Mayor Muriel Bowser signed an order earlier this week requiring all District employees participate in a sexual harassment training course by next February.
More than 30,000 District employees will complete the mandatory training by Feb. 28. The mayor’s order also requires 1,500 D.C. government supervisors complete a more advanced training in an effort to ensure complaints are handled appropriately by senior officials, according to a release from the mayor’s office.
“Sexual harassment violates D.C. values, we take all claims of harassment seriously, and we remain committed to providing a safe working environment for all employees,” Bowser said in the release. “This action will assure our team members that we value their commitment to public service, and make clear that if they are sexually harassed, there are remedies.”
All new employees are required to participate in a course on sexual harassment within 14 days of starting work and existing employees must take a refresher course at least once every two years, according to the statement.
The move comes amid a nationwide wave of sexual harassment allegations against men in politics, media and entertainment. At GW, University President Thomas LeBlanc asked faculty leadership committees to review sexual harassment policies in November in response to the nationwide controversy.
Bowser’s order also updates past guidelines and requires each agency to employ an equal employment opportunity officer, human resources manager or any person well-versed in equal employment laws to review and investigate sexual harassment claims. This official will investigate all claims and issue findings within 60 days of reporting.