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tv   LAF Co Local Agency Formation Commission  SFGTV  October 14, 2021 1:00am-2:36am PDT

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>> president walton: i believe i see him on my screen. professor gould, are you available? >> hello. whom am i speaking? >> president walton: this is supervisor walton. >> good to hear your voice. >> president walton: you have the floor to make your report on your review and your findings. i want to thank you so much for being with us this afternoon. >> sure. glad to do it. thank you for this opportunity to present an overview of my report issued in june -- actually released by the mayor in july. it's the result of literally
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hundreds of meetings that we have with department heads, unions that deal with the city of san francisco and individual employees who contacted us sometimes by a special telephone that we established. the areas of my recommendations forms three broad categories. first yielding with the complaint process, secondly dealing with dispute resolution both in arbitration and before the civil service commission and finally, recommendations dealing with most important, upward mobility. how can so many black employees who are frustrated by their inability to move upward both into the skill trade and other
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jobs more effectively accomplish this. with regard to the complaint process -- it is an internal procedure. it is as important perhaps more important than litigation. there are many problems in this area. let me sum them up quickly. one was lack of transparency and that employees just didn't know where and how their process work, the complaint was being handled in the process. while there are internal benchmarks, they are not known to the employees, the progress the complaint get within the machinery is not known as well. we have at the time that my
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report was completed in june, there was some cases pending since 2015. basically, we thought that we could attack the inefficiency and lack of confidence and faith in the process in a number of ways. one was to eliminate the extraordinary decentralization. you have too many cooks handling the pot. you have some departments that have separate barriers. they duplicate. they have different standards and d.h.r. this leads to inefficiency, confusion and delay. we think that -- i thought that in the report, i advocated that this be centralized in the hands
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of d.h.r. that is to say, they would have personnel in all of the departments but that was personnel will be directly responsive to d.h.r. so you have one unitary efficient chain of command. would eliminate great deal of the delay that takes place. we also advocated adequate infrastructure to permit employees to know where their complaints are and how quickly they are being handled. we also advocated that the agency, d.h.r. moved quickly to deal with problems that need to be addressed quickly. they take preventive action even though other aspects of the complaint may still be handling.
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we advocated a triage of complaints. there are many complaints involving sexual harassment, we felt that those cases, many of them should be placed at the given priority. more staff. you'll see -- i hope you all had an opportunity to read through the report. on page 21, we indicate what the raw numbers are which require the hiring of at least three additional people. finally, in this regard, we think that 180 days, which is the present period for handling the complaints is too long. we think reforms have been advocated in this report are adopted that complaints can be
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handled in 120 days as you all know. justice delayed and justice denied. part of the problem here, the lack of transparency, delay and inefficiency. i think these reforms and some others that we've advocated in the report will deal with this. the second area is dispute resolution. dispute resolution -- i said to the mayor, i met with her on july 1, complaint process was largely broken.
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we think the employee should be able to get advice and counsel and union officials. that should be mandated or encouraged. they don't have that at present. the dispute resolution procedure are too important to be waived by employees even though it may present theoretically more orderly procedure that these waivers are inconsistent with public policy promoting equal
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employment opportunity and the dispute resolution process. their ability to use public law. all these collective bargaining agreements, negotiated with the city, contain no discrimination clauses in them. it is my view and the view of many others i think that this allows arbitrators to use public law anti-discrimination standards in both interpreting the agreement and also fashioning remedy. part of the remedy machinery which is available, which damages. we think that should be said explicitly. one the big problems relates
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back to harassment cases in the report, i noted anita hill, clarence thomas testimony 1991, just 30 years ago, when the senators said to anita hill, well, if you had a complaint about sexual harassment, why didn't you complain to the eeoc, the answer there was no remedy. the civil rights act of 1991 amended the civil rights of 1964 and allowed for damages in employment discrimination cases which have not been available prior to 1991. the city and union could make it clear to negotiate procedures to
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implement those standards in public law. civil service commission, the hearing officers should be experts, representing diversity, which is -- all aspects of city of san francisco. they should use public law at the very same standards that arbitrators should use under collective bargaining agreements. i believe that the civil service commission takes its responsibility seriously. i don't think both the commission and parties that appear before it are operating with the kinds of standards that this report advocates. we would like to see the commission advise regulation.
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the numbers are set forth in my report. they aren't good. even where they are better than as they are with electricians and sheet metal workers and plummers, i heard in the zoom conferences that i have with workers in the department of public works and other departments frustrations about the inability workers, incumbent workers to upgrade themselves to and gain access. the city has adopted a new training program with the machinist. i would like to see -- the report advocates, similar innovations in the basic critical crafts.
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the skill trades, electricians, plumbers, sheet metal workers where black workers are virtually completely absent. i set forth a number of proposals with regard to the selection process generally. that in a nutshell is the report. you have it. it's detailed. it's as a result great deal of hard work and thought and care on my part and the part of -- i was really so lucky to have two very valuable stanford law students help me with it. we talked to a lot of people over a long period of time. this is the best that can be done. i would urge the city to adopt and implement the recommendations that have been set forth here.
