Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter II. Prohibited Acts of Discrimination.


Part A. General.

§ 2–1402.01. General.

Every individual shall have an equal opportunity to participate fully in the economic, cultural and intellectual life of the District and to have an equal opportunity to participate in all aspects of life, including, but not limited to, in employment, in places of public accommodation, resort or amusement, in educational institutions, in public service, and in housing and commercial space accommodations.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 201, 24 DCR 6038.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2511.

1973 Ed., § 6-2211.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1403.01.

Cross References

Public accommodations licensed by District, prohibition against discrimination, see § 47-2901 et seq.

Mayor's Orders

Establishment of Department of Human Rights and Minority Business Development: See Mayor’s Order 89-247, November 1, 1989.


Part B. Employment.

§ 2–1402.11. Prohibitions.

(a) General. — It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice to do any of the following acts, wholly or partially for a discriminatory reason based upon the actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, genetic information, disability, matriculation, political affiliation, or credit information of any individual:

(1) By an employer. — To fail or refuse to hire, or to discharge, any individual; or otherwise to discriminate against any individual, with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, including promotion; or to limit, segregate, or classify his employees in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities, or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee;

(2) By an employment agency. — To fail or refuse to refer for employment, or to classify or refer for employment, any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against, any individual; or

(3) By a labor organization. — To exclude or to expel from its membership, or otherwise to discriminate against, any individual; or to limit, segregate, or classify its membership; or to classify, or fail, or refuse to refer for employment any individual in any way, which would deprive such individual of employment opportunities, or would limit such employment opportunities, or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee or as an applicant for employment; or

(4) By an employer, employment agency or labor organization. —

(A) To discriminate against any individual in admission to or the employment in, any program established to provide apprenticeship or other training or retraining, including an on-the-job training program;

(B) To print or publish, or cause to be printed or published, any notice or advertisement, or use any publication form, relating to employment by such an employer, or to membership in, or any classification or referral for employment by such a labor organization, or to any classification or referral for employment by such an employment agency, unlawfully indicating any preference, limitation, specification, or distinction, based on the race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, matriculation, genetic information, disability, political affiliation, or credit information of any individual.

(C) To request or require a genetic test of, or administer a genetic test to, any individual as a condition of employment, application for employment, or membership, or to seek to obtain, obtain, or use genetic information of an employee or applicant for employment or membership.

(D) To directly or indirectly require, request, suggest, or cause any employee to submit credit information, or use, accept, refer to, or inquire into an employee's credit information.

(b) Subterfuge. — It shall further be an unlawful discriminatory practice to do any of the above said acts for any reason that would not have been asserted but for, wholly or partially, a discriminatory reason based on the actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, matriculation, genetic information, disability, political affiliation, or credit information of any individual.

(c) Accommodation for religious observance. —

(1) It shall further be an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to refuse to make a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s religious observance by permitting the employee to make up work time lost due to such observance, unless such an accommodation would cause the employer undue hardship. An accommodation would cause an employer undue hardship when it would cause the employer to incur more than de minimis costs.

(2) Such an accommodation may be made by permitting the employee to work:

(A) During the employee’s scheduled lunch time or other work breaks;

(B) Before or after the employee’s usual working hours;

(C) Outside of the employer’s normal business hours;

(D) During the employee’s paid vacation days;

(E) During another employee’s working hours as part of a voluntary swap with such other employee; or

(F) In any other manner that is mutually agreeable to the employer and employee.

(3) When an employee’s request for a particular form of accommodation would cause undue hardship to the employer, the employer shall reasonably accommodate the employee in a manner that does not cause undue hardship to the employer. Where other means of accommodation would cause undue hardship to the employer, an employee shall have the option of taking leave without pay if granting leave without pay would not cause undue hardship to the employer.

(4) An employee shall notify the employer of the need for an accommodation at least 10 working days prior to the day or days for which the accommodation is needed, unless the need for the accommodation cannot reasonably be foreseen.

(5) In any proceeding brought under this section, the employer shall have the burden of establishing that it would be unable reasonably to accommodate an employee’s religious observance without incurring an undue hardship, provided, however, that in the case of an employer that employs more than 5 but fewer than 15 full-time employees, or where accommodation of an employee’s observance of a religious practice would require the employee to take more than 3 consecutive days off from work, the employee shall have the burden of establishing that the employer could reasonably accommodate the employee’s religious observance without incurring an undue hardship; and provided further, that it shall be considered an undue hardship if an employer would be required to pay any additional compensation to an employee by reason of an accommodation for an employee’s religious observance. The mere assumption that other employees with the same religious beliefs might also request accommodation shall not be considered evidence of undue hardship. An employer that employs 5 or fewer full-time employees shall be exempt from the provisions of this subsection.

(c-1) Victims and family members of victims of domestic violence, a sexual offense, or stalking. — Not Funded.

(d) Prohibited acts that otherwise would constitute unlawful discriminatory practices based upon the credit information of an individual under subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall not apply:

(1) Where an employer is otherwise required by District law to require, request, suggest, or cause any employee to submit credit information, or use, accept, refer to, or inquire into an employee's credit information.

