Harassment Policy Statement

As Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI), I am committed to ensuring a workplace free from harassment. I expect each  DOI employee to cultivate a work environment of dignity and respect that a reasonable person would not find to be hostile, intimidating, or offensive. It is our individual and collective responsibility to ensure that our interactions with each other,  contractors who support our mission, and the public are free of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.

Sexual harassment, which includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, will not be tolerated. Harassment on any other protected basis is also strictly prohibited. Such harassment can be defined as conduct that shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his/her protected characteristic and that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. In addition to these illegal forms of harassment and discrimination, I also expect all DOI employees to refrain from engaging in offensive or abusive behavior that may not rise to the level of illegal harassment but is still unacceptable conduct in the workplace. Bullying, degrading, and intimidating behavior is not acceptable and serves to dishonor the mission and values of our Department.

I am directing the Chief Human Capital Officer and the Solicitor to establish additional harassment reporting procedures for managers and supervisors. All managers and supervisors will be required to complete training on preventing harassment and improving the workplace environment. In addition, DOI will review and update Agency policy, procedures, and guidance to address the impact of harassment as it relates to performance and conduct.

Responsibilities of all DOI Employees

All DOI employees, especially leaders, managers, and supervisors, shall enforce this policy through committed leadership and shall not condone or ignore harassment of which they have knowledge. Reported incidents of harassment will be thoroughly investigated and dealt with promptly, fairly, and effectively. Individuals responding to alleged incidents will uphold confidentiality to the greatest extent possible. If the alleged harassment is substantiated, immediate and appropriate action will be taken. When appropriate, any employee who is found to have committed sexual harassment, discriminatory behavior, or any other harassing or retaliatory activities will be subject to disciplinary and/or adverse action.

Individuals who believe they are being harassed are encouraged, if they feel comfortable and safe doing so, to make it clear to the offender that such behavior is offensive, unwelcome, and not to be repeated. Individuals who are subject to or observe harassing behaviors should immediately report the incident(s) to the appropriate supervisory level if: (1) the behavior does not stop after the harasser has been told the behavior is offensive and unwelcome; (2) the employee is uncomfortable in addressing the harasser; or (3) the behavior is severe or possibly criminal in nature. Individuals who believe they are subjected to any form of harassment should feel confident reporting the situation immediately, without fear of retaliation.

Employee Resources

No employee should be subjected to intimidating, hostile, or offensive behavior. If an employee believes he/she has been subjected to harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, he/she should report it promptly to his/her immediate supervisor, another appropriate management official, the Office of Inspector General, or to his/her Human Resources Office, Equal Employment Opportunity Office, Ombuds, or CORE PLUS Neutral.

Manager Resources

If you are made aware of harassing behavior, you should immediately contact your Human Resources Office, which will assist you with addressing the issue and can also engage external investigative resources or coordinate the involvement of other offices, as appropriate. If you are made aware of allegations of criminal conduct, contact law enforcement immediately and then your Human Resources Office. In addition, the Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution offers managers the ability to speak to Ombuds and conflict management professionals, who will listen to concerns, assist in exploring possible solutions to difficult problems, and, where appropriate, help managers seek resolution and conciliation.

For more information, please visit the Equal Opportunity and Workplace Conduct site.

Edited April 3, 2018, to update a URL.