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thank you very much. >> president walton: thank you so much professor gould. i appreciate all the time you took to do this independent review. unless my colleagues have any clarification questions, we're going to hear from the b.l.a. and hear from the department of human resources and then we'll ask questions. thank you for sticking within the time frame. now we'll hear from the b.l.a. on their report. >> thank you president walton. at the request of the board, we vary surveyed cities in
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california to understand the organizational placement of e.e.o. offices. they were generally located went human resource department. there were couple and city manager offices. one city, phoenix, arizona, had a standalone eeoc office. none of the cities had an overpsych body -- oversight body specific for e.e.o.
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i'm happy to provide for detail on our report or an any questions. wahl thank you -- >> president walton: thank you so much. we're going to move forward. unless we have clarification questions with the department o human resources. thank you so much to director eisen for being here. we look forward to hearing from you. i want to thank you for your work. you have up to 20 minutes for your presentation. the floor is yours. >> president walton, members of the board of supervisors, thank you very much for calling this hearing and for allowing the department of human resources to present comments. on behalf of d.h.r., i like to
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thank professor william gould and his team for their excellent and thorough review. we hope he'll be available us to going forward as we implement his recommendations. as the report states, he spent substantial time with employees, union leadership and employee groups to hear directly from them about their day-to-day and career-long experiences as a city employee. i think that work infuses this report with a lot of energy and purpose that we are now having to take on. as professor gould stated in his conclusion, now comes the hard part. the independent review with the depth of the recommendations has gone a long way in encouraging our clarity of purpose at d.h.r. i'm please to report that the hard part under way.
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we're using the findings to launch our road map. the independent review teams report, the engagement with biracial equity labor management committee, our own d.h.r. and other racial task force forces around the city and engaging with city agencies and community partners. to advancing racial equity initiatives and persistent and seeing it come to fruition, our objective is stated simply.
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african-americans be well represented throughout the city's entire workforce. they have full opportunity to experience job satisfaction from their work as city employees. they are able to thrive over long careers with the city. as many of you know, d.h.r. is rebuilding its team in the process reforming our processes. i'm joined today by three members of our senior management team, all of us relatively new to the department of human resources including our latest, addition, who was named director in june of this year and our employee relations director who was appointed in july. our director of policy will provide a report.
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in address the backlog of complaints, our improved communication with complaints and other process improvement that are planned are under way. next, we will talk about expanding employee options to pursue grievances and e.e.o. claims simultaneously on complaints and the related recommendation from professor gould granting arbitrators. we'll talk about equity and fairness in the discipline process. finally the advancement of specific policy initiatives to
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gender greater respect and equitable workplaces. i want to comment on two significant recommendations that professor gould made. fundamental organizational change. first, is on sourcing e.e.o. units. the report recommends that be insourced with the d.h.r. e.e.o. division. i'm commit to work with the mayor's office to return these
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functions to the directly with d.h.r. of specific concern is the department of public health. it is a large department. nearly 8000 employees, multiple complaints over the course of any given year. generates significant workload even indirectly as a delegated unit. m.t.a. just by way -- just to call this issue, as separate charter authority to conduct its own e.e.o. investigations. however, in recent years, d.h.r. has been conducting investigations and making finding and relate -- recommendations to the director
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of transportation. d.h.r. will continue to provide services if needed. in addition, to construct and maintain the firewall between the investigation and the determination that the independent reviews recommend. right now, our investigators will both investigate and then defend their findings. professor gould recommended that we bifurcate those roles. i appreciate him pointing this out. i'm in favor of these recommendations. i believe that it will go a long way to maintaining the neutrality of investigators.