(2) Where an employee is applying for a position as or is employed as a police officer with the Metropolitan Police Department, as a special police officer or campus police officer appointed pursuant to § 5-129.02(a), or in a position with a law enforcement function;

(3) To the Office of the Chief Financial Officer of the District of Columbia;

(3A) To the District of Columbia Retirement Board;

(4) Where an employee is required to possess a security clearance under District law;

(5) To disclosures by District government employees of their credit information to the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability or the Office of the Inspector General, or to the use of such disclosures by those agencies;

(6) To financial institutions, where the position involves access to personal financial information; or

(7) Where an employer requests or receives credit information pursuant to a lawful subpoena, court order, or law enforcement investigation.

(e) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) "Credit information" means any written, oral, or other communication of information bearing on an employee's creditworthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, or credit history.

(2) "Financial institution" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 26-551.02(18).

(3) "Inquire" means any direct or indirect conduct intended to gather credit information using any method, including application forms, interviews, and credit history checks.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 211, 24 DCR 6038; Mar. 17, 1993, D.C. Law 9-211, § 2, 40 DCR 21; June 28, 1994, D.C. Law 10-129, § 2(c), 41 DCR 2583; Oct. 1, 2002, D.C. Law 14-189, § 2(b), 49 DCR 6523; Apr. 5, 2005, D.C. Law 15-263, § 2(d), 52 DCR 237; Mar. 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-58, § 2(c), 53 DCR 14; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-256, § 2(a), 64 DCR 2045; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 2252, 64 DCR 7652; Apr. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 22-281, § 2(c), 66 DCR 1601.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2512.

1973 Ed., § 6-2221.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1401.02.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-189, in subsecs. (a) and (b), substituted “actual or perceived: race” for “race”.

D.C. Law 15-263, in subsecs. (a) and (b), substituted “genetic information, disability,” for “disability,”; and added subpar. (C) of par. (4) of subsec. (a).

D.C. Law 16-58, in the lead-in language of subsec. (a), subsec. (a)(4)(B), and subsec. (b), substituted “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression,” for “sexual orientation,”.

Cross References

Bonds and construction procurement, construction contracts and subcontracts, nondiscrimination provisions, see § 2-305.08.

Employment services, discrimination prohibited, see § 32-408.

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-281: § 4 of D.C. Law 22-281 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(c) of D.C. Law 22-281 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Section 7030 of D.C. Law 22-33 repealed § 4 of D.C. Law 21-256. Therefore the changes made to this section by D.C. Law 21-256 have been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-256: § 4 of D.C. Law 21-256 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(a) of D.C. Law 21-256 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) repeal of § 4 of D.C. Law 21-256, see § 7030 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2252 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of § 4 of D.C. Law 21-256, see § 7030 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2252 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).


§ 2–1402.12. Exception.

(a) It shall not be an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to observe the conditions of a bona fide seniority system or a bona fide employee benefit system such as retirement, pension or insurance plan which is not a subterfuge to evade the purposes of this chapter, except that no such employee seniority system or benefit plan shall excuse the failure to hire any individual.

(b) It shall not be an unlawful discriminatory practice for the District of Columbia to prescribe minimum and maximum age limits for appointment to the police officer and firefighter cadet programs.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 212, 24 DCR 6038; Mar. 9, 1983, D.C. Law 4-172, § 4(a), 29 DCR 5745.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2513.

1973 Ed., § 6-2222.


§ 2–1402.13. Reports and records.

Every employer, employment agency, and labor organization, subject both to this chapter and to title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, is to furnish to the Office, all reports that may be required by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission established under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 213, 24 DCR 6038.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2514.

1973 Ed., § 6-2223.


Part C. Housing and Commercial Space.

§ 2–1402.21. Prohibitions.

(a) General. — It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice to do any of the following acts, wholly or partially for a discriminatory reason based on the actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, family responsibilities, disability, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, status as a victim of an intrafamily offense, or place of residence or business of any individual:

(1) To interrupt or terminate, or refuse or fail to initiate or conduct any transaction in real property; or to require different terms for such transaction; or to represent falsely that an interest in real property is not available for transaction;

(2) To include in the terms or conditions of a transaction in real property, any clause, condition or restriction;

(3) To appraise a property, refuse to lend money, guarantee a loan, purchase a loan, accept residential real property as security for a loan, accept a deed of trust or mortgage, or otherwise refuse to make funds available for the purchase, acquisition, construction, alteration, rehabilitation, repair or maintenance of real property; or impose different conditions on such financing; or refuse to provide title or other insurance relating to the ownership or use of any interest in real property;

(4) To refuse or restrict facilities, services, repairs or improvements for a tenant or lessee;

(5) To make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to a transaction, or proposed transaction, in real property, or financing relating thereto, which notice, statement, or advertisement unlawfully indicates or attempts unlawfully to indicate any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, family responsibilities, disability, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, or place of residence or business, of any individual;

(6) To discriminate in any financial transaction involving real property, on account of the location of residence or business (i.e. to “red-line”); or

(7) To limit access to, or membership or participation in any multiple-listing service, real estate brokers’ organization or other service, organization, or facility relating to the business of selling or renting residential real estate, or to discriminate against any person in terms or conditions of access, membership or participation in any organization, service or facility.

