TITLE 29

State Government

Departments of Government

CHAPTER 90D. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES


A Department of Human Resources, referred to in this chapter as "Department," is hereby established.

81 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1.;

(a) There shall be a Secretary of the Department of Human Resources, hereinafter referred to in this chapter as "Secretary," to be appointed by and to serve at the pleasure of the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Secretary shall be paid a salary established by the Governor within the limitation of the funds appropriated therefor.

(b) The Secretary may employ such employees as may be required to carry out the duties of this office and may fix the salaries of such employees within the limitations of the funds appropriated therefor.

(c) In the event of a vacancy in the position of Secretary, including the death, resignation, temporary incapacity or removal of the incumbent, and prior to the appointment of a successor, the Governor may appoint any qualified individual to serve as acting Secretary.

(d) The Secretary may call upon any other state officer for such assistance as the Secretary may require and may employ such special help as it may require to carry out this chapter. The Secretary shall fix the compensation of such persons as may be employed to be paid out of such funds as the General Assembly may appropriate for that purpose.

81 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1.;

The Secretary of the Department of Human Resources shall have the following powers, duties and functions:

(a) To supervise, direct and account for the administration and operation of the Department, its divisions, subdivisions, offices, functions and employees.

(b) To supervise and direct all human resources and benefits employees in executive branch agencies subject to terms and conditions of negotiated service level agreements with executive branch agencies.

(c) To appoint and fix the salary, with the written approval of the Governor, of the following administrators, who may be removed from office by the Secretary with the written approval of the Governor and who shall have such powers, duties and functions in the administration and operation of the Department as may be assigned by the Secretary and shall be qualified by training and experience to perform the duties of the office:

(1) A Deputy Secretary position in the Department.

(2) A Director of Personnel Management.

(3) A Chief Diversity Officer.

(4) A Director of Labor Relations and Employment Practices.

(5) A Director of Statewide Benefits.

(6) The Director of the Office of Women's Advancement and Advocacy.

(d) To appoint such additional personnel as may be necessary for the administration and operation of the Department within such limitations as may be imposed by law.

(e) To establish, consolidate or abolish such divisions, subdivisions and offices within the Department or transfer or combine the powers, duties and functions of the divisions and other groups within the Department, with the written approval of the Governor, as may be necessary, provided that all powers, duties and functions required by law shall be provided for and maintained.

(f) To make and enter into any and all contracts, agreements or stipulations, to retain, employ and contract for the services of private and public consultants, research and technical personnel and to procure by contract, consulting, research, technical and other services and facilities, whenever they shall be deemed by the Secretary necessary or desirable in the performance of the functions of the Department and whenever funds shall be available for such purpose, with the specific requirement that all necessary legal services be provided pursuant to Chapter 25 of this title.

(g) To approve and sign all collective bargaining agreements on behalf of the State.

(h) To delegate any of the Secretary's powers, duties or functions to an individual in subsection (c) of this section, except the power to remove employees of the Department or to fix their compensation.

(i) To establish and to promulgate such rules and regulations governing the administration and operation of the Department as may be deemed necessary by the Secretary and which are not inconsistent with the laws of this State.

(j) To maintain such facilities throughout the State as may be required for the effective and efficient operation of the Department.

(k) To adopt an official seal or seals for the Department;

(l ) To accept and to receive, in furtherance of the Department's function, funds, grants and services from the federal government or its agencies.

(m) To assume such other powers, duties and functions as the Governor may assign that are not otherwise inconsistent with the laws of this State.

(n) To prepare, in cooperation with the division directors, a proposed budget for the operation of the Department, to be submitted for the consideration of the Governor and the General Assembly. The Department shall be operated within the limitation of the annual appropriation and any other funds appropriated by the General Assembly, with the provision that special funds may be used in accordance with approved programs, grants and appropriations.

81 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1.;

The following positions set forth in this section shall be exempt from Chapter 59 of this title:

(1) Secretary of the Department of Human Resources.

(2) Deputy Secretary.

(3) Director of Personnel Management.

(4) Chief Diversity Officer.

(5) Director of Labor Relations and Employment Practices.