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now, i would like to turn this over to e.e.o. director to present the next portion of our presentation. >> good afternoon president walton and member of the board. it is a pleasure to be with you today to provide update on work being done at e.e.o. the system that i inherited was inefficient one. we are making changes to improve it. i'm working to lay a strong foundation to lay new efficient and equitable systems. we know that each complaint that is filed represent a workplace situation that has impacted an employee and needs to be addressed. we know that each complaint that is filed addresses issues that they have in the workplace and today, i will update you on how we are addressing this. how we're addressing our case loads, providing update on our
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work flow analysis and how we are improving transparency. with regards to e.e.o.'s case load, since stepping in the role of e.e.o. director, i've been conducting a top to bottom review of the e.e.o. division operation to identify methods and take assessment and improve the e.e.o. complaint process. this is what i learned thus far. i agree with professor gould that d.h.r. e.e.o. investigators are dedicated and deeply commit to conducting thorough investigations. however, the e.e.o. acquisitionn is seriously understaffed. the data shows that we get approximately 500 complaints a year. as professor gould pointed out, for a city that employs approximately 36,000 workers, this amounts to well over 2000
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employees per e.e.o. investigator. the e.e.o. division has been underfunded for years and the backlog that we are working with is now a result of that understaffing. on on of that the e.e.o. division processes are dated and inefficient and in need of technological support and lancement to ensure we are operating more efficiently. the e.e.o. division does not have a centralized case management system. the e.e.o. division uses the combination of excel spreadsheets and web-based database to keep track and manage all the e.i.r. division . division work. thanks to the mayor and your support, we have funded for new staff at e.e.o. the addition of the six new staff mens will go a long way to support us moving quickly to
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address complaints. since stepping in my role, e.e.o. has closed 109 cases. unfortunately, we received additional 78 new complaints financial e.e.o. currently as 487 open cases. what this means, 47% or 229 are less than one year old, 37% or 181 are less than two years old and 50% or 77 are more than two years old. with regards to d.h.r. e.e.o.'s work flow analysis, d.h.r. has
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been working hard to increase transparency and efficiency and the e.e.o. complaint process by updating the website content part of which went live yesterday to making it more accessible and user friendly. by creating a new and improved e.e.o. investigator work flow, which will implement triage of complaints of the complaint process. again, thanks to the mayor and your support. we have been funded for new staff at e.e.o. it will allow us to move quickly to address complaints. i plan to implement triaging at the front end of the complaint process. i plan to create a strike team of d.h.r., e.e.o. investigators to assist with the triaging of complaints to help avoid backlogs and delays in the investigation. d.h.r. will be procuring a new case management system that will allow us to track and manage
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e.i.r. complaints in one central location which we're aiming to roll out in early 2022. with regards to improving communications with employees, it is my goal to make sure that even if complaints do not rise to the level of violation of e.e.o. policy, requiring an investigation, employees have information about the various tools and resources available to them to resolve challenging workplace situations. as stated, we are in the process of updating the website and we have improving information including creating a what to expect document that e.e.o. provides complaints and this document will provide clarity to employee about what their restricts are an complaint resolution process. the types of questions they'll be asked and what information they will need to provide during a case intake and a time frame
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for completing the investigations. the drafted document will be circulated for comment. i want to share since comeing on board, implemented the following changes. revised tone an language in the closure letters. i'm having our investigators contact complainants within ten days filing a complaint, provide a status update and provide complainants courtesy calls to explain the findings require to releasing the finding. this concludes my update. thank you supervisors for your time. >> thank you. good afternoon president walton and members of the board. i'm the employee relations director. employer relations is responsible for negotiating with
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the labor unions. as professor gould mentioned, one of his recommendation is to change the election of remedy languages in our m.o.u.s. if they can file an e.e.o. complaint or grievance with their union. in the last five years only 6% grievances were discrimination-based. this chart shows details of those cases. implementing professor gould's recommendation will mean, bargaining with unions to change our m.o.u.s. it means we will partner with all our labor unions to integrate the unions to helping the city address discrimination. we believe outcomes will improve for the entire city family with labor as our partner in this endeavor. d.h.r. has limited authority
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when it comes to discipline, we are looking to establish recommendations for departments. these recommendations will be based on best practices which we identified by looking at what various city departments do and also how other jurisdictions including school districts have addressed disciplines based on race and other factors. once we have more discrimination cases go through to grievance process, we will need an expanded pool of arbitrators with knowledge and experience in discrimination. we are conducting a national search to expand our existing pool. this could allow experienced arbitrator to award damages as other remedy finance will require bargaining with unions before implementation. in the meantime, working in partnership with city attorney's office, department of public health, we have modernizing the training process to include increased awareness of implicit
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bias and discipline. that concludes my presentation. on how we're implementing some of the gould recommendation. now i will turn it over to director of policy. >> thank you artis. good afternoon president walton and members of the board of supervisors. we are eager to soon be releasing our new equitable, fair and respectful workplace policy. the existing respect in the workplace policy is a single sentence in our employee handbook. it does not effectively communicate our goals. our collective goal of being a welcoming and inclusive workplace. because we want to be an employer that promotes and maintains safe and healthy work environments, we felt it was
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necessary to outline our expectations of dignity and respect in our workplaces and also provide clear definitions for those expectations. in the new policy, we define behaviors and actions that we previously have not. terms and actions such as bullying, microaggression, sabotage and others are all defined as unacceptable behavior in this policy. the policy is additive to our existing policies that prohibit workplace harassment, discrimination, retaliation and we have shared this policy with departments and various partners including h.r.c. and union diversity committees for comment and have gotten really great feedback so far. we will soon be officially sending the policy to unions to
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begin the meet and confer process. once that process is complete, we will release the policy to all employees and accompany it with collateral and management. thank you for your time. i will hand it back to director eisen. >> members of the board, i have a few more comments. we're almost concluded with our formal presentation. i wanted to mention little bit about professor gould's findings. recruitment training, selection and advancement. i agree with his comments. i hope that the hallmark of my tenure is rebuilding the city from the ground up and generating the opportunities and to do that for our city employees. this is the photo of our last
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free pandemic class of san francisco fellows. many of whom we hope become big part of our future in san francisco. we have initiatives that i lettered. we hope to expand apprenticeship sf. this works in collaboration with our community and city partners to expand apprenticeship opportunities. we will provide single focus to lay the building blocks for promotion into the skilled trades as professor gould suggest. we've introduced implicit bias training for hiring panels as new applicant tracking system, which is now just come online. we'll be able to review the composition of hiring and best
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trends through that review. in all the categories here, these are some of the metrics that we watch and study. we are seeing the metrics improve slightly in all of these categories. we have not closed the gap in racial equity in the city. we're not near that. i don't think it's a box we can check. i think this is a work we'll always be doing. irrespective of trends that we can measure by looking at these areas. the less tangible experience being a city employee, feeling welcomed, feeling appreciated. this is at the core of our work and we need to keep constantly handing it. professor gould and his introduction and conclusion talked about outing. the foot on the gas. many are impatient that we do that and we do it quickly.
