If you believe you have experienced discrimination or harassment, you have several options for dealing with that experience. Depending on your situation and personal preferences, you should feel free to pursue one or more of these options.
If you are an employee of the Minnesota Senate and do not want to initiate a complaint under the Senate’s Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy or you would like confidential counseling regarding whether what you experienced was discrimination or harassment, you may contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). EAP services are part of your employee benefit plan, and are provided to you at no additional cost. Our EAP is managed by the State Employee Group Insurance Program (SEGIP) within Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB). The EAP services are provided by LifeMatters, which is the EAP vendor. The EAP offers support and counseling to help you with your questions or concerns about harassment or discrimination. The EAP will not initiate a report and is prohibited from disclosing what you tell them without your permission unless what you tell them indicates there is a concern about the immediate safety of an individual from very serious harm. Your EAP counselor will explain the confidentiality policy to you during your first contact with them. (See Appendix B for more information.) You may contact an EAP consultant at (651)2593840. If you prefer to work with a LifeMatters consultant outside of MMB/SEGIP call 1800-657-3719.
If you decide that you want to make a complaint of discrimination or harassment you may initiate your complaint with any contact person (as defined on page 1 of the policy). You should provide as much detail as necessary to conduct the complaint resolution process successfully. Once the contact person has received your complaint, they are required to report the complaint to the Director of Human Resources promptly. Please understand that the name of the person making the complaint will be provided to the subject of the complaint as part of this process. Any report will lead to either an investigation or a hearing conducted by a retired judge pursuant to this policy. All complaints against members of the Senate must be investigated and any conclusions of fact and discipline imposed pursuant to the investigation may be appealed to the Senate subcommittee on ethical conduct.
An investigation will be handled as discretely as possible, but there is no guarantee that the information will be completely confidential. Any hearings must be private unless the parties agree they will be open. Reporting discrimination and harassment is encouraged. The working environment in the Minnesota Senate will be improved if acts of discrimination and harassment are dealt with appropriately.
If you feel comfortable doing so, you may tell the person who engaged in the behavior that you believe violated this policy to stop. If the behavior does not stop after you have expressed your concerns, you should pursue other options listed here.
In addition to or instead of initiating the complaint procedure under the Senate’s policy, you may file a charge of discrimination with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) or consult with an outside attorney. You may contact MDHR at (651) 539-1100.
It is the policy of the Minnesota Senate to create and maintain a work environment in which all members of the Minnesota Senate, employees, and third parties are treated with dignity and respect. Members, employees, and third parties have the right to a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment, both subtle and overt. Therefore, the Minnesota Senate will strive to eliminate discriminatory and harassing behavior in the workplace based on race; color; national origin; sex, including pregnancy; marital status; religion; creed; familial status; sexual orientation; age; disability; status with regard to public assistance; and membership or activity in a human rights commission.
Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides 24/7 personal, confidential counseling services as part of your employee benefit plan. EAP services are provided to you at no additional cost. EAP services are delivered by an independent contracted vendor. The EAP contract is managed by the State Employee Group Insurance Program at Minnesota Management and Budget.
Employees may use EAP as a resource to help them sort through their thoughts, feelings, and decisions regarding experiences of sexual harassment. EAP is available to help employees come to their own decisions about how to proceed.
Because it is a confidential service, EAP will not report harassment. The EAP will not share anything about anyone’s situation without their permission except as required by law. Furthermore, employees may call EAP anonymously. Counselors explain EAP’s confidentiality policy to every caller.
If an employee wants to report sexual harassment, the employee should follow the complaint process described in the Senate’s Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy. EAP is not part of any harassment reporting process and is not a replacement for the Senate’s reporting procedures.