters, power plant operators, water and sewage treatment plant operators, and kindred workers.

8)    Service-Maintenance: Occupations in which workers perform duties which result in or contribute to the comfort, convenience, hygiene or safety of the general public or which contribute to the upkeep and care of buildings, facilities or grounds of public property. Workers in this group may operate machinery. Includes: chauffeurs, laundry and dry cleaning operatives, truck drivers, bus drivers, garage laborers, custodial employees, gardeners and groundkeepers, refuse collectors, construction laborers, park rangers (maintenance), farm workers (except managers), craft apprentices/trainees/helpers, and kindred workers.

Appendix 2 - EEO, Nondiscrimination, and Harassment Prevention Policy

EEO, Nondiscrimination, and Harassment Prevention Policy 

Subchapter 40
Equal Employment Opportunity, Nondiscrimination, and Harassment Prevention Policy

Resource: Administrative Rules of the State of Montana (ARM) Human Resources/ Employee Benefits

State Human Resources includes policies in administrative rules (ARM) when the policy may affect the public or be used by persons who are not currently employees. The policies that only affect state employees are not included in ARM. This policy is in ARM. http://www.mtrules.org.

Appendix 3 - Reasonable Accommodation and Equal Access Policy

Reasonable Accommodation and Equal Access Policy
Resource: Administrative Rules of the State of Montana (ARM) 
Human Resources/ Employee Benefits

State Human Resources includes policies in administrative rules (ARM) when the policy may affect the public or be used by persons who are not currently employees. The policies that only affect state employees are not included in ARM. This policy is in ARM. Links to the ARM and Montana Code Annotated (MCA) are embedded throughout the document. You may also find the official ARM website at http://www.mtrules.org.

Subchapter 41 - Reasonable Accommodations and Equal Access Policy

DPHHS Reasonable Accommodation Policy:

1. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to establish and clarify DPHHS’s guidelines related to
providing reasonable accommodations and effective communications to people with
disabilities.

2. POLICY

The Department of Public Health and Human Services (“DPHHS”) is committed to providing services and a workplace that is accessible to everyone. DPHHS will make reasonable accommodations for clients, customers, and employees to allow everyone an equal opportunity to work and to participate in the goods, services, and programs administered by DPHHS.

3. SCOPE

This policy will be followed unless it conflicts with negotiated labor contracts, which will take precedence to the applicable extent.

4. RESPONSIBILITY

Employees:
A. Recognize accommodation requests and identify situations in which accommodations are obvious and necessary.
B. Contact the ADA Coordinator for assistance with accommodation requests for employees, clients, and customers.

Supervisors:
A. Use the accommodation process detailed herein, or refer accommodation requests to the ADA Coordinator.
B. Expected to engage in an interactive dialogue with the disabled individual and to identify, implement, and monitor reasonable accommodations for employees, clients, and customers of DPHHS.

ADA Coordinator:
A. Assist supervisors, employees, clients, and customers with accommodation requests, to include identifying possible barriers for people with disabilities.
B. Researching accommodation options.
C. Participating in the interactive dialogue.
D. Implementing reasonable accommodations.
E. Monitoring the effectiveness of reasonable accommodations.

Requests for accommodations:

A. Clients and customers with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation through an employee, supervisor, or the ADA Coordinator.
B. Employees may request a reasonable accommodation through their supervisor or the ADA Coordinator.
C. Reasonable accommodation requests may be in writing or oral and do not have to include the words “reasonable accommodation” or “disability.” Employees, clients, and customers need only identify difficulties or barriers in relation to a disability.
D. Family members, friends, healthcare professionals, or other representatives may request reasonable accommodations on behalf of employees, clients, or customers.
E. There are no time limits for requesting an accommodation, however: 

1. Employees should not wait for an impairment to affect their job performance before requesting an accommodation. Employees are encouraged to communicate with supervisors or the ADA Coordinator about performance issues as soon as they recognize the need for an accommodation.
2. Clients and customers are encouraged to notify DPHHS of an accommodation request as soon as the need is identified. DPHHS encourages a two-week notice for accommodation requests prior to trainings or presentations.

Responding to accommodation requests:

A. The ADA Coordinator shall be responsible for determining the need for medical documentation from an employee requesting an accommodation for a disability. The ADA Coordinator shall also be responsible for maintaining those records. Supervisory staff should not request medical documentation from employees, clients, or customers of DPHHS.
B. Employees and supervisors who receive a request for an accommodation may notify the ADA Coordinator of the request to receive guidance and assistance in complying with state and federal laws governing disability rights and accommodations. The ADA Coordinator will work with the disabled individual and appropriate supervisory staff to identify, implement, and monitor reasonable accommodations.
C. Supervisory staff may work through the accommodation process with employees, clients, and customers of DPHHS without the assistance of the ADA Coordinator, but supervisory staff shall work in cooperation with the disabled individual to:

1. Participate fully in the interactive dialogue;
2. Identify possible accommodations;
3. Ensure the proper implementation of the reasonable accommodations;
4. Assist in monitoring any accommodations; and
5. Identify situations where the accommodation does not appear to be effective.

