Posted on 04/30/2018

Mayor also launches web portal to make reporting easier and more streamlined

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti is creating a safer and more respectful work environment for City employees by establishing new, best-in-class tools and processes to report and address harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

Today, the Mayor signed his 23rd Executive Directive — which builds on the City’s existing harassment and discrimination policies and procedures, by ensuring that any employee who encounters or experiences harassment or discrimination is able to easily report a complaint, and feel confident that it will be properly investigated.

“Everyone in Los Angeles has the right to feel safe in their workplace,” said Mayor Garcetti. “City Hall must set an example for L.A.’s entire workforce, by making a systemic shift in how we handle sexual harassment and discrimination reporting.”

The Mayor also launched MyVoiceLA, a new portal that will enable current and former City employees, elected officials, commissioners, and individuals who do business with the City to report harassment and discrimination online, 24/7.

The portal will serve as a new tool in the City's “no wrong door” approach to reporting — meaning that all forms of harassment and discrimination can be reported to an employee’s supervisor, their Department’s Sexual Harassment Counselor, the Personnel Department’s Sexual Harassment Counselor, the City’s Office of Discrimination Complaint Resolution, and/or any external non-discrimination enforcement agency.

“With the #MeToo movement giving voice to victims across America, it’s imperative Los Angeles lead the way as an example of a City where there is no place for sexual harassment,” said City Attorney Mike Feuer. “I want to thank Mayor Garcetti, as well as Council members Martinez and Krekorian, for their continuing roles in this vital effort.”

“When I asked for the Personnel Department to conduct the employee survey in November, I wanted our employees to know that we cared about their safety and their thoughts,” said Councilmember Nury Martinez. “With that feedback we are taking the steps necessary to put the City at the forefront of workplace protection. There is more to do and I am going to keep working with the Mayor to make sure we finish what we started.”  

“I applaud Mayor Garcetti for prioritizing this issue and supporting the City Council’s recommendations to improve the city’s sexual assault and harassment reporting process,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, author of the 2017 motion urging sexual harassment policy reform. “Our recent survey of city employees shows that Los Angeles needs to move toward a more simplified and centralized sexual harassment complaint reporting process, and also increase training across the board. The online portal, along with the soon-to-be-launched sexual harassment complaint hotline, will allow us to do a better job addressing this issue.”

Mayor Garcetti has tasked a working group with developing a centralized process that will allow the City to hold itself more accountable for how complaints are handled, and better measure the progress toward a goal that everyone in City Hall should be serious about: eliminating all forms of harassment and discrimination from our workplace.

The Executive Directive calls for the working group to submit recommendations on the:

  • Establishment of an intake unit in the Personnel Department that will receive harassment and discrimination complaints, conduct initial reviews, and ensure that incidents are appropriately assessed and resolved;

  • Creation of an independent review board that will be comprised of impartial and experienced employment law experts who may be called upon to review certain complex and/or sensitive cases of harassment and discrimination, and provide recommendations to General Managers and Heads of Departments on how these cases should be resolved;

  • Development of policies and procedures that require supervisors to report and take appropriate action to correct and eliminate harassment and discrimination from the workplace;

  • Formalization of the Personnel Department’s policies that allow for anonymous reporting of incidents of harassment and discrimination, and that allow for the reporting of all incidents of harassment and discrimination, regardless of the length of time that has elapsed since the incident occurred; and

  • Update and expansion of all new and existing, in-person and online harassment, discrimination and retaliation trainings.

The Executive Directive also includes:

  • A requirement that the Personnel Department report annually on the number of harassment and discrimination incidents citywide, the average processing time for resolving investigations by department, and department compliance with the City’s policies and procedures; and,

  • Empowerment of other governments, businesses, and organizations to improve their own tools and procedures by making MyVoiceLA and online trainings available in an “open source” format.

In advance of the Executive Directive and the release of MyVoiceLA, Mayor Garcetti issued a directive to all heads of City Departments to report any incident of sexual harassment to the Personnel Department’s Equal Employment Opportunity Division (EEO) within 48 hours of becoming aware of the incident.