Code of the District of Columbia

§ 2–1403.01. Powers of Office and Commission; annual report by Mayor.

*NOTE: This section has been amended by emergency legislation with identical permanent legislation that will become effective in December, 2021.*

(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.

(g-1)(1) The Mayor shall report quarterly to the Council as to the volume and age of cases before the Office and the Commission, including at minimum the following measures:

(A) The number of initial questionnaires or other inquiries alleging unlawful discrimination that the Office received during the prior quarter, broken down by protected characteristics and categories of alleged discriminatory action;

(B) The number of signed formal complaints that were filed during the prior quarter, broken down by protected characteristics and categories of alleged discriminatory action;

(C) The number of intake interviews that took place during the prior quarter;

(D) The number of initial inquiries awaiting intake interviews, broken down by number of weeks since initial questionnaire or other inquiry;

(E) The number of initial inquiries that were withdrawn or otherwise closed before a signed formal complaint could be completed;

(F) The number of mediation sessions that took place during the prior quarter, broken down by protected characteristics, categories of alleged discriminatory action, and number of weeks elapsed from complaint to mediation;

(G) The number of mediation sessions that resulted in conciliation;

(H) The number of mediation sessions that failed to produce conciliation and proceeded to the investigation stage;

(I) The number of signed formal complaints awaiting mediation, broken down by number of weeks since filing;

(J) The number of signed formal complaints withdrawn or otherwise closed before a mediation could be completed;

(K) The number of determinations of jurisdiction and probable cause or lack thereof that the Office issued the prior quarter, broken down by protected characteristics, categories of alleged discriminatory action, determination, and number of weeks between unsuccessful mediation and determination;

(L) The number of cases awaiting a determination of jurisdiction and probable cause following unsuccessful mediation, broken down by number of weeks since unsuccessful mediation;

(M) The number of investigations open per Office full-time equivalent investigator;

(N) The number of decisions and orders the Commission rendered in the prior quarter, broken down by protected characteristics and categories of alleged discriminatory conduct;

(O) The number of matters withdrawn or otherwise terminated without a decision of the Commission in the prior quarter; and

(P) The number of matters pending before the Commission, broken down by number of weeks since the Office issued a determination of jurisdiction and probable cause, and whether the Commission has held a hearing.

(2) In each quarterly report, if the Mayor is unable to calculate one or more of the metrics specified in paragraph (1) of this subsection, then for each such omitted measure, the Mayor shall:

(A) Briefly explain the obstacle preventing accurate measurement;

(B) Specify what steps the Office and the Commission are taking to enable accurate measurement; and

(C) Estimate the time remaining before the Office will be in a position to provide consistent quarterly updates on the measure.

(h) The Office and the Commission shall enforce §§ 34-1240 [repealed], 34-1241 [repealed], 34-1242 [repealed], 34-1243 [repealed] and any other human rights provisions of Chapter 12 of Title 34.