(a) The activities of the Office and the Commission, under the provisions of this chapter, shall be considered investigations or examinations of municipal matters, within the meaning of § 5-1021; and the Commission, the individual members thereof, and the Director, shall possess the powers vested in the Council of the District of Columbia.
(b) The Office is hereby empowered to undertake its own investigations and public hearings on any racial, religious, and ethnic group tensions, prejudice, intolerance, bigotry, and disorder; and on any form of, or reason for, discrimination, in accordance with §§ 2-1401.01 and 2-1402.01, against any person, group of persons, organization, or corporations, whether practiced by private persons, associations, corporations, city officials, or city agencies; for the purpose of making appropriate recommendations for action, including legislation, against such discrimination.
(c) The Office and the Commission may make, issue, adopt, promulgate, amend, and rescind such rules and procedures as they deem necessary to effectuate and which are not in conflict with, the provisions of this chapter. Such rules and procedures and amendments thereto shall be adopted and promulgated in accordance with procedures promulgated pursuant to the D.C. Administrative Procedure Act (§ 2-501 et seq.).
(d) In taking any action authorized or required by the provisions of this chapter, the Commission may act through panels or a division of not less than 3 of its members, a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum.
(e) The Mayor shall recommend to the Council any additional regulations.
(f) Investigations relating to the enforcement of provisions of this chapter shall be given priority over all other duties and activities of the Office.
(g)(1) The Mayor shall report annually to the Council as to the progress with regard to the enforcement of this chapter, and any other activity related to the field of human rights deemed valuable to the Council in the pursuit of its responsibilities.
(2) The annual report required by paragraph (1) of this subsection shall include information regarding concluded investigations, including concluded inquiries by the Director conducted pursuant to subsection (b) of this section; provided, that the Director may withhold information relating to a concluded investigation or inquiry if the Director finds that including the information in the annual report would:
(A) Undermine the integrity of the concluded investigation or inquiry; or
(B) Violate a work-sharing agreement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or any other federal agency.
1981 Ed., § 1-2541.
1973 Ed., § 6-2281.
Effect of Amendments
The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-266 redesignated the existing text of (g) as (g)(1); and added (g)(2).
Establishment of Department of Human Rights and Minority Business Development: See Mayor’s Order 89-247, November 1, 1989.