Montana Department of Labor & Industry Goals and Objectives Biennium 2019
COMMISIONER’S OFFICE/CENTRALIZED SERVICES
Live, breath, walk, and talk the core values of the department.
- Make decisions based on what is best for internal and external customers within the legal parameters of laws and regulations.
- Invite customer participation to better understand their needs.
- Take individual responsibility for performance, attitude, professionalism, and communication.
- Work effectively and productively in teams and partnerships and taking responsibility for everyone’s role in developing and maintaining healthy relationships and business partners.
- Seek training, tools, and information needed to perform the job.
- Look for ways to improve customer satisfaction.
- Accept responsibility and accountability before acting.
- Create a culture of safety.
- Freely share knowledge and opportunities for development.
- Commit resources for staff development.
- Recognize individual strengths and valuing how they contribute to the whole.
- Look creatively at solutions to enhance staff performance at all levels.
Ethics in the Workplace
- Display and encouraging trust, mutual support, respect for others, and honesty.
- Does not engage in nor tolerate mean-spirited behavior.
- Continually questioning the "why" and "how" of performing specific job duties.
- Include all stakeholders that may be affected by any change or improvement being considered.
- Use data and a structured method to make logical and thoughtful decisions.
The Department’s core values are measured through an annual performance appraisal, which includes a midyear evaluation due no later than March 31st and a final evaluation due June 30th.
Commissioner’s Office of Human Resources
Strategically and systematically, plan for an increase in the number of retirements over the next biennium.
- Identify mission critical positions held by retirement eligible employees.
- Identify timelines for potential vacancies.
- Develop a plan to transfer knowledge before retirements in mission critical positions occur.
Work to ensure retention of existing employees through career and development opportunities.
- Identify career paths and transferable skills between various occupations throughout the department and make this information available to all employees.
- Systematically discuss career opportunities and aspirations with each individual employee and formulate individual career development plans.
- Provide targeted development to high performing and high potential employees where career opportunities exist within the department.
- Implement the Leadership Development program for potential future managerial employees.
Successfully facilitate the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements for the two bargaining units within the agency.
- Reach an agreement with MPEA bargaining unit by October 1, 2017.
- Reach agreement with the Hearings Officers and Mediators bargaining unit by October 1, 2017.
Commissioner’s Office of Administrative Hearings
Provide timely, impartial administrative hearings for Montana’s citizens and businesses.
- Maintain a current hearing docket for all cases appealed to the Office of Administrative Hearings. This typically requires completion of 1,200 Unemployment Insurance (UI) appeals and 200 other employment-related appeals annually.
- Conduct all UI hearings and issue decisions within 30 days of the date of appeal.
- Complete contested case hearings and issue decisions within six months of receipt of file, except when the parties to cases request more time in the hearing process.
- Issue 75% of contested case decisions within 60 days of submission and 100% within 90 days of submission.
- Maintain high quality hearing processes and well-written, legally correct decisions.
Centralized Services Division Fiscal Support Bureau
Provide timely and reliable financial information to department personnel to facilitate the best use of financial resources in achieving department goals.
- Prepare monthly budget status reports for divisions and quarterly status reports for the entire department.
- Conduct monthly and quarterly meetings with division and department staff to review financial information.
- Complete financial transactions when due.
WORKFORCE SERVICES DIVISION
Job Service Operations Bureau
Develop and maintain a highly skilled, employment-ready workforce that supports and enhances the economic health of state and local business communities.
- Engage with and understand Montana businesses immediate and future workforce needs.
- Educate and assist employers with getting a skilled talent pool to fill current vacancies, workforce planning, and understanding overall market trends.
- Engage and assist all types of workers, especially those with specific employment challenges.
- Educate and assist workers with finding employment, employment planning, and career development.
- Foster connections between employers, workers, community partners, and other state and local service providers.
