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2007 Minnesota Statutes

This is a historical version of this statute section. Also view the most recent published version.

15.441 COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES.
    Subdivision 1. State agencies; bilingual employees. Every state agency that is directly
involved in furnishing information or rendering services to the public and that serves a substantial
number of non-English-speaking people shall employ enough qualified bilingual persons in public
contact positions, or enough interpreters to assist those in these positions, to ensure provision of
information and services in the language spoken by a substantial number of non-English-speaking
people.
The commissioner of administration shall determine the application of this section to each
state agency, in consultation with the Council on Affairs of Chicano/Latino People, groups
representing other non-English-speaking people, and the head of the agency. In determining what
constitutes a substantial number of non-English-speaking people, the commissioner shall consider:
(1) the number of people served by the agency;
(2) the number of non-English-speaking people served by the agency;
(3) the frequency with which non-English-speaking people are served by the agency; and
(4) the extent to which information or services rendered by the agency affect legal rights,
privileges, or duties.
    Subd. 2. Translations of materials explaining agency services. Every state agency that
serves a substantial number of non-English-speaking people and that provides materials in
English explaining services is encouraged to provide equivalent materials in any non-English
language spoken by a substantial number of the people served by the agency. An agency should
give highest priority to providing in a non-English language materials that notify people of legal
rights, duties, or privileges they are entitled to, and the steps they must take to obtain or maintain
those rights, duties, or privileges. When notice of the availability of material explaining services
available is given, orally or in writing, it should be given in English and the non-English language
into which any material has been translated.
    Subd. 3. Translated materials for local offices. A state agency is encouraged to provide its
local offices with written materials in the appropriate foreign language when:
(1) the local office or facility serves a substantial number of non-English-speaking people;
(2) written materials such as forms, applications, questionnaires, letters, or notices are used
to ask or order a person to provide information or to give a person information; and
(3) the information asked for or given could affect the person's rights, duties, or privileges
with regard to the agency's services or benefits.
    Subd. 4. Limitations. (a) A state agency may not dismiss an employee or increase its
complement to carry out the purposes of this section. A state agency need only implement this
section by filling employee public contact positions made vacant by retirement or normal attrition.
(b) This section shall be implemented to the extent permissible under federal law, civil
service laws governing state agencies, and collective bargaining agreements.
History: 1Sp1985 c 17 s 1; 1997 c 7 art 3 s 2

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