(b) Subterfuge. — It shall further be an unlawful discriminatory practice to do any of the above said acts for any reason that would not have been asserted but for, wholly or partially, a discriminatory reason based on the actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, family responsibilities, disability, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, status as victim of an intrafamily offense, or place of residence or business of any individual.

(c) Families with children. —

(1) It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice to do any of the acts prohibited in subsections (a) and (b) of this section wholly or partially based on the fact that a person has one or more children who reside with that person.

(2) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that an unlawful discriminatory practice has occurred if the person alleging discrimination has 1 or more children who reside with that person and any of the acts prohibited by subsections (a) and (b) of this section are done to maintain residential occupancies more restrictive than the following:

(A) In an efficiency apartment, 2 persons; or

(B) In an apartment with one or more bedrooms, 2 times the number of bedrooms plus one.

(3) Nothing contained in this chapter limits the applicability of any District or federal restriction regarding the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling. Nothing in this chapter regarding familial status applies to housing for older persons.

(4) For the purposes of this subsection “housing for older persons” means a premises which:

(A) The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determines pursuant to a federal program, is specifically designed and operated to assist older persons;

(B) Is intended for, and solely occupied by persons 62 years of age or older; or

(C) Is intended and operated for occupancy by persons 55 years of age or older, provided that at least 80% of the occupied units are occupied by at least one person who is 55 years of age or older, and the housing facility or community publishes and adheres to policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent required pursuant to this paragraph, and complies with rules issued by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for verification of occupancy.

(d) Disability. —

(1) It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice in the sale or rental of real estate to deny a dwelling to a buyer or renter or to otherwise make a dwelling unavailable to a buyer or renter because of a disability of:

(A) That buyer or renter; or

(B) Any person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is sold, rented or made available; or any person associated with that buyer or renter.

(2) It shall be unlawful to discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with the dwelling because of a disability of:

(A) That buyer or renter; or

(B) Any person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is sold, rented or made available; or any person associated with that buyer or renter.

(3) For purposes of this subsection, “unlawful discrimination” includes:

(A) A refusal to permit, at the expense of the person with the disability, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by the person if the modification may be necessary to afford the person full enjoyment of the premises of a dwelling. A landlord, where it is reasonable, may condition permission for a modification on the renter agreeing to restore the interior of the premises to the condition that existed before the modification, reasonable wear and tear excepted;

(B) A refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when these accommodations may be necessary to afford any person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling;

(C) In connection with the design and construction of covered multifamily dwellings for first occupancy after April 20, 1999, a failure to design and construct these dwellings in a manner that:

(i) The public and common use portions of the dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities; and

(ii) Doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises within the dwellings are sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons with wheelchairs;

(D) All premises within the dwellings shall contain the following features of adaptive design:

(i) An accessible route into and through the dwelling;

(ii) Light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations;

(iii) Reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installations of grab bars;

(iv) Usable kitchens and bathrooms so that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space; and

(v) The premises within the dwellings shall have at least 1 building entrance on an accessible route unless it is impracticable because of the terrain or unusual characteristics of the site.

(4) Compliance with the appropriate requirements of the American National Standard for buildings and facilities providing accessibility and usability for persons with disabilities suffices to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (3) of this subsection.

(5) Nothing in this subsection requires that a dwelling be made available to an individual whose tenancy would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals or whose tenancy would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others.

(e) The monetary assistance provided to an owner of a housing accommodation under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937, approved August 22, 1974 (88 Stat. 662; 42 U.S.C. § 1437f), either directly or through a tenant, shall be considered a source of income under this section.

(f) Victims of intrafamily offenses. —

(1) For purposes of this subsection, the term “record” means documentation produced by a law enforcement officer, as defined in § 4-1301.02(14), or a court order pursuant to § 16-1005.

(2) It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice to do any of the acts prohibited in subsections (a) and (b) of this section wholly or partially based on the fact that a person residing, or intending to reside, in the dwelling is, has a record of being, a victim of an intrafamily offense, as defined in § 16-1001(8).

