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Anti-Harassment Policy Statement 2020

Dear Colleagues,

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s longstanding policy is that harassment of any kind will not be tolerated in the workplace, and I am reaffirming this important policy with this memorandum.

The EPA succeeds in its mission of protecting human health and the environment through recruiting a highly skilled and motivated, professional workforce. All agency employees deserve a workplace that is conducive to success, which means a workplace free of discriminatory harassment. Harassment based on race; color; religion; sex, including pregnancy, gender stereotyping, gender identity, gender expression or transgender status; national origin; sexual orientation; disability; age; protected genetic information; status as a parent; marital status; political affiliation or prior protected Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) activity is prohibited. In addition, the EPA will not tolerate other types of harassment based on conduct that is threatening, intimidating and/or bullying.

EPA Order 4711, Procedure for Addressing Allegations of Workplace Harassment, provides detailed information on the EPA's administrative process for reporting, promptly inquiring and, as needed, taking prompt and appropriate action to address complaints of harassment. Affected persons[1] should report harassment of any kind to their first-line supervisor immediately. If the first-line supervisor is the alleged harasser, the harassment should be reported to the second-line supervisor in his or her chain of command, a higher-level supervisor or to an EPA human resources official. Any person who participates in the complaint process identified in EPA Order 4711 should know that they will not be retaliated against based on participation in this process and that complaints of harassment are kept confidential to the extent possible. A 30-minute training video is available on the FedTalent electronic training system (search for Anti-Harassment Procedures Training for EPA Employees). For questions about EPA Order 4711, please contact the EPA Office of Human Resources at (202)-564-4606.

I expect all Assistant Administrators, Associate Administrators, Regional Administrators, their deputies, senior and first-line managers to be familiar with the procedures outlined in EPA Order 4711. I also expect that all individuals working at the EPA will not engage in or be subject to unlawful and prohibited harassment. However, to the extent that you may encounter unlawful and prohibited harassment, I ask each of you to report it immediately because we must work together to continue to foster a safe and productive workplace.

Although the procedures in EPA Order 4711 are separate and independent of the EEO process, EPA employees and applicants may also use the EEO discrimination complaint process to file a complaint of harassment based on membership in a protected EEO class(es). To invoke the EEO process, EPA employees and applicants must contact the Office of Civil Rights within 45 calendar days of an alleged incident of harassment. Federal laws prohibit retaliation against individuals who invoke the EEO process. Should you have any questions related to the EEO complaint process, please contact the EPA Office of Civil Rights at (202)-564-7272.

Thank you for your commitment to ensuring a workplace free of unlawful and prohibited harassment.

Andrew Wheeler


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