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(a) Creation of Office. There is hereby created the Office of Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention (“Office”), which shall be a division of the Human Rights Commission department under the authority and direction of the Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission.
(b) Powers and Duties of Office. The Office of Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention shall have the powers, and shall perform the duties, set forth in this subsection (b).
(1) The Office shall have the authority to receive complaints from any member of the public concerning the manner in which any City department has responded, or has failed to respond, to allegations that the complainant—or a person under the care or custody of the complainant—has been a victim of sexual assault or sexual harassment. The Office shall promptly confirm receipt of all such complaints, and shall work diligently to assist each complainant in navigating their way through City government. In particular, the Office shall work diligently to assist each complainant in contacting relevant City departments, and shall take all appropriate steps to encourage those City departments to respond fully and conscientiously to the complainant’s concerns. The Office shall treat each complainant with dignity, professionalism, and compassion. For purposes of this Section 12A.18, “City department” means any department, agency, office, or commission, or any other part of the government of the City and County of San Francisco. It includes, but is not limited to, the Police Department, the Office of the District Attorney, and the Department of Public Health.
(2) The Office shall have the power to compel the attendance of officers or employees from any City department at meetings with the complainant, and may require that the officers or employees who attend any such meetings have detailed knowledge of the complainant’s case. Attendance at such meetings shall be considered part of the officers’ and employees’ employment with the City, for which they shall be compensated. Such meetings shall be scheduled at reasonable times and locations that do not compromise the powers of the Office under this subsection (b)(2). Such meetings shall be held within two weeks of the Office’s request for a meeting, unless the Office, for good cause shown, waives this requirement.
(3) In any instance in which the Office determines that any City department, or any City officer or employee, has failed to perform a duty imposed by law in connection with a complaint of sexual assault or sexual harassment, or has promised to perform an act and has failed to perform the promised act, or has unreasonably failed to respond to the complainant’s or Office’s requests, or has otherwise not fully and conscientiously responded to the complainant’s or the Office’s concerns, the Office shall notify the relevant City department of such failure, in writing. If, after a reasonable period of time as determined by the Office, not to exceed six weeks, the relevant City department has not corrected such failure to the Office’s satisfaction, the Office shall report this failure, in writing, to the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors.
(4) In any instance in which the Office determines that there is a reasonable basis to believe that any City officer or employee should be subject to any form of discipline, the Office shall have the power to refer that officer or employee to any appropriate disciplinary authority, which may include, but is not limited to:
(A) The officer or employee’s appointing authority;
(B) The Department of Human Resources; and,
(C) For uniformed members of the Police Department, the Department of Police Accountability.
Any City department that receives a referral from the Office shall promptly open an investigation into the conduct for which the Office has referred the City officer or employee.
(5) The Office shall have the power to require any City department to report, at times and in the manner of the Office’s reasonable choosing, aggregated or otherwise de-identified information concerning that department’s handling of allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment. Such information may include, but is not limited to, the number of open cases involving allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment; the number of such cases resolved in particular time frames; the ways in which such cases were resolved, and related information (including, but not limited to, information about the age and number of cases reaching each particular kind of resolution); the average time it takes the department to resolve each such case; information about the number and age of unresolved cases; and the number and substance of complaints the department has received (from members of the public, the Office, or any other source) regarding the department’s handling of allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment. The Office may request assistance from the Controller in obtaining the information described in this subsection (b)(5), and the Controller shall cooperate with any such requests.
(6) The Office shall, at such times and in such ways as the Office deems most effective, engage with members of the community (including, but not limited to, community organizations dedicated to preventing or redressing sexual assault or sexual harassment) and with other entities in City government (including, but not limited to, the Department on the Status of Women and any Sexual Assault Response Team that may be established pursuant to Sections 13898-13898.2 of the California Penal Code) to explore ways in which the City can improve its efforts to combat sexual assault and sexual harassment. The Office shall develop recommendations for improving the City’s efforts to combat sexual assault and sexual harassment (including, but not limited to, recommendations regarding education and training for City officers and employees who handle allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment), and shall make reports about such recommendations to relevant City departments, the Mayor, and the Board of Supervisors. Such reports shall include, but are not necessarily limited to, an annual report to the Mayor, the Board of Supervisors, and all relevant City departments. In developing such recommendations, in collaboration with the Department on the Status of Women, the Office shall consider, and seek to build upon, previous recommendations developed the Department on the Status of Women.
(7) In addition to the other reports described in this subsection (b), the Office shall make regular reports to the Human Rights Commission. Subjects addressed by these reports may include, but are not limited to, the Office’s activities, the City’s efforts to combat sexual assault and sexual harassment, and proposed recommendations for improving the City’s efforts to combat sexual assault and sexual harassment (including, but not limited to, proposed recommendations regarding education and training for City officers and employees who handle allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment).