(3) It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice to do any of the following additional acts, for purposes of this subsection, wholly or partially based on the fact that a person residing, or intending to reside, in the dwelling is, or has a record of being, a victim of an intrafamily offense, as defined in § 16-1001(8):

(A) Refusing to make a reasonable accommodation in restoring or improving security and safety measures beyond the housing provider’s duty of ordinary care and diligence, the costs of which the housing provide may charge to the tenant, when an accommodation is necessary to ensure the person’s security and safety;

(B) Refusing to permit a person to terminate the lease of the premises early, without penalty, upon notice to the landlord and upon a showing that the person is a victim of an intrafamily offense, pursuant to § 42-3505.07;

(C)(i) Barring or limiting the right of a person to call for police or emergency assistance, which right, for purposes of this subsection, shall not be waivable; or

(ii) Imposing any penalty for calling police or emergency assistance.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 221, 24 DCR 6038; July 26, 1980, D.C. Law 3-80, § 2, 27 DCR 2554; June 28, 1994, D.C. Law 10-129, § 2(d), 41 DCR 2583; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-242, § 2(d), 46 DCR 952; Oct. 1, 2002, D.C. Law 14-189, § 2(c), 49 DCR 6523; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 8(a), 52 DCR 2638; Mar. 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-58, § 2(d), 53 DCR 14; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-273, § 3(c), 54 DCR 859; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 11, 53 DCR 6198; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-368, § 4(a)(2), 56.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2515.

1973 Ed., § 6-2231.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1402.24, § 6-1041.06, and § 42-2851.06.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-189, in subsecs. (a) and (b), substituted “actual or perceived: race” for “race”.

D.C. Law 15-354 added subsec. (e).

D.C. Law 16-58, in the lead-in language of subsec. (a), subsec. (a)(5), and subsec. (b), substituted “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression,” for “sexual orientation,”.

D.C. Law 16-273, in subsecs. (a) and (b), inserted “status as a victim of an intrafamily offense” following “source of income”; and added subsec. (f).

D.C. Law 16-305 substituted “persons with disabilities” for “disabled persons”, throughout the section.

D.C. Law 17-368, in subsecs. (f)(2) and (3), substituted “§ 16-1001(8)” for “§ 16-1001(5)”.

Cross References

Rental housing discrimination prohibited, see § 42-3505.05.


§ 2–1402.22. Blockbusting and steering.

It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any person, whether or not acting for monetary gain, directly or indirectly to engage in the practices of “blockbusting” and “steering”, including, but not limited to, the commission of any 1 or more of the following acts:

(1) To promote, induce, influence, or attempt to promote, induce, or influence a transaction in real property through any representation, means or device whatsoever calculated to induce a person to discriminate or to engage in such transaction wholly or partially in response to discrimination, prejudice, fear or unrest adduced by such means, device or representation;

(2) To place a sign, or display any other device, either purporting to offer or tending to lead to the belief that an offer is being made for a transaction in real property that is not in fact available or offered for transaction, or which purports that any transaction in real property has occurred that in fact has not.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 222, 24 DCR 6038.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2516.

1973 Ed., § 6-2232.


§ 2–1402.23. Acts of discrimination by broker or salesperson.

Any real estate broker or real estate salesperson who commits any act of discrimination prohibited under the provisions of this chapter, if such act or the property involved is within the District of Columbia, or if such act occurs outside of the District of Columbia, in a place where such act is prohibited by state or local law, ordinance or regulation, without regard to location of the property, shall be considered by the Real Estate Commission, for the purposes of Chapter 17 of Title 42, as having endangered the public interest; and shall be subject to the procedures set forth in § 2-1403.17.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 223, 24 DCR 6038; Mar. 10, 1983, D.C. Law 4-209, § 35(a)(2), 30 DCR 390.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2517.

1973 Ed., § 6-2233.


§ 2–1402.24. Exceptions.

(a) Nothing in this chapter is to be construed to apply to the rental or leasing of housing accommodations in a building in which the owner, or members of his family occupy one of the living units and in which there are, or the owner intends that there be, accommodations for not more than:

(1) Four families, and only with respect to a prospective tenant, not related to the owner-occupant, with whom the owner-occupant anticipates the necessity of sharing a kitchen or bathroom; or

(2) Two families living independently of each other.

(b) Nothing contained in the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to permit any rental or occupancy otherwise prohibited by any statute, or by any regulation previously enacted and not repealed herein.

(c) Nothing in this chapter shall apply to the sale or rental of a single-family home sold or rented by an owner if:

(1) The owner does not own more than 3 single-family homes at any one time; or own any interest in, or has owned or reserved on his behalf, under any express or voluntary agreement, title to any right to all or a portion of the proceeds from the sale or rental of more than 3 single-family homes at any one time. This exemption shall apply only to one sale within a 24-month period of the sale of any single-family home by a private owner not residing in that home at the time of the sale or who was not the most recent resident of that home prior to the sale.

(2) The home was sold or rented without:

(A) The use of the sales or rental facilities or services of a real estate broker, agent, or salesperson, or of the facilities or services of any person in the business of selling or renting dwellings, or of any employee or agent, or salesperson; and

(B) Without the publication, posting or mailing, after notice, of any advertisement in violation of § 2-1402.21(a)(5).


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 224, 24 DCR 6038; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-242, § 2(e), 46 DCR 952; Apr. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 22-281, § 2(d), 66 DCR 1601.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2518.

1973 Ed., § 6-2234.

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-281: § 4 of D.C. Law 22-281 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(d) of D.C. Law 22-281 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


Part D. Public Accommodations.

§ 2–1402.31. Prohibitions.