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i will conclude with something that i read recently from dr. marcell nunez-smith, she talked about the mistake and understanding that people have and here's her quote, we see racism. let's just fix that. it's not about that. it's about generational investment and fundamental change. we didn't get here overnight. this is our mission at d.h.r. to encourage those generational investments and be the leaders in advancing fundamental change. thank you and i'm happy to answer any questions. >> president walton: thank you so much director eisen. i want to thank your entire team for the presentation. colleagues, do you have any questions for either department
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of human resources, professor gold or b.l.a.? professor melgar? >> supervisor melgar: thank you very much president walton. also, just thank you for your attention to this issue. which i think is really important for our city. thank you professor gould for the report. i found it really helpful. i do have a couple of questions. my first question is that in your -- i will start with the last recommendation, which talked about the several positions that we have created throughout the city to address racial equity. i wasn't really clear about what the specific recommendation was. how do you see the interaction between the new office of racial equity and the effort we're making and role of h.r. and
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specifically the e.e.o.? whether the recommendations that you're making to that? >> i haven't made recommendations regard to the office of racial equity they collected data, reports which were helpful to our team. we did not say this explicitly, hope that kind of work will continue. it's an important job. one which we do not have any
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proposals about in terms of reform. i may not captured all your question up. mentioned something about d.h.r.? >> supervisor melgar: i wanted more specifity on the recommendation. it sound like we haven't quite got there yet. thank you. my other question was about finding number 8. you write that departments are presently under no obligation to enforce the corrective action recommended by d.h.r. against responding employees. there's no transparent method of tracking whether departments adequately discipline to employees. you have several recommendations. which i appreciate. my question was, i guess more d.h.r. or perhaps the budget and legislative analyst.
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do we have the data? are there departments that generate more e.e.o. complaints than others? is that something that we track? is that something that we pay attention to? second to that question, is there a budget implication for that? if our e.e.o. department has been understaffed and underfunded, doesn't that make sense to charge the departments that are generate more complaints? do we track that data? >> through the president, supervisor melgar, we didn't look at complaints by department. we looked at -- we varied other organizations. we can't answer that question. >> supervisor melgar: thank you. >> president walton: is that something the department has
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tracked? >> yes. going back to director martinez's comments from earlier, the case management system that we use at present is antiquated. we have funding in this year's budget to replace it which we're excited about that work is under way. we can now track all our cases, which is how she was able to count what she has open. i can provide you report of case data by departments. when we have a new case management system up, i can provide lot more analysis and details. >> supervisor melgar: that would be helpful. i'm wondering if you have that, is there an approach that you would pursue if you see a department that routinely has more e.e.o. complaints than
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others, what is different in your approach to that department proactively in terms of training of staff? what's different about that? >> i can provide only my impressions at this point. i'm new at this and so is my team. we appreciate everybody's willingness to let us work towards meeting these goals. i will say that in the hundred some odd findings that i have signed and reviewed in the last six months, i have noticed some trends. everything from serious finding where we have issued positive findings to employee complaints about experience at work.