Statewide Initiatives and Workforce Programs Bureau
Increase knowledge, understanding, and usage of Montana’s Registered Apprenticeship and other Work-Based Learning training programs.
- Provide recognized apprenticeship registration for Montana employers across all relevant and applicable occupations.
- Increase program apprentice registrations.
- Increase program apprentice completions.
- Increase new employer registrations.
- Increase new occupational registrations.
Prepare middle and high school students for meaningful career-oriented jobs through the Jobs for Montana's Graduates program.
- Achieve a senior graduation rate of 90%.
- Achieve a senior positive outcome rate of 80%.
- Achieve a senior full-time placement rate (job post-secondary) of 80%.
- Achieve a non-senior return to school rate of 70%.
Research and Analysis Bureau
Maintain high quality labor market and career information.
- Meet and exceed Bureau of Labor Statistics deliverables 100% of the time.
- Increase relevance of and access to labor market information for all customers, including continuous improvement of the website: ourfactsyourfuture.org.
- Increase relevance of and access to career resources and information for all customers, including continued no-cost access to the Montana Career Information System.
Division Management Services Bureau
Provide fiscal management and oversight, policy analysis and development, reports monitoring and evaluation, and administrative support to bureaus.
- Ensure and maintain a fiscally responsible budget.
- Ensure and maintain current and accurate program policy guidance and operational information.
- Ensure timely and accurate federal and state programmatic reporting.
- Provide administrative support to assist the division in operating in an efficient and effective manner.
State Workforce Innovation Board (SWIB)
Support and promote workforce development by engaging with targeted industries to understand and address current and emerging skilled worker needs.
- Support Main Street Montana industry sector strategy in development of in-demand and targeted industries in Montana.
- Continue support of One Stop System development and continuous improvement.
- Support modernization and improvement of the Labor Market Information system.
Encourage alignment among workforce development, post-secondary education, and economic development partners.
- Encourage and support cooperation between workforce and economic development programs and post-secondary education in pursuit of jointly operated projects.
- Support post-secondary education initiatives that enhance the ability of workers and employers to obtain timely and appropriate training.
- Foster and support coalitions that add value to the workforce system.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE DIVISION
Strengthen partnership with the Workforce Services Division (WSD), its core partners, and aligned programs.
- Support wide array of return-to-employment programs for job seekers receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.
- Continue support and cross training of WSD staff to assist UI claimants in finding new employment and identifying UI eligibility issues arising during process.
- Implement single portal capabilities for UI claim filing and Job Service registration.
- Implement correspondence modules that provides common and consistent electronic views for job seekers, including those receiving UI benefits, and program staff in UI and WSD.
- Integrate and analyze data across programs to evaluate service efficiency and outcomes beyond federal reporting requirements.
Meet or exceed program performance standards.
- Maintain or regain United States Department of Labor (USDOL) core measures and secretary standards for benefit timeliness, quality, and payment controls.
- Attain an acceptable level of tax performance of timeliness, quality, and completeness based on USDOL Tax Performance System Standards.
- Meet and maintain data validation standards for benefits and tax federal reporting.
Enhance customer and partner communications and program accessibility.
- Refine newly implemented enterprise content management system to further streamline image capture, retention and workflow and maximize personal service capacity.
- Implement configurable, enterprise solution to create, consolidate, and update correspondence templates, focusing on plain writing and standardized formats.
- Customer-centric update of soft and hard copy publications to eliminate jargon and improve understanding.
- Expand capability to electronically communicate with employers and third party administrators and improve data exchange with state workforce agencies in other jurisdictions through the USDOL- supported State Information Data Exchange System and modernization of the Interstate Connection (I-CON) System.
Prevent and detect fraud and improper benefit payments and improve debt recovery.
- Implement risk and knowledge-based identity confirmation solutions to deter identity theft, reduce improper payments, and prioritize collection efforts.
- Collaborate with other state agencies, jurisdictions, and federal partners to share criminal enterprise and suspicious activity information.