(a) General. — It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice to do any of the following acts, wholly or partially for a discriminatory reason based on the actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, family responsibilities, genetic information, disability, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, or place of residence or business of any individual:

(1) To deny, directly or indirectly, any person the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodations;

(2) To print, circulate, post, or mail, or otherwise cause, directly or indirectly, to be published a statement, advertisement, or sign which indicates that the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation will be unlawfully refused, withheld from or denied an individual; or that an individual’s patronage of, or presence at, a place of public accommodation is objectional, unwelcome, unacceptable, or undesirable.

(3) A health benefit plan or health insurer shall not establish rules for the eligibility, new or continued, of any individual or adjust premium or contribution amounts for an individual on the basis of genetic information concerning the individual or family member of the individual, including information about a request for or receipt of genetic services by an individual or the individual’s family member.

(4) A health benefit plan or health insurer shall not request or require an individual or the individual’s family member to undergo a genetic test. Nothing in this paragraph shall:

(A) Limit the authority of a health care professional who is providing health care services to an individual to request that the individual or the individual’s family member undergo a genetic test;

(B) Limit the authority of a health care professional who is employed by or affiliated with a health benefit plan or a health insurer and who is providing health care services to an individual to notify such individual of the availability of a genetic test or to provide information to such individual regarding such genetic test; or

(C) Authorize or permit a health care professional to require that an individual undergo a genetic test.

(b) Subterfuge. — It is further unlawful to do any of the above said acts for any reason that would not have been asserted but for, wholly or partially, a discriminatory reason based on the actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, family responsibilities, genetic information, disability, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, or place of residence or business of any individual.

(c) Repealed.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 231, 24 DCR 6038; June 28, 1994, D.C. Law 10-129, § 2(e), 41 DCR 2583; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-242,§ 2(f), 46 DCR 952; Apr. 12, 2000, D.C. Law 13-91, § 133, 47 DCR 520; Apr. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-114, § 292(c), 49 DRC 1468; Oct. 1, 2002, D.C. Law 14-189, § 2(d), 49 DCR 6523; Apr. 5, 2005, D.C. Law 15-263, § 2(e), 52 DCR 237; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 8(b), 52 DCR 2638; Mar. 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-58, § 2(e), 53 DCR 14.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2519.

1973 Ed., § 6-2241.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-91 validated a previously made technical correction in subsec. (a).

D.C. Law 14-114 added subsec. (c).

D.C. Law 14-189, in subsecs. (a) and (b), substituted “actual or perceived: race” for “race”.

D.C. Law 15-263, in subsecs. (a) and (b), substituted “genetic information, disability,” for “disability,”; and added pars. (3) and (4) of subsec. (a).

D.C. Law 15-354 repealed subsec. (c) which had read as follows: “(c) The monetary assistance provided to an owner of a housing accommodation under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937, approved August 22, 1974 (88 Stat. 662; 42 U.S.C. § 1437f), either directly or through a tenant, shall be considered a source of income under this section.”

D.C. Law 16-58, in subsecs. (a) and (b), substituted “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression,” for “sexual orientation,”.

Cross References

Licensed places of amusement, admission to, discrimination prohibited, see § 47-2901 et seq.


Part E. Educational Institutions.

§ 2–1402.41. Prohibitions.

It is an unlawful discriminatory practice, subject to the exemptions in § 2-1401.03(b), for an educational institution:

(1) To deny, restrict, or to abridge or condition the use of, or access to, any of its facilities, services, programs, or benefits of any program or activity to any person otherwise qualified, wholly or partially, for a discriminatory reason, based upon the actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, or disability of any individual; or

(2) To make or use a written or oral inquiry, or form of application for admission, that elicits or attempts to elicit information, or to make or keep a record, concerning the race, color, religion, or national origin of an applicant for admission, except as permitted by regulations of the Office.

(3) Repealed.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 241, 24 DCR 6038; Nov. 21, 1989, 103 Stat. 1284, Pub. L. 101-168, § 141(b); June 28, 1994, D.C. Law 10-129, § 2(f), 41 DCR 2583; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-242, § 2(g), 46 DCR 952; Oct. 1, 2002, D.C. Law 14-189, § 2(e), 49 DCR 6523; Mar. 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-58, § 2(f), 53 DCR 14; May 2, 2015, D.C. Law 20-266, § 3(a), 62 DCR 1540.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2520.

1973 Ed., § 6-2251.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-189, in par. (1), substituted “facilities, services, programs, or benefits of any program or activity” for “facilities and services” and substituted “actual or perceived: race” for “race”.

D.C. Law 16-58, in par. (1), substituted “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression,” for “sexual orientation,”.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-266 repealed (3).


§ 2–1402.42. Exceptions regarding sex discrimination and age.

(a) Nothing in this chapter regarding sex discrimination in admission policy shall apply to any private undergraduate college or to any private preschool, elementary or secondary school; except that, when any of the above exempted colleges offers a course nowhere else available in the District, opportunity for admission to that course must be open to students of both sexes who otherwise meet lawful requirements for admission.