(6) Director of Statewide Benefits.

(7) Director of the Office of Women's Advancement and Advocacy.

81 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1.;

(a) The Division of Personnel Management of the Department of Human Resources is hereby established, having the powers, duties and functions as follows. Consistent with the right of public employees to organize under Chapter 13 of Title 19, the Director of Personnel Management shall have the following responsibilities:

(1) Attend all meetings of the Merit Employee Relations Board, act as liaison between the Board and the Department of Human Resources, and cooperate with the staff of the Board in administrative and technical activities;

(2) Establish and maintain a roster of all employees in the classified service as defined in § 5903 of this title, setting forth pertinent data as to each employee, including the class, title of the position held, salary or pay, and any change in class title, pay or status;

(3) Designate an employee to act as the staff development officer for the Department of Human Resources, funded through appropriated special funds, who will support statewide training programs for state managers, supervisors and employees. Statewide training programs will be supported with funds generated from the assessment of charges for courses on agencies participating in certain classes held by the Department of Human Resources. The Department of Human Resources may set charges for courses to sustain or create training programs with the funds placed in an appropriated special fund account;

(4) Encourage the development of more effective personnel administration within the departments and agencies in the state service and make available for this purpose the assistance and facilities of the Merit Employee Relations Board;

(5) Investigate from time to time the operation and effect of Chapter 59 of this title, and of the rules made thereunder and to report findings and recommendations to the Merit Employee Relations Board; and

(6) Perform any other lawful acts necessary or desirable to carry out the provisions of Chapter 59 of this title and the rules adopted thereunder.

(b) The Director of Personnel Management shall assume such other powers, duties and functions as the Secretary of the Department of Human Resources may assign that are not otherwise inconsistent with the laws of this State.

81 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1.;

(a) The Division of Diversity and Inclusion of the Department of Human Resources is hereby established having powers, duties and functions as follows:

(1) The Division shall assume all responsibilities and oversight previously assigned to the Governor's Council on Equal Employment Opportunity.

(2) The Chief Diversity Officer shall have the following responsibilities:

a. Guide efforts to define, assess, and cultivate access, equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout state government.

b. Provide analysis of various forms of institutional data to benchmark and promote accountability for the diversity mission of state agencies.

c. Promote and provide education to foster an awareness and understanding of the various laws, regulations, and policies regarding nondiscrimination.

d. Collaborate with state agencies to identify policies and practices supporting the recruitment and retention of employees from historically underrepresented groups.

e. Develop diversity metrics and processes to assess diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

(b) The Chief Diversity Officer shall assume such other powers, duties and functions as the Secretary of the Department of Human Resources may assign that are not otherwise inconsistent with the laws of this State.

81 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1.;

(a) The Division of Labor Relations and Employment Practices of the Department of Human Resources is hereby established having powers, duties and functions as follows. The Director of the Division of Labor Relations and Employment Practices shall have the following responsibilities:

(1) To establish management practices that address workplace fairness and stability in accordance with Merit law and Merit Rules.

(2) To assume the central leadership role for the Executive Branch over all matters relating to collective bargaining, and any other personnel and labor relations matters affecting the Executive Branch and its departments and agencies, including negotiations with employee organizations, labor arbitration, Public Employment Relations Board, Department of Labor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other administrative proceedings.

(3) To assume responsibility for any other agreement or arrangements made involving employee organizations that represent employees subject to executive branch authority.

(b) The Director of Labor Relations and Employment Practices shall assume such other powers, duties and functions as the Secretary of the Department of Human Resources may assign that are not otherwise inconsistent with the laws of this State.

81 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1.;

(a) The Division of Statewide Benefits of the Department of Human Resources is hereby established having powers, duties and functions as follows. With the exception of deferred compensation pursuant to Chapter 60A of this title and any other investment or retirement savings plan, the Director of Statewide Benefits shall be responsible for the management and administration of all currently existing and future state employee benefits programs, including but not limited to group health, group life, flexible benefits, dental, vision, prescription, long-term care, disability, supplemental benefits and the Blood Bank.

