Press Release

For Immediate Release: February 7, 2013

MDHR Conducted More Investigations, Reduced Backlog

Minnesota Department of Human Rights Releases Semi-Annual Report to the State Legislature

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights conducted more investigations, reduced the timeframe for investigating charges and reduced the backlog of its older cases in accordance with Governor Mark Dayton's common sense reforms to give Minnesotans a Better Value for their tax dollars.

In the Minnesota Department of Human Rights semi-annual report to the state legislature issued today, Commissioner Kevin Lindsey outlines the streamlined efforts of the Department's staff to increase the number of investigations, reduce the time frame for investigating charges and to reduce the backlog of its older cases.

"Our goal is provide excellent service to all citizens every day in every aspect of our operations," said Commissioner Lindsey. "One way we accomplish our goal is by streamlining the Department's operations to conduct more investigations in a timely manner, examining how we can more effectively use mediation and, when appropriate, seek to conciliate disputes before initiating an investigation. We are achieving success in all three areas and I'm excited by the work of the Investigations Unit."

Consistent with this commitment, the Department has seen an increase in the number of investigation memoranda issued and a decrease in the length of the time to reach a determination.

  • In the past six months, MDHR issued 347 investigation memoranda. MDHR achieved a 39 percent increase over the first six months of 2012, in which 249 investigation memoranda were issued. Comparatively, there were 170 investigation memoranda in the last six months of 2011. Thus, there was a 104 percent increase in the memoranda issued in the past six months as compared to the last six months of 2011.
  • The average case load per investigator is currently 76 cases. The average age of the probable cause determinations issued during the past six months was 357 days, down from 404 in the last 6 month period.
  • The average age of the no probable cause determinations issued during the past six months was 293 days, down from 317 in the last 6 month period. The decrease in length of time is attributed to the commitment of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights and its staff to address the backlog of its older cases.
  • As of the end of December 2012, the MDHR had 842 cases pending determination. Of these cases, 196 cases were less than 90 days old; 211 cases were between 91-180 days old; 139 cases were between 181-270 days old; 133 cases were between 271-365 days old; and 169 cases were older than 366 days. This is a decrease from the 228 cases that were older than 366 in the previous six months. At the end of December, 87 percent of the charges filed in the past six months remained open.
  • In the past six months, MDHR closed 417 cases. Specifically, 325 of the cases were closed after a no probable cause determination, 23 cases were closed after a probable cause determination, 39 were closed due to withdrawal, 8 were dismissed by the agency and in 22 cases a settlement was reached by the parties. The average time to close a case was 325 days.
  • The Department continues to attempt to resolve cases through mediation. In the past six months, MDHR referred 15 cases to mediation. During this time, the MDHR scheduled 44 mediations of which 22 settled. The average length of time for cases in the mediation process that ultimately settled during the past six months was 162 days. The Department of Human Rights biennial report to the Legislature is available on the Department's web site at mn.gov/mdhr.

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For more information please contact Jeff Holman, jeff.holman@state.mn.us or 651.539.1090

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