(b) It shall not be an unlawful discriminatory practice for the District of Columbia to prescribe minimum and maximum age limits for appointment to the police officer and firefighter cadet programs.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 242, 24 DCR 6038; Mar. 9, 1983, D.C. Law 4-172, § 4(b), 29 DCR 5745.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2521.

1973 Ed., § 6-2252.


Part F. General Requirements.

§ 2–1402.51. Posting of notice.

Every person subject to this chapter shall post and keep posted in a conspicuous location where business or activity is customarily conducted or negotiated, a notice whose language and form has been prepared by the Office, setting forth excerpts from or summaries of, the pertinent provisions of this chapter and information pertinent to the filing of a complaint.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 251, 24 DCR 6038.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2522.

1973 Ed., § 6-2261.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1402.64.

Cross References

Bonds and construction procurement, construction contractors and subcontractors, agreement to post notice of nondiscrimination provisions, see § 2-305.08.


§ 2–1402.52. Records and reports.

(a) Every person subject to this chapter shall preserve any regularly kept business records for a period of 6 months from the date of the making of the record, or from the date of the action which is the subject of the record, whichever is longer; such records shall include, but not be limited to, application forms submitted by applicants, sales and rental records, credit and reference reports, personnel records, and any other record pertaining to the status of an individual’s enjoyment of the rights and privileges protected or granted under this chapter.

(b) Where a charge of discrimination has been filed against a person under this chapter, the respondent shall preserve all records which may be relevant to the charge or action, until a final disposition of the charge in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.

(c) All persons subject to this chapter shall furnish to the Office, at the time and in the manner prescribed by the Office, such reports relating to information under their control as the Office may require. The identities of persons and properties contained in reports submitted to the Office under the provisions of this section shall not be made public.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 252, 24 DCR 6038.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2523.

1973 Ed., § 6-2262.


§ 2–1402.53. Affirmative action plans.

(a) It shall not be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any person to carry out an affirmative action plan that has been approved by the Office. An affirmative action plan is any plan devised to effectuate remedial or corrective action in response to past discriminatory practices prohibited under this chapter and may also include those plans devised to provide preferential treatment for a class or classes of persons, which preferential treatment by class would otherwise be prohibited by this chapter and which plan is not devised to contravene the intent of this chapter.

(b) All banks and savings and loan associations, subject to this chapter, shall submit annually to the Office an affirmative action plan which shall include goals and timetables for the remediation or correction of past or present discriminatory practices. Such plan shall be reviewed by the Office and is subject to its approval.

(c) It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any bank or savings and loan association, subject to this chapter, to fail to develop an affirmative action plan approved by the Office or fail to comply substantially with the terms of such affirmative action plan.

(d) The Office shall develop and promulgate guidelines which will set forth the affirmative action requirements of this section and shall incorporate, but not be limited to, applicable federal guidelines. Such guidelines shall be promulgated by the Office within 120 days of the enactment of this law consistent with the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act (§ 2-501 et seq.) and shall not become effective until 60 calendar days following submission to the Council.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 253, 24 DCR 6038; Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-140, § 3, 25 DCR 5473.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2524.

1973 Ed., § 6-2263.


Part G. Other Prohibited Practices.

§ 2–1402.61. Coercion or retaliation.

(a) It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice to coerce, threaten, retaliate against, or interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of having exercised or enjoyed, or on account of having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of any right granted or protected under this chapter.

(b) It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any person to require, request, or suggest that a person retaliate against, interfere with, intimidate or discriminate against a person, because that person has opposed any practice made unlawful by this chapter, or because that person has made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing authorized under this chapter.

(c) It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any person to cause or coerce, or attempt to cause or coerce, directly or indirectly, any person to prevent any person from complying with the provisions of this chapter.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 261, 24 DCR 6038.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2525.

1973 Ed., § 6-2271.


§ 2–1402.62. Aiding or abetting.

It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any person to aid, abet, invite, compel, or coerce the doing of any of the acts forbidden under the provisions of this chapter or to attempt to do so.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 262, 24 DCR 6038.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2526.

1973 Ed., § 6-2272.


§ 2–1402.63. Conciliation agreements.

It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for a party to a conciliation agreement, made under the provisions of this chapter, to violate the terms of such agreement.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 263, 24 DCR 6038.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2527.

1973 Ed., § 6-2273.


§ 2–1402.64. Resisting the Office or Commission.

(a) Any person who shall willfully resist, prevent, impede or interfere with the Office or the Commission, or any of their representatives, in the performance of any duty under the provisions of this chapter, or shall willfully violate an order of the Commission, shall upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment for not more than 10 days, or by a fine of not more than $300, or by both, except, that filing a petition for review of an order, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, shall not be deemed to constitute such willful conduct, nor shall compliance with any procedure regarding a subpoena in accord with § 5-1021, be deemed to constitute such willful conduct.

(b) It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for a person subject to this chapter, to fail to post notices, maintain records, file reports, as required by §§ 2-1402.51 to 2-1402.53, or to supply documents and information requested by the Office in connection with a matter under investigation.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 264, 24 DCR 6038.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2528.

