MPCA meet and confer minutes July 26, 2018

Publish Date

Minutes for the:

Meet and Confer Regular Quarterly Meeting

Respectful Workplace Topic

July 26, 2018

St. Paul, Room 600



MAPE: Dunn, Bill (MUN); McDonald, Sandy (EAO); Preimesberger, Angela (EAO); Toso, Mark (REM); Wilde, William (RMAD);  Wischnack, David (EAO) 


MPCA Commissioner’s Office and Senior Leaders: Beeman, Michelle (Comm office); McNamara, Kellie (HR); Phillips, Vonnie (HR); Solheid, Reena (Operations ); Commissioner Stine was on a well-deserved vacation



  1. Review Respectful Workplace request from May Meet and Confer Meeting /response/follow-up questions from the May meeting and MAPE request for three outcomes (Lorax page, timelines for complaint response, and information on number of Respectful Workplace policy complaints).


There will be a Lorax page launched in the near future that describes the policy of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors and the process for how to resolve the issue with a new complaint form to document the concern.  The Respectful Workplace Complaint Form is similar to the harassment  complaint Forms.

This page will help distinguish the differences between harassment and respectful workplace, retaliation protections, and other relevant resources. This is a critically important communication tool that will assist staff  in documenting a specific complaint.


Discussion included acknowledging that a “respectful workplace” is the collective responsibility of employee, supervisor, manager, and HR. In an informal or formal complaint a Supervisor, Manager, Director, HR, and Union Representative are available to help resolve an issue. Informal complaints are not documented by HR or management nor are they tracked.


Both formal and informal complaints ideally are resolved as quickly and at the lowest staffing level possible.  There is technically no time limit (policy) on Respectful Workplace complaints. However, there is a practical approach “timeframe” that is “the sooner the better”. Other types of issues may have a legal timeline. However, to be properly documented a specific complaint must include as much information as possible including: who, what, when, where, why, and how; your response, witnesses, when and if the behavior stopped. Note: that these issues can often be resolved by direct, honest, and respectful communication with the person you feel is not displaying respectful behavior. However, depending on your response to disrespectful behavior it can also be considered disrespectful and may diminish your perspective and credibility when filing a formal complaint.


The team acknowledged it can take time for a disrespectful pattern to emerge. How long does a person have to realize that they have been harassed, and/or disrespected? To determine disrespect – harassment – the employee is targeted, the issues are persistence, and over time it is harmful (to the employee or others).  This may take two or more years. The example used was the Hollywood situations where many years have passed.  However, the perpetrator was still held accountable. This is where documentation becomes so important to helping protect yourself. Any evidence of retaliation should also be documented and shared with those handling your original complaint and HR.


Update: The Lorax Respectful Workplace webpage and complaint form was published on August 15, 2018!



  1. Overview plans for obtaining answers to TEMPO questions.


Angela will send Michelle the questions she wants to ask Myrna.


Perhaps include TEMPO comments / FAQ’s on the Lorax page.



  1. Update on plans for internal Inclusion/Diversity Committee and discuss potential role for MAPE


Possibly  conduct an engagement survey / work collaboratively with HR and Union members. Take Leaders out of the focus group leadership role. 


Next Quarterly Meet and Confer meeting is scheduled for:

  • September 26, 2018 from 10-11 AM