Document 28C: D.C. Mayor's Order 79-89, 24 May 1979, 4 pp. Also reprinted in Dail Ann Neugarten and Jay M. Shafritz, Sexuality in Organizations: Romantic and Coercive Behaviors at Work (Oak Park, Ill.: Moore Pub. Co., 1980), pp. 107-08.


Mayor's Order 79-89
May 24, 1979

SUBJECT:   Sexual Harassment

ORIGINATING AGENCY:   Office of the Mayor

   By virtue of the authority vested in me by § 422(2), (3) and (6) of the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, D.C. Code, § 1-162(2), (3) and (6) (Supp. V, 1978), and D.C. Law 2-38 (24 D.C.R. 2830), and in accordance with the personnel policies of the District of Columbia Government to assure fair treatment of applicants and employees in all aspects of employment without regard to political affiliation, race, color, national origin, sex, religious beliefs, age, marital status, personal physical appearance, sexual orientation or preference, family responsibilities, physical handicap or developmental disability, and to provide a proper regard for the rights of privacy and other constitutionally protected rights of citizens, it is hereby ORDERED that:

   1. Purpose.

   The purpose of this order is to establish clearly and unequivocably that the policy of the District of Columbia government prohibits sexual harassment of its employees in any form, to establish procedures by which allegations of sexual harassment may be filed, investigated and adjudicated, and to require agencies to establish affirmative programs within each agency, including internal procedures and monitoring, so that work sites will be maintained free from sexual harassment.

   2. Amendment of Mayor's Order 75-230.

   a. Section 2 of Mayor's Order 75-230, dated October 31, 1975, is amended by adding thereto the following as subsection e:

   Sexual harassment shall be deemed to be a form of sexual discrimination which is prohibited under District laws and regulations, including this Order.

p. 2

   b. Section 3 of Mayor's Order 75-230 is amended by adding thereto the following:

   Sexual harassment is defined as the exercise or attempt to exercise by a person of the authority and power of his or her position to control, influence or affect the career, salary, or job of another employee or prospective employee in exchange for sexual favors. Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to:

  1. verbal harassment or abuse;

  2. subtle pressure for sexual activity;

  3. unnecessary patting or pinching;

  4. constant brushing against another employee's body;

  5. demanding sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threat concerning an individual's employment status;

  6. demanding sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt promise of preferential treatment with regard to an individual's employment status.

   3. Complaints.

   a. General Requirements.

   Allegations of sexual harassment shall be fully investigated, and corrective or disciplinary action taken as warranted. Complaining parties shall be required to swear or affirm that the facts stated in the complaint are true to the best of the person's belief, knowledge and information.

   b. Employee Status.

   Only those complaints shall be investigated which are filed by a person who at the time of filing the complaint is an employee of the District of Columbia, and which are directed against a person who at the time of the filing of the complaint is a District employee.

   c. Confidentiality.

   The complaint file, including all information and documents pertinent to a complaint, shall be confidential.

p. 3

   4. Office of Human Rights.

   The Director of the Office of Human Rights is directed to establish within the Office a unit to receive complaints and allegations involving sexual harassment directed against officers and employers of the District Government. Such complaints will be investigated and processed in accordance with the procedures and authorities set forth in Mayor's Order 75-230. In the event disciplinary action may be warranted, the pertinent complaint file or files of the Office of Human Rights shall be made available to the Director of the Office of Personnel.

   5. Responsibilities of Agencies.

   a. Each Agency head shall within 60 days from the effective date of this Order amend the Agency's Affirmative Action Plan to indicate the procedures and authorities that will be established in the Agency for providing work sites free of sexual harassment, for monitoring working conditions so that instances of sexual harassment will be detected soon after their occurrences, and to provide for resolution of complaints within the Agency.

   b. Agency heads who have complaints of sexual harassment brought to their attention shall promptly investigate and attempt to resolve such complaints. If a resolution cannot be reached in the Agency within 60 days, the Agency head shall refer the complaint to the Office of Human Rights.

   c. The bringing of a complaint or allegation of sexual harassment to an Agency shall not bar nor preclude the complainant from filing a complaint with the Office of Human Rights pursuant to Mayor's Order 75-230.

   6. Time Periods for Filing Complaints.

   Only complaints of sexual harassment that concern incidents which occurred within a period of one year from the time the complaint is filed shall be considered.

   7. Applicability.

   The provisions of this Order shall be applicable to every office, agency, department, instrumentality and employee of the Government of the District of Columbia, except employees and personnel of the District of Columbia courts.

p. 4

   8. Effect Upon Prior Mayor's Orders

   To the extent that any provision of this Order are inconsistent with the provisions of any Commissioners' Order, Order of the Commissioner or Mayor's Order, the provisions of this Order shall prevail and shall be deemed to supersede the provisions thereof.

   9. Effective Date.

   The provisions of this Order shall become effective immediately.

Marion Barry, Jr.



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