- Create and maintain cross-functional integrity task force to take ownership, update and monitor integrity strategies in the State Quality Service Plan.
EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS DIVISION
Human Rights Bureau
Conduct timely impartial investigations of charges of illegal discrimination under state and federal law.
Complete case investigations within 120 days for housing charges and 180 days for all other charges in accordance with state statutory time lines.
Ensure appropriate filing within statutory time lines and jurisdiction of applicable state and federal discrimination statutes.
Trained staff will screen complaint inquiries and, when appropriate, prepare written complaints within two weeks of all intake interviews.
Foster early resolution of charges.
- Provide voluntary resolution services during the 180 day investigation period, when requested by parties to a case.
- Successfully resolve 25% of complaints filed with the Bureau.
Provide technical assistance and educational outreach to businesses, advocacy groups, and interested citizens.
- Provide workforce safety education and certification through SafetyFest MT seminars.
- Participate in a minimum of ten other workshops and conferences on disability issues, race relations, education, public accommodations, and discrimination issues in the workplace.
- Respond to business rights inquiries from the public within two business days.
Labor Standards Bureau
Issue initial determinations on Wage and Hour complaints in a timely and efficient manner.
Maintain at least a 75% completion and strive for a 76% completion within 55 days of receipt.
Conduct timely dispute resolution and settlement of Wage and Hour complaints.
- Maintain the level of 4% or less of cases forwarded to formal hearings processes.
- Resolve at least 70% of the contested employment law cases through mediation prior to hearing.
Foster alternative dispute resolution methodologies.
Actively participate in Interest Based Bargaining contract mediation and grievance mediation as requested.
Conduct on-site visits on public construction and non-construction projects subject to the Montana Public Works Contract Law.
- Perform on-site visits of at least 40 different public works projects.
- Review payroll records of at least 85 contractors.
Safety and Health Bureau
Assist employers in complying with workplace safety and health standards.
- Assist 175 public sector employers with safety and health.
- Conduct 200 safety compliance visits with state agencies, cities, and counties.
- Conduct inspections on Montana's six coal mines.
- Conduct annual sand and gravel inspection.
- Utilize the OSHA Consultation Program to reach out and provide safety and health services to 175 private sector employers around the state.
Provide educational outreach and technical assistance to Montana employers, workers, students, and interested organizations.
- Provide business outreach presentations throughout the state.
- Participate as an exhibitor promoting Safety & Health Bureau and SafetyFestMT four times per year.
- Provide OSHA 10-Hour Courses targeted to young workers 40 times per year.
- Provide SafetyFestMT seminars in partnership with WorkSafeMT, four times per year to 1,400 workers.
- Develop needed safety educational materials.
Provide mine training courses for Montana employers.
Schedule 20 training sessions on Part 48 the state to conduct new miner training/refresher training.
Claims Assistance Bureau
Provide timely monitoring and regulatory services for the workers’ compensation industry and claimants.
Process 100% of orders within 14 days of receipt. This typically requires issuance of determinations on 2,000 orders annually.
Provide timely Stay at Work/Return to Work assistance for injured workers, employers, and healthcare providers.
- Mail a postcard to 100% of injured workers who file a report of injury to notify them of the assistance program.
- Refer 100% of requests for assistance to the insurer or vocational rehabilitation provider within three days of receipt.
- Raise awareness of the assistance program through education and outreach to employers.
Provide timely, impartial, and equitable dispute resolution of benefit issues between claimants and insurers.
- Maintain at least a 75% resolution rate for all workers’ compensation mediation petitions filed. This typically requires conducting mediation conferences and issuing recommendations on 1,300 disputes annually.
- Complete the mediation process on 100% of cases within 90 days of receipt of a petition for mediation. The timeframes may be extended by request and agreement of the parties.
Enhance the electronic collection, quality, production, and sharing of workers’ compensation information and data.
- Complete the annual report by July of each year.