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that will be best resolved directly in the workplace through existing or expanding structures within those departmental h.r. units to provide the types of services and support that workers and their supervisors need to have a professional compassionate at high functioning workplace. there's a section in the report that talk about triage of cases. that's an important thing about what important step we want to be able to take where i can do an intake and quick assessment and determine which of the cases do require a full-blown
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independent investigation and which are really better referred to mediation services, training and other types of support that can be offered. >> supervisor melgar: thank you very much. i have one last question. i guess this will be to dr. gould. you have several findings around recruitment hiring and advancement. you make recommendations about recruiting from historically black college and universities. i'm wondering if you work with the d.h.r. to get that data pain if that was the case across all departments. is it lack of applicants? is it that once folks are there, there's not opportunity? >> the report we got from the
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departments was that they weren't satisfied with the number of black applicants coming from traditionally black colleges throughout the united states. they felt one of the reasons was -- a number of people felt -- one of the reason was the inability to recruit directly at those colleges in those universities because of prohibition upon travel. this what led me to make this recommendation. i inquired with the city attorney with regard to the legal status of the ability to obtain a waiver for this purpose and was told that a waiver would not be obtained about. that is why i provided that
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recommendation. >> supervisor melgar: thank you. >> president walton: some of us may have tuned into yesterday's rules committee because supervisor mandelman and i are concerned that we have states that do everything that is against our morals and values but there are things like historically black colleges and universities that exist in those states. we are trying to figure out what possibilities may exist for us to be able to address some of those needs and concerns while we understand the need to not spend money and provide resources to those areas. but at the same time, what are we doing that is causing a negative effect on what we want to see happen. supervisor haney? >> supervisor haney: thank you. thank you for your leadership and bringing this forward. mayor breed and thank you
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director eisen and your team and professor goulder for this report. professor gould was a professor of mine when i was in law school. he does extraordinary work. grateful that you're part of this. i think that the findings in this report are disturbing and devastating. our responsible as a city to --r responsibility as a city to provide a safe workplace that is free of discrimination, free of bullying and harassment. there are couple of things here. the part of the report that
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focused on acting assignments and exempt assignments. folks is brought in a managerial role within the workplace and go around civil service rules. often, folks feel that is connected to discrimination. people some cases black employees are skipped over. even though there are senior rights in place. the way that happens, through exempt assignments. [please stand by]
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>> supervisor haney: -- in a way that creates challenges around fairness and process in the workplace. i know -- >> is -- supervisor, i'm sorry to interrupt. just a couple of things about
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this. first, [indiscernible] is something that's existed for several years. i think the more significant recommendation that the professor -- professor gould has made in this area is exempt appointments and how they're made. because they're not covered by our merit system, the rules of the road are less regulated and this is an area of concern for me. he's called it out in the report, and we will be working on this, whether or not it makes sense to have some regulated standards that come from d.h.r. >> supervisor haney: great, thank you. i don't know if, professor gould, you wanted to add
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anything more there? >> well, i think the report speaks for itself. the major concern -- a major concern here was the lack of a clear policy, and in the absence of a lack of a clear use of panel selections, which were often perceived to be unfair, we don't have anything that supports this statistically, but this is a complaint that we hear from the many workers as we spoke to them in this process, commissioner. >> supervisor haney:
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definitely. it's used in a number of departments. i also had something to ask, and i know president walton has brought this up a number of times, as well, about this issue of the right structure to ensure independence. i think that our -- the folks who are doing the investigations and all of the staff that you have, director eisen, i have great respect for them. i know that they work very hard and do so with integrity. i think the question is what is the best structure when you have widespread -- the folks that are doing the investigations or the process itself may be one that is not independent from the perspective of the employee? i know that is something that
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came up in a number of areas, and there are some specific recommendations here to try to address that, but i wonder, professor gould, of not making a recommendation in terms of a more structural form in terms of who would be doing the investigations and handling the complaints? i know that was something we were exploring in terms of a more fundamental restructuring in terms of how these are handled? . >> well, the major reform that i advocated here stems from the kind of dual role that the investigators are required to undertake now that, on the one hand, they present themselves
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as independent parties, and once a determination is made, then that same person who proclaims independence turns around and, you know, pursues a more adversa adversarial role. in terms of structural reform, you'll have to help me a little bit about what you're thinking about. the question was who has jurisdiction over the subject
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matter? d.h.r. -- there's been many complaints of the d.h.r. of the past, but d.h.r., if these reforms are instituted, can be the most effective branch of government to implement this because just transferring it elsewhere, you're kind of reinventing the wheel. these are people -- and i spoke to them individually. these are people that know about the process, and the people that i spoke with were quite dedicated, and i felt committed to e.e.o. principles. i think they're operating under severe limitations and handicap, and we tried to address that in the report. >> supervisor haney: yeah, and just to be clear, i'm not questioning the integrity and the independence and the hard work of the investigators
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themselves, who i definitely very much respect. i'm wondering around some of the things that you raised here about the dual or more than dual roles that they're asked to play, and particularly if they're asked to do the investigation, and playing that role and defending the department and their position. i think for an employee, as you said, that creates some questions or concern around the independence. i wonder, director eisen, if i could address any of the reforms there to sort of address -- really, i'm looking at recommendation number 3, finding number 3, how we can restore trust in the investigation and neutrality of the process. it's not in any way casting negative light on the people that are doing the work. they do great work, but how do we address this perception that is very widespread? >> well, the two immediate
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findings that professor gould has made, the first that the investigator -- if the -- once the finding is made, and -- i'm very much interested in creating fire walls around the investigators and not having them become advocates. really, what they should be doing is doing neutral investigations, follow sound investigative practices, and arrive at their conclusions and present them to me for review and significant. so i think we need a separate team that deals with the appellate work, and this will