1973 Ed., § 6-2274.


§ 2–1402.65. Falsifying documents and testimony.

It shall be unlawful to willfully falsify documents, records, or reports, which are required or subpoenaed pursuant to this chapter, or willfully to falsify testimony, or to intimidate any witness or complainant; such violations shall be punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 days, or by a fine of not more than $300, or by both.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 265, 24 DCR 6038.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2529.

1973 Ed., § 6-2275.


§ 2–1402.66. Arrest records.

(a)(1)(A) An individual may request production of his or her arrest record for the purposes of determining eligibility for sealing or expunging that record pursuant to Chapter 8 of Title 16 [§  16-801 et seq.], or similar sealing statutes in the District or in another jurisdiction, and may request production of his or her arrest record for filing a sealing or expungement motion.

(B) The District may charge the individual a nominal fee for processing this request.

(C) For the purposes of this subsection, an “arrest record” shall contain a listing of all adult arrests, regardless of the disposition of each arrest, and regardless of the date on which the arrest, conviction, or completion of the sentence occurred.

(2) A person who requires an individual to produce any arrest record or any copy, extract, or statement thereof pursuant to this subsection other than for the purpose of filing a sealing or expungement motion shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or imprisoned for not more than 10 days.

(b)(1)(A) An individual may request production of his or her arrest record or authorize another person to request production of his or her arrest record for any other purpose.

(B) The District may charge the individual a nominal fee for processing this request.

(C) For purposes of this subsection, an “arrest record” shall contain a listing only of adult convictions for which the sentence was completed not more than 10 years before the date on which the records were requested and forfeitures of collateral in a court proceeding that have occurred not more than 10 years before the date on which the record was requested; provided, that forfeitures of collateral in a court proceeding shall not include any forfeiture of collateral that was made pursuant to the post-and-forfeit procedure, as that term is defined in § 5-335.01(a).


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 266, 24 DCR 6038; June 15, 2013, D.C. Law 19-319, § 3, 60 DCR 2333; Mar. 10, 2015, D.C. Law 20-186, § 3, 61 DCR 12108; Apr. 24, 2015, D.C. Law 20-243, § 4, 61 DCR 8320.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2530.

1973 Ed., § 6-2276.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-319 rewrote the section.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-186 redesignated (a)(1) through (3) as (a)(1)(A) through (a)(1)(C); and added (a)(2).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-243 added “provided, that forfeitures of collateral in a court proceeding shall not include any forfeiture of collateral that was made pursuant to the post-and-forfeit procedure, as that term is defined in § 5-335.01(a)” in (b)(1)(C).


§ 2–1402.67. District of Columbia.

All permits, licenses, franchises, benefits, exemptions, or advantages issued by or on behalf of the government of the District of Columbia, shall specifically require and be conditioned upon full compliance with the provisions of this chapter; and shall further specify that the failure or refusal to comply with any provision of this chapter shall be a proper basis for revocation of such permit, license, franchise, benefit, exemption, or advantage.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 267, 24 DCR 6038.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2531.

1973 Ed., § 6-2277.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1401.02 and § 34-1731.09.


§ 2–1402.68. Effects clause.

Any practice which has the effect or consequence of violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to be an unlawful discriminatory practice.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title II, § 268, 24 DCR 6038.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2532.

1973 Ed., § 6-2278.


Part H. Miscellaneous Provisions.

§ 2–1402.71. Prohibitions.

It is unlawful discriminatory practice for an insurer authorized to sell motor vehicle insurance in the District of Columbia to do any of the following acts, wholly or partially for a discriminatory reason based on actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, disability, matriculation, political affiliation, lawful occupation, or location within the geographical area of the District of Columbia of any individual:

(1) To fail or refuse to issue a policy of motor vehicle insurance;

(2) To fail or refuse to renew a policy of motor vehicle insurance; or

(3) To cancel a policy of motor vehicle insurance.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, § 271; as added Sept. 18, 1982, D.C. Law 4-155, § 14(b), 29 DCR 3491; June 28, 1994, D.C. Law 10-129, § 2(g), 41 DCR 2583; Oct. 21, 1995, D.C. Law 11-64, § 2(a), 42 DCR 4322; Oct. 1, 2002, D.C. Law 14-189, § 2(f), 49 DCR 6523; Mar. 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-58, § 2(g), 53 DCR 14.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2533.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-189 substituted “actual or perceived: race” for “race”.

D.C. Law 16-58 substituted “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression,” for “sexual orientation,”.


§ 2–1402.72. Motor vehicle rental companies.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, it shall not be an unlawful practice for a motor vehicle rental company to fail or refuse to rent a motor vehicle, or to impose differential terms and conditions upon the rental of a motor vehicle, based on the age of any person, where such action is reasonably related to accident risk or threat to public safety.


(Sept. 18, 1982, D.C. Law 4-155, § 272; as added Oct. 21, 1995, D.C. Law 11-64, § 2(b), 42 DCR 4322.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2534.