D. Employees and supervisors shall always consider an employee’s, client’s, or customer’s accommodation request; however, employees and supervisors may select  another reasonable accommodation if it would effectively allow the employee to perform the essential functions of the job or allow the client or customer access to the services or benefits provided by DPHHS.
E. When a DPHHS service or benefit is located within a building that is inaccessible to a person with a disability due to design deficiencies or temporary construction-related circumstances, the employee or supervisor who is made aware of the situation shall:

1. Work with the client or customer of DPHHS to identify a location that is accessible to the individual with a disability and provide services or benefits for that individual at that location. Other state offices, county offices, and local offices should be considered as alternative locations.
2. The employee or supervisor should notify the ADA Coordinator about the accessibility problem.

Reassignment as a reasonable accommodation:

A. When an employee with a disability can no longer perform the essential functions of the job with or without a reasonable accommodation, the DPHHS supervisor shall consider reassigning the employee to a vacant position for which the employee qualifies, unless doing so would create an undue hardship or violate a collective bargaining agreement.
B. An employee shall not be forced to take a reassignment, and the employee must agree to the terms and pay rate for the position.
C. When an open position is identified and an employee agrees to the reassignment, the employee shall be reassigned to that position without a competitive process.
D. The supervisor shall continue the interactive dialogue to ensure the reassignment is an effective accommodation, and the employee can perform all the essential functions of that job with or without a reasonable accommodation.

Denial of accommodation requests:

A. Supervisors are encouraged to contact the ADA Coordinator before making the decision to deny an accommodation request.
B. If a supervisor determines a request cannot be reasonably accommodated or the accommodation would create an undue hardship, the supervisor shall forward the recommendation to his/her supervisor. A divisional administrator or person of higher authority shall make the final determination to deny an accommodation based on undue hardship.
C. If the accommodation is denied, the supervisor shall notify the employee, client, or customer of the denial in writing.
D. The written notification of the denial must include an explanation for the denial and the appeal process.

Separation of employees with disabilities:

A. Supervisors are encouraged to consult with the ADA Coordinator prior to separating employment.
B. Supervisors may discharge an employee with a disability when the employee is not able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without a reasonable accommodation. Separation of employment shall occur only in situations in which no reasonable accommodation has been identified through interactive dialogue and after reassignment has been considered.
C. If denial of a reasonable accommodation results in the discharge of an employee, the appeal process outlined in ARM Title 2, chapter 21, subchapter 6515, Discipline Policy, or applicable collective bargaining agreement supersedes the reasonable accommodation appeal process.

Appeals for denial of accommodation request:

A. Denial of an accommodation request shall be appealed to the DPHHS Administrator.
B. Employees, clients, and customers wishing to appeal a denial shall submit a written request, along with supporting documents, to the DPHHS Administrator within 20 working days from the date of the denial letter.
C. The DPHHS Administrator shall confer with the supervisor who denied the accommodation, the ADA Coordinator, and the DPHHS Director of Human Resources to review relevant information and the rationale for the denial.
D. Upon completion of the appeal review, the DPHHS Administrator shall deny the accommodation request, approve the accommodation request, or refer the accommodation request to management for further action.
E. The DPHHS Administrator shall notify the employee, client, or customer of the decision within 15 working days of receipt of the appeal.
F. If the DPHHS Administrator denies the appeal, the written notification shall include an explanation for the denial and information on the right to file a complaint with one or more of the following agencies:

1. The Montana Human Rights Bureau with the Department of Labor and Industry at (406) 444-2884 or (800) 542-0807 (TDD (406) 444-9696); and/or
2. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at (800) 669-4000 (TTY (800) 669-6820); and/or
3. The federal Office for Civil Rights at (800) 368-1019 (TDD (800) 537-7697).

Reasonable modifications:

A. Supervisors shall make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures that deny, or have the potential to deny, equal access to programs, services, or activities to individuals with disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue burden or would fundamentally alter a program, service, or activity.
B. Supervisors and employees shall furnish auxiliary aids and services, upon request, at no cost to the individual to promote equally effective communication for people with disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue burden or fundamentally alter the program, service, or activity.
C. Considerations shall be made for people with a disability who use personal mobility devices including, but not limited to: wheelchairs; walkers; mobility scooters; and Segways.
D. Supervisors and employees shall not charge individuals with disabilities to offset costs associated with providing required auxiliary aids and services.
E. Anyone requiring auxiliary aids and services should contact the department directly responsible for providing the program, service, or activity, including supervisors, employees, the ADA Coordinator, or human resources staff.

5. DEFINITIONS

ADA Coordinator – The person identified and designated by the DPHHS Director of Human Resources who is responsible for coordinating requests for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (“ADA”). The ADA Coordinator may be contacted at (406) 444-3136 in the DPHHS Human Resources office.

Clients and Customers – Any person receiving services, benefits, or information from DPHHS. Clients and customers shall include the public attending training and informational seminars administered by DPHHS.
Disability – DPHHS adopts the definition of disability set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (“ADAAA”).