- Prepare at least one special study to be made available to the workers’ compensation community each fiscal year.
Develop reviews of Utilization and Treatment Guidelines and Medical Fee schedules including internet based information and technical assistance for the medical community, insurers, adjusters, employers, workers, and the public.
- Review and update of workers’ compensation medical fee schedules on an annual basis including ongoing support and communication.
- Review and update of Utilization and Treatment Guidelines on an annual basis including ongoing support and communication.
Respond to independent medical reviews (IMR), subsequent injury (SIF) reimbursements and petitions to reopen medical benefits closed by the 60-month closure in a timely manner.
- Completion of the IMR requests within the statutory guidelines.
- Complete SIF reimbursement requests in a timely manner.
- Complete medical reviews and issue medical benefits reopening determination within the statutory guidelines.
Provide technical assistance, public service announcements, and educational outreach to the public about the Workers’ Compensation Act.
- Correctly answer public inquiries. Public presentations are accurate and knowledgeable of the laws.
- Develop educational outreach for the Utilization and Treatment Guidelines, Fee Schedules, and IMRs.
- Participate in a minimum of ten workshops and conferences annually to provide information about the programs administered by the bureau.
Workers’ Compensation Regulation Bureau
Provide technical assistance, public service announcements, and educational outreach to the public about Title 39, Chapters, 8, 9, 71, and 73, MCA.
- Correctly answer public inquiries in an accurate, professional, and timely manner. Public presentations are accurate and knowledgeable of the laws.
- Use resources and knowledge to educate employers and the public about workers’ compensation requirements in Montana.
- Visit construction sites to verify compliance with the workers’ compensation coverage and construction contractor registration.
- Participate in home shows and fairs across the state.
- Use 15% of Contractor Registration revenue to fund educational outreach.
Respond to applications and renewal requests in a timely manner.
- Conduct timely compliance investigations for all new applications and renewals for Independent Contractor Exemption Certificates, Contractor Registrations, Self-Insurance, Professional Employer Organizations, Subsequent Injury Fund, Extraterritorial (E.T.) Certificates, and Managed Care Organizations.
- Complete contractor registrations within seven days of receipt.
- Complete independent contractor exemption certificates within ten days of receipt.
Identify uninsured employers and act to bring them into compliance with worker’s compensation coverage.
- Conduct at least 450 investigations of potential uninsured employers per year.
- Increase the number of penalty case settlements before turning cases over to collections.
Adjust claims received from injured workers of uninsured employers in a timely manner and pay appropriate workers’ compensation benefits.
Respond to all requests, make determinations, and pay benefits within the timeframes in the workers’ compensation act.
Negotiate with states Montana currently has E.T. agreements with, new updated agreements.
To bring outdated E.T. agreements current with states that Montana has reciprocity agreements in place with.
BUSINESS STANDARDS DIVISION
Board Management & Professional Licensing Bureaus Goal #1:
Provide efficient and effective administrative and professional services to assist citizen boards in their duty to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
- Assist boards and programs in establishing appropriate and reasonable requirements and qualifications for licensure and renewal based on industry standards.
- Ensure complaints from the public and other jurisdictions regarding practice issues and misconduct are processed.
- Enforce board standards and sanctions to promote safe and competent practice.
- Ensure continued competency of licensees through maintenance of certifications and continuing education requirements and audits.
Provide friendly, prompt, efficient, and effective services to our customers.
- Provide accurate and timely information regarding qualifications and requirements to the public, licensees, business owners and industry leaders and partners.
- Provide continuous communication to customers regarding program information and updates via our website and online services.
License and renew individuals and businesses through proficient, effective, and reliable processes.
- Review and approve individual and business application requirements and qualifications for licensure and renewal equitably.
- Solicit opportunity for the public, licensees, industry leaders, and partners to provide feedback for improvement regarding standards and processes.
- Promote online application and renewal processes to achieve efficiencies and enhanced delivery of services.
