Dona Ana County releases report on hostile work environment investigation

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POSTED: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 4:55pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 9:05pm

The Dona Ana Board of County Commissioners voted in favor of releasing a report where various employees and managers were interviewed on the work conditions countywide.

The independent investigation of possible retaliation against employees who report discrimination came two days after a civil trial cost the county $250,000.

"We're calling for a broad strategy to deal with some issues that were raised during the interviews," said Chair Billy Garrett.

The report by Universal Investigation Services detailed the responses of 32 people from various departments throughout the county.

23 of those interviewed are department directors, five are elected officials, six are current employees and also two former employees.

The 32 people were asked various questions related to the work environment.

They were asked if they felt the system in place to make a complaint was effective.

The report showed 17 of the 32 said they felt the system worked.

Some in disagreement felt the system is not set up to resolve complaints against upper level management.

"It helped us get some numbers around some of those feelings," Garrett said.

Garrett added the board has asked departments to come up with solutions to improve the system.

"I think that there will be some good ideas given our fairly long list of things that we think need to be tackled," Garrett said.

Of the 32 employees interviewed only 50 percent said morale is good and some employees went as far as saying morale is at an all-time low.

"We've got room for improvement and we'll focus on the things we need to work on and we'll do that," Garrett said.

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