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happen fairly routinely if a complainant decides to pursue both an e.e.o. complaint within the city system and at the same time, pursue a complaint at the department of fair housing or the federal e.e.o. commission. our investigators will also advise from time to time in that process, and i want to remove them from that and have a separate group that does appellate work. i think that'll go a long way towards creating the fire wall around the investigation. the other thing i want to make sure is i know there's been no incursion that we -- within the city attorney's office, the labor employment team, our e.e.o. investigators are advised by specific designated
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deputy city attorneys and the appellate work is done separately, and i want to make sure we have clear agreements about that, that we keep those separate and distinct. but otherwise, you know, we're recruiting, we're in the process of hiring. these are difficult jobs to fill. the people out in the world are in great demand. we're probably going to be promoting some people internally. we've been there for a while and done our best to rebuild from the bottom up. we're also restructuring the way -- the process of complainting, relying in port on the controller's review but also on professor gould's report and our own assessment with greater efficiency, which is also -- i believe that the fact that these reviews and
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findings takes so long generates on its own the sense that we're really not committed to the work, so i think just simply becoming more efficient is going to help quite a bit. >> supervisor haney: definitely. thank you, director eisen, and you certainly have your work cut out for you, and thank you for stepping up to this. i think this report is detailed in terms of its findings and we are committed to ensure that dignity at the workplace and that it is free from discrimination here. the last thing i want to see is how do we see this through? from the hiring to the conditions in the workplace to -- for filing complaints to how they're dealt with, there's just a lot here, and i really
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do appreciate the additional staff and the changing in processes so that things can move quicker, but what is -- maybe from professor gould's standpoint, what is the best practices that you can see as to how we make sure we get all this done? >> well, i think the sine qua non, that is the first step, and i think that the city and the statement has been made that they'll be sitting down with the unions in the new year, really has to inform this process. employees -- the process has to be made transparent. the employees have to be in a
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position to make good judgments about what to do and have to have confidence in fairness. i think that's the basic step forward and the other step that i would like to see accomplished in this broad attempt to really upgrade and give all peoples in the employ of the city an opportunity to progress to fulfill their aspirations. >> supervisor haney: thank you. well, i'm sure there'll be further conversation around this, and president walton and others who are supporting the next steps, and thank you, director eisen, for your team and your commitment to resolving these many important issues. thank you. >> president walton: thank you, supervisor haney. supervisor chan? >> supervisor chan: thank you, president walton. i think this is more as a
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comment. i first thank professor gould for his independent report and analysis and recommendation. what i would love to see is, you know, for the next steps from director eisen and her team is to have a better understanding and really an outline of effort -- i mean, i do understand that it's a newly formed team, so what i would love to see is some kind of report for what effort have you put in education and outreach. i do think that there is the lack of transparent or understanding of what the e.e.o. process is for your everyday workers, and i think that's critical for some investment in education and outreach. what i would also love to see is once you really start going back to your backlog and figure out your caseload, as well as
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implementing this new system, that you could come back and tell us, you know, be more specific about the trends that you're seeing and timeline for the resolution and just what the results are; really, what are the actions and discipline action that h.r. has taken in the next few months, you know, and as a result of clearing out the caseload. so i really appreciate everybody's work. we have 36,000 city workers in city government. that's a lot of people, so i think this is really going to change the way the system works, and it's going to work better, and i think if we really committed to socioeconomic and racial justice in this city, we need to start with our city government, so thank you. >> president walton: thank you, supervisor chan, and i have a few questions, definitely.
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i want to thank supervisors melgar and haney because i did touch on a lot of the things that i was going to ask, and i 100% agree with supervisor haney in terms of the fact that this report is extremely disheartening. what we have seen happen to black employees and quite frankly employees of color isn't something that should be accepted or tolerated. so i know the report found a lot of things that have been reported to us, but we have to make some changes, and these changes that need to be made are changes that actually have to happen sooner rather than later, and i know d.h.r. is working on it, but there's some things that we're going to have to see happen pretty quickly. i do have a question for the -- for the b.l.a., and this question may actually also be for deputy city attorney
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pearson. but just for everybody's clarification and understanding, i know the recommendation or advice the b.l.a. gave is to possibly amend the admin code to give the h.r.c. a role in e.e.o. complaints. and my question is, does that require a charter amendment? >> deputy city attorney an pearson. as i think was pointed out in the report, the charter addresses these issues in a couple of different places. first, by giving the body procedural authority to investigate these types of discriminations, and it assigns to human resources the authority to make these findings. i do think that any of these recommendations would be to change the structure of that process that exists now, we would need to look at to see if
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it would conform to the charter, and if not, of course, we would need a charter amendment. >> president walton: okay. so i guess what we're seeing is we would have to really look at specifically what we're trying to do before we can say whether or not it would require legislation from this board of supervisors or an actual charter amendment. >> that's right. i think we would need to see the specific details of a proposal. that said, i think it's clear about those functions relying on the service the human resources. >> president walton: thank you. miss campbell? >> yes. severin campbell from the budget and legislative analyst office. i want to point out that our position was taking the information from the investigation processes and
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reporting to the board of supervisors and publicly, because right now, the only thing that's required to be publicly forwarded is sexual harassment to the e.e.o. >> president walton: thank you, severin, and your report definitely provided terms to think outside the box in terms of what we could do, and i thank you. director eisen, i do have a couple of questions for d.h.r. the first question has to do with regulations. would that regulation be across the board? right now, we know that e.e.o. and quite frankly d.h.r. is not centralized, but how would you
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be able to make sure these regulations went throughout the entire city? >> well, we'd have to look at it and look at the data. i can report to you the demographics and i can post on our website [indiscernible] so they do not have the same rights or processes for appointments in those positions.
