Although Anna R. Jensen, coordinator of the Gender Equity Center at Salt Lake Community College, is taking over a state agency that has been the object of criticism lately, she considers it an opportunity to be named director of the Utah Anti-Discrimination Division.
"It will be a challenge," said Jensen, who replaces Karen Suzuki-Okabe, who was director from April 13, 1992, to Oct. 26. Jensen will start work Jan. 4, according to Stephen M. Hadley, chairman of the State Industrial Commission, the agency that appointed her.The division has been criticized lately by some organizations and individuals who felt the investigations into discrimination complaints took too long and in too many cases the investigators sided with the employers.
As a result of the complaints, the commission requested Gov. Norm Bangerter to appoint a task force to investigate the complaints and make recommendations on how to improve the system. The task force has been appointed but hasn't scheduled its first meeting.
In her position, Jensen will direct a division with the authority to administer Utah's labor law, payment of wages and complaints about employment discrimination.
With an educational background, Jensen feels her big task in the first 120 days of her job will be to examine the policies and attempt to educate the public about discrimination and how to prevent it.