§ 28-5-13. Powers and duties of commission.
The commission shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) To establish and maintain a principal office in the city of Providence, Rhode Island, and any other offices within the state that it may deem necessary.
(2) To meet and function at any place within the state.
(3) To appoint any attorneys, clerks, and other employees and agents that it may deem necessary, fix their compensation within the limitations provided by law, and prescribe their duties. The provisions of chapter 4 of title 36 shall not apply to this chapter.
(4) To adopt, promulgate, amend, and rescind rules and regulations to effectuate the provisions of this chapter, and the policies and practice of the commission in connection with this chapter.
(5) To formulate policies to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.
(6) To receive, investigate, and pass upon charges of unlawful employment practices.
(7)(i) In connection with any investigation or hearing held pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, to hold hearings, subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, administer oaths, take the testimony of any person under oath, and, in connection with the investigation or hearing, to require the production for examination of any books and papers relating to any matter under investigation or in question before the commission.
(ii) The commission may make rules as to the issuance of subpoenas by individual commissioners.
(iii) Contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena issued pursuant to this section shall constitute a contempt punishable, upon the application of the commission, by the superior court in the county in which the hearing is held or in which the witness resides or transacts business.
(8) Utilize voluntary and uncompensated services of private individuals and organizations as may from time to time be offered and needed.
(9)(i) Create any advisory agencies and conciliation councils, local or statewide, that will aid in effectuating the purposes of this chapter. The commission may itself, or it may empower these agencies and councils to:
(A) Study the problems of discrimination in all or specific fields of human relationships when based on race or color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, age, or country of ancestral origin, and
(B) Foster through community effort or otherwise good will among the groups and elements of the population of the state.
(ii) The agencies and councils may make recommendations to the commission for the development of policies and procedure in general.
(iii) Advisory agencies and conciliation councils created by the commission shall be composed of representative citizens serving without pay, but with reimbursement for actual and necessary traveling expenses.
(10) Issue any publications and any results of investigations and research that in its judgment will tend to promote good will and minimize or eliminate discrimination based on race or color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, age, or country of ancestral origin.
(11) From time to time, but not less than once a year, report to the legislature and the governor, describing the investigations, proceedings, and hearings the commission has conducted and their outcome, the decisions it has rendered, and the other work performed by it, and make recommendations for any further legislation, concerning abuses and discrimination based on race or color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, age or country of ancestral origin, that may be desirable.
(P.L. 1949, ch. 2181, § 6; G.L. 1956, § 28-5-13; P.L. 1973, ch. 132, § 1; P.L. 1974, ch. 259, § 2; P.L. 1986, ch. 198, § 15; P.L. 1991, ch. 149, § 3; P.L. 1991, ch. 323, § 3; P.L. 1995, ch. 32, § 4; P.L. 1997, ch. 150, § 4; P.L. 2001, ch. 340, § 3.)