DC Office of Human Rights Newsletter | Volume XXVIII | November 2020
DC has a new tool to help you know if you might have been exposed to COVID-19. The DC COVID Alert Notice (DC CAN) is the official COVID-19 exposure notification system for DC. Using Bluetooth technology, the system notifies you if you’ve come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. If you have an iPhone, opt-in by going to your Settings and turning on "Exposure Notifications" on your device. If you have an Android, download DC CAN from the Google Play Store. The more people opt-in, the more we can stop the spread and protect DC. Learn more at coronavirus.dc.gov/dccan or click the link below.
  • Works with iPhone and Android smartphones
  • Easy to use
  • Secure and private
November is Native American Heritage Month!
November is Native American Heritage Month, also commonly referred to as American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month.

This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the culture, traditions and histories of Native people in the United States, as well as acknowledge the many contributions they have made to this country. More importantly, it is an ideal time to learn more about the various tribes of Indigenous Americans. The Native people have faced many challenges, both historically and in present times, which makes this month that much more important to celebrate.

Here are a few local resources to help you celebrate Native American Heritage Month:

Trait of the Month: Color
This protected trait makes it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their skin pigmentation or complexion. For more information or to file a complaint, visit our website; ohr.dc.gov.
Setting the Foundation for Safe, Supportive, and Equitable School Climates
In collaboration with Child Trends, OHR developed a toolkit based on four years data collection at participating public schools and public charter schools. The toolkit provides strategies to identify needs through data, build buy-in and engage the full school community in decision making to ultimately improve school climate.
Guidance for COVID-19 Related Family and Medical Leave
The Office of Human Rights released updated guidance on COVID-19 related leave under the DC Family and Medical Leave Act (DCFMLA) this month. Employees that work in the District may use up to 16 weeks of unpaid "COVID-19" leave to care for self, care for family or household member or childcare closures. These provisions are set to expire once the declared public health emergency ends, December 31, 2020.

Read the full guidance by clicking here.
"Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people -- sometimes in the most brutal ways possible -- it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice." - Founder of Trans Day of Remembrance, Gwendolyn Ann Smith

It is important to remember that gender identity and expression is protected under the DC Human Rights Act. That means you cannot be discriminated against based on your gender-related identity, behavior, appearance, expression or behavior which is different from what you are assigned at birth in employment, housing, public accommodations or educational institutions. If you feel like you have been discriminated against, please contact our office at 202-727-4559 or file a complaint online at ohr.dc.gov.
Director's Note
Dear DC Residents, Stakeholders, and Partners,  
As we enter the holiday season, a time we usually gather with family and friends, we may be tempted to come together with people outside our immediate household., But remember, doing so significantly increases the chances of COVID-19 transmission. To ensure your and your family’s safety please continue to wear masks, practice social distancing, and self-isolate if you feel sick or tested positive for COVID-19.
Here are just a few ways to safely celebrate the holidays:
  • Host a virtual celebration
  • Host indoor gatherings only with immediate household members
  • Host socially distanced outdoor gatherings, if weather allows
  • Volunteer together at a community-based organization that is providing safe volunteer opportunities
Read DC Health's full holiday health guidance by clicking here.

If you are planning to travel this holiday season, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced new travel guidance for visitors coming to DC and District residents returning from "high-risk" states. The new requirements go into effect November 9th and include visitors getting tested prior to travel to DC and if planning on staying for more than three days to get tested within 3-5 days. For District residents returning, they should limit daily activities and self-monitor for 14 days, as well as get tested within 3-5 days. Read the full announcement here.
Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, DC!
Michelle M. Garcia, Interim Director
DC Office of Human Rights | 202.727.4559 | ohr.dc.gov