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Ordinance on harassment and discrimination approved

Friday, December 2, 2016 by Jack Craver

City Council voted 7-1 Thursday to approve an ordinance brought forward by Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo to update definitions of harassment and discrimination as part of the city’s ongoing revamp of personnel policies. In response to concerns raised by the union representing city employees, however, the final resolution did not include language regarding employee behavior off the job. In an interview with the Austin Monitor, Tovo noted that employees can still be accountable for off-duty conduct due to other provisions of the city’s civil service code. Staff from the Human Resources Department said they will continue to review how to address harassment and discrimination by employees outside of work and will bring that forward as part of the broader overhaul of personnel policies. The lone vote against the resolution was Council Member Don Zimmerman, who said that definitions of harassment were subjective and invited abuse by employees.

This whisper has been corrected. City Council approved an ordinance Thursday, not a resolution.

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