(b) The Director of Statewide Benefits shall assume such other powers, duties and functions as the Secretary of the Department of Human Resources may assign that are not otherwise inconsistent with the laws of this State.

81 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1.;

(a) The Office of Women's Advancement and Advocacy is hereby established as a unit of the Department of Human Resources with the purpose of promoting the equality and equity of women in all areas of society. For administrative and budgetary purposes only, the Director of the Office of Women's Advancement and Advocacy shall report to the Secretary of Human Resources.

(b) The Office of Women's Advancement and Advocacy shall advise the Secretary of the Department of Human Resources, the Governor and the General Assembly and shall:

(1) Foster and facilitate collaborations between the state agencies, the General Assembly, the Judiciary, individuals, organizations, businesses and institutions towards the elimination of gender-based bias and discriminatory policies and practices.

(2) Serve as a clearinghouse for providing information on the status of women to the public, state agencies, the General Assembly, the Judiciary, organizations, businesses, and institutions, and when necessary, to refer complaints and inquiries to the appropriate state departments or agencies or community organizations when necessary.

(3) Study, review and report on the status of women in the State. To accomplish this task, the Office of Women's Advancement and Advocacy may conduct research projects and focus groups, and hold public hearings, forums and discussion groups as it deems necessary.

(4) Compile and analyze statistics and information and issue reports on issues affecting women in this State.

(5) Advise executive and legislative bodies on the effect of proposed legislation on women. This includes making recommendations on proposed legislation by providing reports, statistics and testimony.

(6) Provide suggestions and recommendations regarding the implementation of any previously enacted gender-based legislation or policy initiatives.

(7) Make specific legislative proposals relating to the removal of discriminatory laws and practices in the State and the advancement of women in the State; transmit such legislation, with any report or information thereon to the Governor, the Secretary of the Department of Human Resources and the General Assembly; and work toward the passage of such legislation.

(8) Contract for the production, distribution and marketing of educational and informative media materials, consistent with the purpose of the Office, such terms and conditions as deemed appropriate by the Department of Human Resources with all revenues from said contracts being deposited in an appropriate special fund for the purpose of reproducing, marketing and distributing copies of video and printed materials.

(9) Serve as a liaison between government and private interest groups concerned with issues affecting women;

(10) Perform such other functions and duties as imposed upon it by law or as are assigned to it by the Governor, the Secretary of the Department of Human Resources or the General Assembly.

(11) At the beginning of every General Assembly, submit a report to the Governor, Secretary of the Department of Human Resources and the General Assembly of the Office of Women's Advancement and Advocacy's activities and recommendations. Such activities shall include reports of the Commission for Women, Delaware Women's Hall of Fame Committee and the Delaware Women's Workforce Council.

(c) The Office of Women's Advancement and Advocacy may collaborate with the Division of Diversity and Inclusion or any other state agency for assistance, information or data that may be necessary to fulfill its responsibilities in subsection (b).

(d) The Commission for Women.

(1) The Commission for Women shall advise the Office of Women's Advancement and Advocacy on strategic planning, project development and programming.

(2) The Commission for Women shall meet at least quarterly.

(3) The Commission for Women shall consist of 9 members who shall be appointed as follows:

a. Two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and shall serve at the pleasure of the Speaker.

b. Two members appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and shall serve at the pleasure of the President Pro Tempore.

c. Five members appointed by the Governor representing all 3 counties and the City of Wilmington. Of the Governor's appointees, no more than 3 members shall be members of any 1 political party.

(4) Members of the Commission for Women appointed by the Governor shall serve for a term of 3 years. All members are eligible for reappointment. If any member fails to attend 4 successive meetings of the Commission for Women, that member's position may be deemed vacant and the appointing authority shall appoint a replacement.

(5) The Chairperson of the Commission for Women shall be appointed by the Governor from among the 9 members, and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The Commission for Women may elect such officers as it deems necessary.

(6) Members of the Commission for Women shall serve without compensation, except that they may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incident to their duties as members of the Commission for Women in accordance with state law.

(7) The Commission for Women shall adopt such bylaws as it deems necessary.

