Resolution to The Establishment of an Independent Commission on Equal Opportunity and Elimination of Systematic Bias in the Workplace
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Whereas: Every employee of the City of Boston deserves a safe and healthy workplace, free of structural bias and swift in addressing incidents of racism, sexism, or discrimination by age, orientation, origin or ability; and
Whereas: A welcoming workplace in which all employees can thrive is a stronger workplace, respecting and maximizing internal talent and elevating cultural competency for employees who are obliged to offer their service, free of bias, to the diverse peoples of Boston; and
Whereas: Harassment and discrimination can have many harmful impacts on employees,including behavioral health issues, and negatively impact the reputation of a particular agency, department, and workplace.
Whereas: The City of Boston has put into place training and prevention protocols to avert discrimination and harassment among employees; yet, many structural, racial and gender-based issues still exist including harassment, discrimination, retaliation,exclusion, and hostility; and
Whereas: Recognizing and correcting the structural biases in our municipal agencies and departments is not only a moral issue, but a legal obligation of the City; andWhereas: Failure to promote a fair work environment exposes the city to legal risks; and
Whereas: ln order to realize a full and accurate investigation of complaints, the City should seek to employ individuals or firms who are not otherwise dependent or in receipt on city contracts; and
Whereas: The city does not currently have a standardized format, template or a set of principles for the conduct of independent investigation, or thresholds of alleged harm that warrant the issuance of an investigation; and
Whereas: An employee registers a complaint of bias of harassment or discrimination deserves a neutral and standing arbiter to review the complaint; therefore
Be It Resolved,
The Boston City Council supports the establishment of an independent Commission on Equal Opportunity in the Workplace; and
Be lt Further Resolved,
Such a Commission shall review complaints by employees made against a city department, the city council or a quasi-public agency in the City of Boston, develop protocols and standards for Independent investigations, issue request for proposals,retain investigator, monitor implementation of departmental diversity and inclusion plans and binding legal decrees.
Filed on: December 12, 2018
Watch December 12, 2018 BCC Meeting (Docket 1811 PDF accessible via this link)