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but if d.h.r. were to issue guidance and work closely with our departments, we would ultimately get widespread compliance with any guidance that we provide in this area. >> president walton: thank you. and just real quick for professor gould, i know we talked about the civil service commission and their role, in your honest opinion, do you think the civil service commission has enough authority within their role when it comes to -- to d.h.r.? >> i think the civil service commission has to explicitly adopt the kind of proposals that i've made, both for them and the arbitration machinery.
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my understanding is they do have this authority presently to appoint hearing officers, which would be presented with special officers who possess special expertise, and i think that the -- again, what has to be made explicit is the authority of the investigators to issue damage remedies where appropriate. i'm not sure, where this juncture, that's been explicitly addressed by the commission. i think that that has to be
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altered, as well, so i -- i think that something much more akin to fair employment practice standards that exist in the courts as well as the specialized administrative agencies has to be adopted by the commission as well as arbitrators. >> president walton: thank you, professor gould. and director eisen, who besides the e.e.o. office has the authority to monitor discrimination complaints and do any other departments monitor these complaints? >> no. the discrimination complaints come directly to either my office or to one of the delegated units, and they are handles and independently, and the complainant is protected
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from any backlash from the filing of the complaint it's limited to our specifically designated e.e.o. staff. >> president walton: and since you brought up retaliation, is there reports of retaliation? do you keep that data and information? >> if it's brought to our attention, a claim of retaliation would either expand an existing claim or generate a new one, because in and of itself, it could constitute a violation of our regulation or
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statute? >> president walton: if i reached out, you would be able to tell me how many retaliation reports are made, as well? >> i would be able to tell you how many retaliation reports were made over a period, and it could show a trend. it may be more challenging to tell you when an employee files a complaint, do they then also file a retaliation based on a complaint, but i can look in our records and do my best to provide you with that information. and our new case management system is going to be able to track and count a lot of these issues much more easily. >> president walton: and i do want to appreciate you for hiring a director to be over e.e.o. one thing i want not excited --
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i was not excited when director martinez talked about her report, and she talked about making findings and not making changes to the system with 19 findings, and i was disheartened by that. however, i also want to say that i do appreciate some of the other steps that have been taken. are all of your e.e.o. positions filled right now? >> no, but we are actively in the process of interviewing, making offers. we have interviewees from our units, people who miraculously want to come back and be a part of our campaign to rebuild the entire practice area in the city, and we hope to generate that type of momentum, especially with the statue of professor gould and the recommendations he's made, to
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rebuild our staff and to expand our capacity, and most importantly, to rationalize or process, provide that transparency to people who engage with it, and to get the departments much more deeply involved on the front end when the cases walk in the door about issues directly in the workplace that need immediate redress and not a year of investigation before a finding is made. >> president walton: you did discuss [indiscernible] for lack of a better term, but what
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is meant concretely by committed to working with them to change that? >> well, i would have to talk with those department heads, look at the resources that have been committed to that work, and essentially just bring them back under our authority and make sure that sufficient resources are able to do the work. the p.u.c. is in the process of seating a new department head at the beginning of next month, and i believe it's reasonable and fair that that department head at least have the courtesy of having that conversation before we cancel delegation
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agreements. that is a very significant change for them. i would have to speak with the department head and with their h.r. director to talk about the steps that we put in place, and then, that would involve the mayor's budget office being involved to make that organizational change. >> president walton: i'm going to ask one other question and i know we have a lot of work to do immediately, sooner rather than later, but if i asked you what would be the timelines to see improvement, increase in black people promoted within the department, and an increase of retaliation over black employees, how long would that take? >> i believe in the last slide
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that we looked at, we can make improvements in these metrics. how quickly can i change the climate in the city? it's going to be an alternate hands effort that involves d.h.r. encouraging and leading all of our city agencies, really embracing these issues as we see their commitment through our racial equity action plans and really engaging them in the issue of climate. we do have funding to conduct a climate survey this year, so we're going to be able to get a much more scientific assessment of the state of our afterri can american workforce. we have close to about 15% of
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our workforce is african american, and there are many african americans at all level of government that have not engaged with us in that way, and we very much want to know their experience and how we can improve on that on climate, on work, on opportunities, and all the metrics that we -- that we lay out in our presentation. >> president walton: thank you, director eisen. i do want to say that a big directorate of you reaching your timeline is in terms of climate change. that's a big piece of being able to accomplish some of what you're proposing and some of the things we may be proposing, as well. climate change is a big piece of that, and i know it's hard