Weights and Measures Bureau
Assure equity in commercial transactions.
- On an annual basis test, inspect, and certify 80% of all scales, retail and wholesale meters, and liquefied petroleum gas dispensers used commercially in Montana.
- Investigate meter and scale complaints from the public.
- Obtain National Institute of Standards and Technology recognition for the State Metrology Laboratory and ensure all standards used by registered service providers have up to date certificates of calibration.
Building Codes Bureau
Protect the health and safety of the public, employees and building owners and residents by administering building construction standards throughout the state where applicable.
- Adopt through consensus process sensible uniform standards for construction, installation and materials consistent with accepted standards of design, energy efficiency, accessibility, and uniformity for enforcement.
- Allow for the use of modern technical methods, devices, and improvements to reduce the cost of construction consistent with reasonable requirements for the health and safety of the occupants or users of buildings.
- Provide predictability, fairness, and efficiency to businesses and citizens by removing outdated, restraining, contradictory, and unnecessary building regulations that tend to needlessly increase construction costs or create barriers for business.
Provide prompt, efficient and effective service to business owners, citizens, design professional, building contractors, and trade persons through effective and responsive transactional methods.
- Review, process, and approve a variety of permits and construction-related licensing applications in a fast, efficient, and effective manner such that businesses can hire qualified persons and get and keep projects moving.
- Meet the ongoing needs of businesses by maintaining an effective online citizen access portal for instant permit-issuance of a variety of permit types. Continue to provide business-requested services such as jobsite-issued permits, off-hours capability, and real-time inspection results delivered directly to smart phones of contractors.
- Provide Montana businesses that operate in or around the building environment access to permit and construction activity data to supplement and support their own business forecasting and practices.
- Seek to continuously improve to realize additional efficiencies and effectiveness to respond to the needs of Montana’s businesses and citizens.
TECHNOLOGY SERVICES DIVISION
The department has a centralized organizational structure for Information Technology (IT) that focuses on improving efficiencies and service, while reducing duplicative costs and improving coordination across the entire department and the state enterprise. Standardize or integrate IT applications, resources, and enterprise solutions.
- Reduce duplication.
- Create better integration and streamline applications and software that fit the agency’s business need.
Develop and train IT staff within a unified organizational structure.
Mentoring, collaboration, and cross training.
Provide IT focused career pathways.
To enhance professional development and mentoring of IT staff.
Provide IT solutions.
- Leverage current technology and security best practices.
- Continue to develop IT Security Program.
GOVERNORS’ OFFICE OF COMMUNITY SERVICE
THE MONTANA COMMISSION ON COMMUNITY SERVICE
The Governor's Office of Community Service:
- Encourages citizens of all ages and backgrounds to engage in National Service and community volunteerism.
- Encourages organizations to involve youths in the life and work of communities.
- Works to promote and expand volunteer opportunities for all Montanans.
Conduct statewide outreach to increase volunteerism and encourage Montanans to be civically involved.
- Encourage and promote community volunteerism.
- Encourage Montanans to be civically engaged in their communities.
- Connect Montanans with opportunities to serve.
Expand and support national service.
- Provide technical assistance and training to AmeriCorps State programs.
- Expand National Service programs statewide.
- Encourage cross-stream service collaboration and networking.
Increase sustainability of national service and volunteerism.
- Engage current and new philanthropic partners.
- Diversify financial support.
- Advance and expand initiatives that contribute to sustainability of National Service efforts in Montana, and the country.
Develop and strengthen relationships with community partners.
- Develop and strengthen relationships with American Indian communities and Tribal leaders.
- Develop and strengthen partnerships with other organizations.
- Strategize and plan cross-stream service partnerships.
Increase statewide Commissioner engagement.
- Engage Commissioners in National Service activities.
- Engage Commissioners in OCS activities.
- Expand Commissioner engagement in public outreach and education of elected officials.
Increase opportunities for youth to serve.
- Encourage a lifelong commitment to service among young adults.