(8) The Commission for Women has the authority to create subcommittees and councils as it deems necessary.

(9) The Commission for Women shall hold its first meeting within 120 days of the enactment of this legislation.

(e) The Office of Women's Advancement and Advocacy shall oversee the Delaware Women's Workforce Council and the Delaware Women's Hall of Fame Committee.

(f) Delaware Women's Hall of Fame Committee.

This committee shall be responsible for fostering an understanding of and an appreciation for the many contributions of the women of Delaware to their home, community, State and nation and annually recognize and acknowledge the achievements of remarkable Delaware women through the Delaware Women's Hall of Fame.

(1) The Delaware Women's Hall of Fame Committee shall be comprised of 7 members who shall be appointed as follows:

a. One member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and shall serve at the pleasure of the Speaker.

b. One member appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and shall serve at the pleasure of the President Pro Tempore.

c. Five members appointed by the Governor representing all 3 counties and the City of Wilmington. Of the Governor's appointees, no more than 3 members shall be members of any 1 political party.

(2) The Chairperson of the Delaware Women's Hall of Fame Committee shall be appointed by the Governor from among the 7 members, and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The Delaware Women's Hall of Fame Committee may elect such officers as it deems necessary.

(3) Members of the Delaware Women's Hall of Fame Committee appointed by the Governor shall serve for a term of 3 years. All members are eligible for reappointment. If any member fails to attend 4 successive meetings of the Delaware Women's Hall of Fame Committee, that member's position may be deemed vacant and the appointing authority shall appoint a replacement.

(4) Members of the Delaware Women's Hall of Fame Committee shall serve without compensation, except that they may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incident to their duties as members of the Delaware Women's Hall of Fame in accordance with state law.

(5) Members of the Delaware Women's Hall of Fame Committee shall appoint an annual selection committee to select the inductees to the Delaware Women's Hall of Fame.

(g) Delaware Women's Workforce Council.

The Delaware Women's Workforce Council will work to achieve gender equality in every workplace in the First State by eliminating the gender-based wage gap, removing the visible and invisible barriers to women's advancement, and ensuring that every person, regardless of gender, has an equal opportunity for advancement in the workplace.

(1) The Delaware Women's Workforce Council (Council) shall be comprised of 11 voting members as follows:

a. Two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and shall serve at the pleasure of the Speaker.

b. Two members appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and shall serve at the pleasure of the President Pro Tempore.

c. Seven members appointed by the Governor representing all 3 counties and the City of Wilmington. Of the Governor's appointees, no more than 4 members shall be members of any 1 political party.

d. The Secretary of the Department of Human Resources shall appoint 1 member from the Department to serve as an ex-officio nonvoting member for the purpose of collecting and sharing information possessed by the Department of Human Resources and Department of Labor.

(2) The members appointed to the Council shall have diverse backgrounds and experiences directly related to issues women face in the workplace, including those who have owned or operated successful businesses in the private sector, and those serving in the public sector.

(3) The Chairperson of the Council shall be appointed by the Governor from among the 11 members, and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The Council may elect such officers as it deems necessary.

(4) Members of the Council appointed by the Governor shall serve for a term of 3 years. All members are eligible for reappointment. If any member fails to attend 4 successive meetings of the Council, that member's position may be deemed vacant and the appointing authority shall appoint a replacement.

(5) Members of the Council shall serve without compensation, except that they may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incident to their duties as members of the Council in accordance with state law.

(6) The Council shall conduct a study of gender-based inequities in workplaces in Delaware. The study should identify the root causes that result in gender-based wage disparities as well as the obstacles that working women face that negatively impact on women's advancement.

a. The Council should first examine these issues as to state employees and may obtain necessary data through the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Human Resources.

b. The Council shall collect data from private sector businesses throughout the State that may be required to complete this study.

(7) The Council shall recommend policies and make recommendations to agencies to remove gender-based inequities in the workplace. To accomplish this task, the Council may conduct research projects and focus groups, and hold public hearings, forums and discussion groups as it deems necessary. Such policies and recommendations should address how gender-based issues intersect with other factors including race, educational achievement, religion, socioeconomic status, caregiver responsibilities, and part-time employment.