Employee – A person employed by DPHHS and designated as permanent, full-time, part-time, temporary, short-term, student intern, or someone who has not attained “permanent status” as that term is defined in Mont. Code Ann. § 2-18-101. Officers and employees identified in Mont. Code Ann. §§ 2-18-103 and 2-18-104, are excluded from this definition.

Interactive Dialogue – The process utilized with a disabled individual to identify possible accommodations that would enable the employee to perform the essential functions of his/her job or to participate in the goods, services, and programs administered by DPHHS. Employees of DPHHS shall engage in the interactive dialogue in good faith.

Mission Statement of DPHHS – “The mission of DPHHS is to improve and protect the health, well-being, and self-reliance of all Montanans.”

6. RELATED DOCUMENTATION

7. RELATED FEDERAL, STATE OR REGULATORY GUIDANCE

Montana Human Rights Act: Title 49; MCA: http://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca_toc/49.htm
Governmental Code of Fair Practices: Title 49, Chapter 3; MCA:
http://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca_toc/49_3.htm
Americans with Disabilities Act: United States Code Title 42, chapter 126:
http://uscode.house.gov/browse/prelim@title42/chapter126&edition=prelim
ADA Amendments Act of 2008

 

Appendix 4 - Complaint Resolution Procedure

Complaint Resolution Procedure

Montana state government is committed to providing equal access to employment, programs, services, and activities, and prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, religion, creed, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, political beliefs, genetic information, military service or veteran's status, culture, social origin or condition, or ancestry unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).

State agencies are committed to resolving complaints of discrimination and harassment in a fair, timely, and impartial manner.  Employees, applicants, clients, and customers may file a complaint under the state’s complaint resolution procedures if they believe they have experienced discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.  Complainants are encouraged to use the Department of Administration's complaint form found at http://hr.mt.gov/newresources.
Montana state government prohibits retaliation against employees, applicants, clients, and customers who opposes unlawful discriminatory practices, files a discrimination complaint, or participates in a discrimination proceeding, including testifying in court.

Reporting a Complaint:

Montana state government encourages employees, applicants, clients, and customers who believe they have been discriminated against or harassed to contact agency management or the agency's equal opportunity (EO) officer, American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator, or human resources (HR) staff. 

Agency Responsibilities: 

  1. Employees and manager who receive a report of alleged discrimination or harassment shall immediately notify the agency EO officer, ADA Coordinator, or HR staff.
  2. Upon receiving a complaint, agency management, with guidance from the agency EO officer, ADA Coordinator, or HR staff, shall take appropriate steps to prevent the alleged conduct from continuing, pending completion of the investigation.
  3. The agency EO officer, ADA Coordinator, HR staff, or appropriate management representative will promptly initiate an investigation upon receiving a complaint.
  4. The investigator shall submit the results of the investigation to the human resource manager. The factual report shall remain confidential and may not be disseminated, except to persons having a need or right to know, which outweighs the privacy rights of persons involved.
  5. Upon completion of the investigation, the appropriate manager shall promptly inform the complainant and accused, in writing, of the outcome of the investigation.
  6.  Agency management shall take appropriate corrective action if the investigation establishes that an employee has violated the state’s EEO, Nondiscrimination, and Harassment Prevention Policy.  Agency managers may only inform the complainant that appropriate action has been taken and not the details of any disciplinary action taken.
  7. If the investigator finds insufficient evidence to conclude that a policy violation occurred, agency management may inform all parties that no action will be taken, and the complainant’s right to file an external complaint.
  8. Neither agency management nor any employee will retaliate against any employee for filing a complaint or for participating in any way in a complaint procedure.

OTHER COMPLAINT FILING OPTION 

An applicant, client, customer, or employee may concurrently file a complaint of unlawful discrimination with:

  1. the Human Rights Bureau, 33 S. Last Chance Gulch, Suite 2, P.O. Box 1728, Helena, MT 59624-1728, (406) 444-4356, (800) 542-0807, Montana Relay Service 711, or 
  2. the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Seattle Field Office, 909 First Avenue, Suite 400, Seattle, WA 98104-1061, (800) 669-4000,TTY (800)-669-6820, ASL Video (844) 234-5122.  The complaint must be filed either:
    1. within 180 days of the alleged incident; or 
    2. if the employee initiates action to resolve the alleged discrimination in accordance with this procedure or contract grievance procedure, within 300 days of the alleged incident. 
  3. Service members and veterans who believe they have been discriminated against in employment based on military service or veteran status may contact:
    1. the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve at (800) 336-4590; or
    2. the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) at (866) 487-2365.
      Service members and veterans may submit a formal, online complaint with VETS at http://webapps.dol.gov/elaws/vets/userra/1010.asp.

Appendix 5 - State of Montana Discrimination Complaint Resolution Form

State of Montana Discrimination Complaint Resolution Form

Alternative accessible formats of this document are available on request.

Employees, job applicants, and customers may use this form to file an internal complaint based on discrimination or harassment (including a hostile work environment) based on any of the protected classes identified in this form.  Individuals should submit this form to the agency where the event is believed to have occurred.

Complaint Resolution Form

Alternative accessible formats of this document are available on request.