§ 2–1402.73. Application to the District government.

Except as otherwise provided for by District law or when otherwise lawfully and reasonably permitted, it shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for a District government agency or office to limit or refuse to provide any facility, service, program, or benefit to any individual on the basis of an individual’s actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, family responsibilities, disability, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, or place of residence or business.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, § 273; as added Oct. 1, 2002, D.C. Law 14-189, § 2(g), 49 DCR 6523; Mar. 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-58, § 2(h), 53 DCR 14; Apr. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 22-281, § 2(e), 66 DCR 1601.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-58 substituted “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression,” for “sexual orientation,”.

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-281: § 4 of D.C. Law 22-281 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(e) of D.C. Law 22-281 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


Part I. Breastfeeding Mothers.

§ 2–1402.81. Findings and purposes.

(a) The Council finds that:

(1) The encouragement of a public acceptance of breastfeeding is consistent with the promotion of family values between a mother and her child and no mother should be made to feel incriminated or socially ostracized for breastfeeding her child.

(2) Breastfeeding a baby constitutes a basic act of nurturing to which every mother and child has a right and which should be encouraged in the interests of maternal and child health.

(3) Breastfeeding provides significant health benefits to both the mother and child. Breastfeeding provides maternal protection from breast cancer, osteoporosis, urinary tract infections, and other cancers. Studies indicate that if every mother in the United States breastfed their children for 2 years, breast cancer could decline by 25%.

(4) Social constraints of modem society weigh against the choice of breastfeeding and often result in new mothers opting to choose formula feeding to avoid embarrassment, social ostracism, or criminal prosecution.

(5) Studies show that babies who are not breastfed have higher rates of death, meningitis, childhood leukemia and other cancers, diabetes, respiratory illnesses, bacterial and viral infections, diarrhoeal diseases, otitis media, allergies, obesity, and developmental delays. Breastfeeding may also raise a baby’s intelligence quotient.

(6) To attain an optimal, healthy start in life, the Surgeon General of the United States and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that babies from birth to at least one year of age be breastfed unless medically contraindicated. In addition, the World Health Organization and UNICEF have established the encouragement of breastfeeding as one of their major goals for the decade.

(7) Despite these recommendations, statistics reveal a declining percentage of mothers are choosing to breastfeed their children. Nearly 50% of all new mothers are now choosing formula over breastfeeding before they leave the hospital, only 20% are still breastfeeding when their babies are 6 months of age, and only 6% are still breastfeeding when their babies are one year of age.

(b) This part has the following purposes:

(1) To increase the incidence and duration of breastfeeding as a goal for optimal maternal and child health and nutrition;

(2) To enable women who so choose to freely breastfeed their children so that infants may be fed exclusively on breast milk from birth to 4 to 6 months of age;

(3) To further enable women to breastfeed while giving appropriate and adequate complementary foods to children for up to 2 years of age or beyond; and

(4) To create an appropriate environment of awareness and support so that women can breastfeed and thereby achieve an ideal child nutrition option.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, § 281; as added Dec. 11, 2007, D.C. Law 17-58, § 2(b), 54 DCR 10714.)


§ 2–1402.82. Rights of breastfeeding mothers.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “Reasonable efforts” means any effort that would not impose an undue hardship on the operation of an employer’s business.

(2) “Undue hardship” means any action that requires significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to factors such as the size of the business, its financial resources, and the nature and structure of its operation.

(b) It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice to deny a woman any right provided under this section.

(c)(1) A woman shall have the right to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where she has the right to be with her child, without respect to whether the mother’s breast or any part of it is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding of her child.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of District of Columbia law governing indecent exposure or the definition of the private or intimate parts of a female person, including that portion of the breast that is below the top of the areola, a woman shall have the right to breastfeed in accordance with this section.

(d)(1) An employer shall provide reasonable daily unpaid break periods, as required by the employee, so that the employee may express breast milk for her child to maintain milk supply and comfort. If any break period, paid or unpaid, is already provided to the employee by the employer, the break period required shall run concurrently with the break periods already provided. Notwithstanding the foregoing, an employer shall not be required to provide break periods if it would create an undue hardship on the operations of the employer.

(2) An employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide a sanitary room or other location in close proximity to the work area, other than a bathroom or toilet stall, where an employee can express her breast milk in privacy and security. The location may include a childcare facility in close proximity to the employee’s work location.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, § 282; as added Dec. 11, 2007, D.C. Law 17-58, § 2(b), 54 DCR 10714.)


§ 2–1402.83. Duties of the Department of Health.

The Department of Health shall monitor breastfeeding rates in the District of Columbia, the number and nature of complaints regarding violations of this part received by the Office of Human Rights, and any benefits reported by working breastfeeding mothers and employers to the Department of Health. The Department of Health shall issue annual reports of its findings to the Council.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, § 283; as added Dec. 11, 2007, D.C. Law 17-58, § 2(b), 54 DCR 10714.)

Cross References

Procurement, bonds and construction, nondiscrimination provisions, see § 2-305.08.