- Recognize volunteer efforts of students.
Recognize meaningful volunteers in communities throughout Montana.
- Recognize volunteers and community improvement efforts statewide.
- Highlight volunteerism impact to the public.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COURT
Improve and Revise the Court’s Rules.
Continue to annually review the Workers’ Compensation Court Rules to ensure they remain clear and easy to decipher for unrepresented parties as well as the practicing bar.
Continue flexible policy of trying cases when and where the parties wish.
The Court will continue to be flexible when scheduling trials. The Workers’ Compensation Court has statewide jurisdiction and holds regular trial terms in five Montana cities: Billings, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Weeklong trial terms are held in each city four times a year. In the past, the Court has also held trials in Butte, Red Lodge, Big Fork, Miles City, Malta, Columbus, Bozeman, Sidney, and Plains.
Maintain the average time between submission and decision to within 90 days.
- Issue timely rulings.
- The Court utilizes law clerks who conduct legal research and assist with drafting and finalizing decisions and substantive interim orders. The Court maintains an in-house submitted list, which prioritizes cases by date of trial or submission of motions and is reviewed weekly by the law clerks and Judge.
- The Court encourages parties practicing before the Court to have all motions fully briefed and depositions filed on their due date so that the matter can be finally submitted after the trial. The Court has implemented procedures, which facilitate rulings on motions to assist matters proceeding to trial in a timely manner. The Clerk of Court and Deputy Clerk I also act as pretrial hearing examiners. The pretrial hearing examiners facilitate the pretrial process to ensure the matter will be submitted after the trial.
- The Court endeavors to issue bench rulings whenever possible, thus expediting decisions. To facilitate this goal, the Court keeps a court reporter on staff who reports each proceeding. This facilitates the issuance of bench rulings which could not otherwise be issued immediately upon the conclusion of a trial or oral argument.
Continue to post final, published decisions on the Court’s website and provide efficient search tools and a topics index for research purposes.
The Court will continue to post its published decisions and any substantive orders on its website. The law clerks compose topics in each published decision for research purposes. The topics are then input into the topics indexes and uploaded onto the Court's website. The Court endeavors to refine its search engine by partnering with information technology personnel and encourages attorneys practicing before the Court to utilize the topics index and search engines in conducting legal research.
Continue to maintain the Workers’ Compensation Court website.
The Court will continue to maintain its extensive website. The website contains helpful information for parties practicing before the Court. The court clerks are proficient in uploading information on the website to ensure current data and information for its users. Court decisions are published on the website dating back from 1993 to the present. Additionally, a topics index is available which is useful for legal research. Links to Montana Supreme Court decisions and other state agencies are also provided on the website. Court personnel are readily accessible through e-mail address links located on the website. The website contains the Court’s calendar, which is continually updated. The website also contains the Court rules, legal forms, general information, and helpful hints.
Continue to support easy accessibility by pro sé (unrepresented) parties.
The Workers’ Compensation system is intended to be primarily self-administering. In furtherance of this goal, the Court is designed to make navigating through the system as easy as possible for pro sé (unrepresented) parties. One of the ways this goal is accomplished is by keeping the Court’s extensive website updated. Additionally, the Court provides helpful assistance with any procedural question a pro sé party may have. Along with the Court’s rules, the website contains forms and an informational brochure specifically geared toward pro sé parties. Hard copies of these materials are also available upon request.
Continue to maintain wireless internet access.
The Court purchased and will continue to maintain wireless internet service to enable parties access to the internet on their personal laptop computers for legal research during trials, oral arguments, and conferences.
Continue to allow electronic filing of pleadings.
The Court will continue to allow for the electronic filing of documents to assist parties in timely filing their documents.
Continue the Court’s relationship with the Alexander Blewett III School of Law.
To continue its historical relationship with the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana, the Court will be engaging student interns. The interns will observe Court proceedings and draft Court orders and decisions.