(8) In fulfilling the powers and duties described in this subsection (b), the Office shall maintain the confidentiality of information required by law to be kept confidential, and shall respect the complainant’s wishes for confidentiality to the maximum extent permitted by law. Nothing in this subsection (b)(8) shall otherwise restrict the City’s ability to maintain the confidentiality of information where such confidentiality is permitted (but not required) by law.
(c) Appointment of Director. The Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission (“Executive Director”) shall appoint the Director of the Office. Before the Executive Director appoints a Director of the Office, the Executive Director shall first solicit recommendations regarding potential candidates from a three-member advisory committee, to be appointed by the Executive Director. One member of this advisory committee shall be a sexual-assault survivor, another member of the committee shall be a person who has engaged in community-based advocacy on behalf of survivors of sexual assault or sexual harassment, and the remaining member shall be an academic whose scholarship has focused on issues relating to sexual assault or sexual harassment. The advisory committee shall be empowered to review applications, interview applicants, and recommend that the Executive Director appoint particular candidates for the Director position. The Executive Director shall consider any recommendations made by the advisory committee, but nothing in this subsection (c) shall be construed to interfere with the Executive Director’s authority to appoint the Director. The Director shall possess the qualifications of a “sexual assault counselor” within the meaning of Section 1035.2 of the California Evidence Code. If the Director does not already possess the qualifications of a “sexual assault counselor” within the meaning of Section 1035.2 of the California Evidence Code at the time of appointment, the Director shall undergo at least 40 hours of training as a sexual assault counselor, in a manner consistent with Section 1035.2(a)(2) of the California Evidence Code, within one year of appointment.
(d) Composition of Office. Subject to the budgetary and fiscal provisions of the Charter, the Office shall be staffed by no fewer than the equivalent of three full-time employees; for purposes of this requirement, the Director of the Office may be counted as the equivalent of a full-time employee. At least one full-time employee, other than the Director, shall be responsible for interacting directly with individual survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment, and their advocates, to receive and resolve individual complaints, consistent with subsections (b)(1)-(4). At least one other full-time employee, other than the Director, shall be responsible for engaging with community-based organizations and City departments to gather information, produce reports, and promote systemic change in the City’s policies and practices towards sexual assault and sexual harassment, consistent with subsections (b)(5)-(7). All employees of the Office shall, to the extent permitted by law, promptly receive sufficient education or training to qualify as “sexual assault counselors” within the meaning of Section 1035.2 of the California Evidence Code, if they do not already qualify as sexual assault counselors at the time of appointment.
(e) Powers and Duties of Human Rights Commission. With respect to the work of the Office, the Human Rights Commission shall hold all the powers and duties set forth in Section 12A.5 of this Administrative Code and Section 4.102 of the City Charter. This includes, but is not limited to, the power to hold public hearings on any subject relevant to the Office. In holding any such public hearing, the Commission shall maintain the confidentiality of information required by law to be kept confidential, and shall respect a complainant’s wishes for confidentiality to the maximum extent permitted by law, in a manner consistent with subsection (b)(8).
(f) Services Available to City Employees. For purposes of subsection (b)(1), “member of the public” does not include a City employee interacting with the City in its capacity as an employer. Complaints arising out of the employment relationship between the City and its employees are excluded from this Section 12A.18, and shall instead be governed by Charter Section 10.103, which provides that the City’s Human Resources Director shall review and resolve allegations of discrimination against employees or applicants, and shall investigate all employee complaints concerning job-related conduct of City employees. This authority under Charter Section 10.103 includes enforcement of the City’s policies and procedures for handling employee complaints of sexual assault or sexual harassment, including, but not limited to, policies or procedures established or administered by the Department of Human Resources, determinations by the Human Resources Director under Charter Section 10.103, and appeals to the Civil Service Commission. Nothing in this subsection (f) shall prevent City employees from submitting, on the same terms as other members of the public, complaints arising out of the City’s handling of a criminal investigation or other criminal-justice functions.
(g) Language Access. The Office shall comply with Chapter 91 of the Administrative Code, the Language Access Ordinance.
(h) Construction with Other Laws. Nothing in this Section 12A.18 shall be construed to conflict with any State or Federal law, or with any provision of the City Charter. In particular, nothing in this Section shall be construed to interfere with the investigative and prosecutorial functions under State law of the District Attorney and the Sheriff, or to compromise the rights of peace officers under California Penal Code Section 832.7 or the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act, California Government Code Sections 3300 et seq.
(i) Undertaking for the General Welfare. In enacting and implementing this Section 12A.18, the City is assuming an undertaking only to promote the general welfare. It is not assuming, nor is it imposing on its officers and employees, an obligation for breach of which it is liable in money damages to any person who claims that such breach proximately caused injury.
(j) Severability. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this Section 12A.18, or any application thereof to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions or applications of the Section. The Board of Supervisors hereby declares that it would have enacted this Section, including each and every subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, and word not declared invalid or unconstitutional, without regard to whether any other portion of this Section or application thereof would be subsequently declared invalid or unconstitutional.