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to put a timeline on that, but i do also believe that there are things that we can do in our role as the board of supervisors and of course your role in leadership to assist some of that climate change, and i look forward to working with you on that. and thank you, again, for being here this afternoon. i do know it's a lot of work to do to make improvements in the city, but that's why we are all here, to make those changes for the better, and for equity here in city and county government. so appreciate you, and madam clerk, i believe we are at the time for public comment on this item. >> yes, mr. press. the board will now hear public comment on this item, specifically to item 51, the
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equal independent opportunity report. the number is scrolling on your screen. it's 415-655-0001. enter the meeting i.d. it's 2498-328-1045. press pound twice, and you'll be in the meeting. to enter the queue, press star, three. when you hear, you have been unmuted, just begin your comments. with us are three interpreters from the office of immigrant
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affairs. welcome. [speaking tagalog language] >> interpreter: thank you. [end of translation]. [speaking cantonese language]
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>> interpreter: thank you. [end of translation]. [speaking spanish language] >> interpreter: thank you. [end of translation].
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>> clerk: thank you for being here with us today. there are 15 in listening and five in the queue. let's welcome our first caller. >> hello. >> clerk: we hear you, yes. >> okay. yes, hi. my name is brenda barrows, and i'm a long-term city employee, and i work with carol and a bunch of people on this issue. this is a major issue. i just have a few comments related to the report. i support everything that he's saying. i don't know how the department cannot be tracked. the employees, we all know
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who's the worst department, and i don't know how they cannot. the d.p.h., the public accountability on it, it's almost like asking the police to do oversight on themselves. we just don't know how that's going to work. the currently policies that they have, they have them on-line, but they don't follow them, so how do we know that there's going to be anymore accountability when there's no accountability on the things that are already in place? >> clerk: thank you for your comments. all right. operations, do we have another caller in the queue, please?
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>> supervisors. >> clerk: yes, sir, we can hear you. >> -- i've been listening attentively, and i think we should begin with the departments. we should begin with the departments and then find out if the recommendations have been done. you don't take work arbitrarily unless your department is working on evaluation. how many of your employees have been evaluated, how many of the
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managers have been evaluated? can you give me that answer? it's as simple as that. you have dysfunctional managers, and when you have dysfunctional managers, like when you have dysfunctional supervisors -- not all of them, but some -- you're going to have a whole host of problems. i hope i'm very clear in pointing out to you one key here. thank you very much. >> clerk: thank you very much. operations, let's hear from the next caller. >> my name is [indiscernible] and i'm president of local [indiscernible] 21. i've been a city employee for
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22 years. it seems like only yesterday, so i want to thanks professor gould for his report that shows the current state of the investigation process. [indiscernible] in independence and neutrality of the investigative process. city departments need to prioritize employees by implementing the recommendations of the gould report. specifically, the d.h.r. should make the complaint process timeline steps more transparent with limited steps for extensions and concluding investigations within 120 days or less. we should provide adequate staffing levels for all d.h.r. e.e.o. employees to handle complaints expeditiously. more important, d.h.s. and city
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employees must establish standards for managers with respect to training, mentoring, and releasing employees that are within training periods. [indiscernible] about the responsibility [indiscernible] of their employees. thank you. >> clerk: thank you for your comment, sir. we have ten individuals who are listening, and there are three callers in the queue. if you're one of the ten, and you'd like to provide testimony this afternoon, this is the opportunity you should press star, three now. otherwise, we're going to take these last three callers to the end. okay. operations, let's hear from our next caller, please. >> hello, supervisors. my name is jamie lee, and i've
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been with the department of [indiscernible] and department policies provided wide latitude to hiring managers and potentially allow for implicit bias. it's led to an inefficient and truly demoralizing process for candidates. d.h.r. needs toic at that these recommendations seriously.
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hiring managers should abide by the hiring recommendations of the panel, and there should be limits on how often hiring individuals can serving on hiring panels each year. thank you. >> clerk: thank you for your comments. all right, operations, let's hear from our next caller, please. >> good afternoon, board of supervisors. my name is cheryl thornton, and i'm a long-term employee for the san francisco health department, and i agree with the findings of professor gould. we talked about the e.e.o., but we haven't talked about the workplace investigations that go on that aren't race-based complaints. and often when these investigations go on, they don't check with the witnesses, there's no follow up, and i found that to be true also with the