(8) The Council shall develop and publish best practices for employers to achieve gender equality.

(9) The Council may request private employers to pledge to work to eliminate gender-based inequities.

(10) The Council may create and implement a memorandum of understanding between the Council and private employers requiring that private employers provide data and information annually to the Council to be kept confidentially. The purpose is to:

a. Assist private employers in understanding a woman's individual challenges in the workplace;

b. Evaluate the implementation of the Council's recommendations and best practices to eradicate gender-based inequities in the workplace; and

c. Quantify the success rates on the elimination of gender disparities in the workplace.

d. The Council shall meet by January 16, 2018.

81 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Notwithstanding § 2507 of this title, the Department shall employ 1 counsel experienced in the field of labor and employment law, who may advise the Department on matters of labor and employment law and who shall assist the Department in developing standards, policies, programs and training materials that satisfy Delaware and federal law.

81 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1.;

The Department of Human Resources, through appropriate divisions, subdivisions and offices, shall have the power to perform and responsibility to perform all the powers, duties and functions that were vested in the Human Resource Management and the Benefits and Insurance Administration Sections of the Office of Management and Budget prior to July 1, 2017, and which are not otherwise specifically assigned to the Department of Human Resources by this chapter, excepting only those powers, duties and functions expressly vested in or retained by any other person, department, board, commission or agency.

81 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1.;

Any and all rights of appeal now existing by law, with respect to any act or acts constituting the exercise of any function or functions transferred by this chapter to the Department of Human Resources or to any division or subdivision or office thereof, shall continue to exist with respect to such act or acts as hereafter performed by the Department of Human Resources or by the division, subdivision or office to which such function is transferred, and each such appeal shall be perfected in the manner heretofore provided by law.

81 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1.;

(a) All books, records, papers, maps, charts, plans and other material including any equipment in the possession of any agency of the State and used in connection with a function transferred by this chapter to the Department of Human Resources shall, on July 1, 2017, be delivered into the custody of the said Department. All investigations, petitions, hearings and legal proceedings pending before or instituted by any agency from which functions are transferred by this chapter and not concluded prior to July 1, 2017, shall continue unabated and remain in full force and effect, notwithstanding the passage of this chapter and, where necessary, may be completed before, by or in the name of the Department. All orders, rules and regulations made by any agency from which functions are transferred by this chapter and which govern such functions, and which are in effect on July 1, 2017, shall remain in full force and effect until revoked or modified in accordance with law by the Department. All contracts and obligations of any agency made or undertaken in the performance of a function transferred to the Department by this chapter and being in force on July 1, 2017, shall, notwithstanding this chapter, remain in full force and effect and be performed by the Department.

(b) Employees of any agency whose functions are consistent with and have been transferred to the Department of Human Resources by this chapter shall continue and be deemed to be the employees of the said Department on July 1, 2017, and, where applicable, with all the benefits accrued as merit employees as of July 1, 2017.

(c) All definitions and references to any commission, board, department, council or agency which appear in any other act or law shall, to the extent that they are consistent with this chapter and in connection with a function transferred to the Department of Human Resources, be construed as referring and relating to the Department of Human Resources as created and established by this chapter.

(d) All definitions and references to any director, commissioner, executive secretary, commission, board or council member or other similar person which appear in any other act or law shall, to the extent that they are consistent with this chapter and in connection with a function transferred by this chapter to the Department of Human Resources, be construed as referring or relating to such person or persons and their powers, duties and functions as established and created by this chapter.

81 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1.;

Any misnomer shall not defeat or annul any gift, grant, devise or bequest to the Department of Human Resources or any predecessor agency thereof if it sufficiently appears by the will, conveyance or other writing that the party making the same intended to pass and convey thereby the estate or interest therein expressed or described to the Department or to any commission, board, department, authority, council or agency, from which, by this chapter, the powers, duties and functions have been transferred to the Department.

81 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1.;

All other laws or parts of laws now in effect inconsistent with this chapter are repealed, superseded, modified or amended so far as necessary to conform to and give full force and effect to this chapter.

81 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1.;