Administrator Michael Regan Message to EPA Employees - Reaffirming EPA's Anti-Harassment Stance, April 15, 2021
The U.S. Environmental Agency attracts skilled and talented individuals dedicated to our mission to protect human health and the environment. All of them deserve – and should expect – a workplace free of harassment. The EPA maintains a zero-tolerance policy for any form of workplace harassment or discrimination. As Administrator, I am deeply committed to this longstanding and important policy.
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 activity is prohibited. In addition, the EPA will not tolerate other types of harassment based on conduct that is threatening, intimidating, or bullying.
EPA Order 4711, Procedure for Addressing Allegations of Workplace Harassment, provides details about the EPA’s administrative process for reporting, promptly inquiring, and, as-needed, taking immediate and appropriate action to address complaints of harassment. Affected persons* should report harassment of any kind to their first-line supervisor immediately. If the first-line supervisor is the alleged harasser, the affected person should report the harassment to a higher-level supervisor in the person’s chain of command or to an EPA human resources official.
Affected persons should know that complaints of harassment are kept confidential to the extent possible. Further, it is illegal to retaliate against affected persons for engaging in EEO protected activity, which includes participating in the complaint process identified in EPA Order 4711. For questions related to 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, and other senior executives and managers to be familiar with the procedures outlined in EPA Order 4711. Additionally, I expect that all individuals who work at the EPA will not engage in or be subjected to unlawful and prohibited harassment.
The procedures in EPA Order 4711 are separate and independent of the EEO process. Affected persons who file a harassment complaint under EPA Order 4711 may also use the EEO discrimination complaint process to file a complaint of harassment based on membership in a protected EEO class identified in 29 CFR §1614.101. To invoke the EEO process, an affected person must contact the Office of Civil Rights within 45 calendar days of an alleged incident of harassment. For questions related to the EEO complaint process, please contact the EPA Office of Civil Rights at (202) 564-7272.
Affected persons who want to learn more about the EPA’s anti-harassment policy and procedures can view the Anti-Harassment Procedures Training for EPA Employees on the FedTalent webpage.
We must work together to continue to foster a safe and productive workplace. Thank you for your continued commitment to ensuring the EPA workplace is free of unlawful and prohibited harassment.
Michael S. Regan
* An affected person is defined in EPA Order 4711 as follows: federal employee, an applicant for employment, a grantee employee, a contractor employee, an EPA Federal Advisory Committee Act member, a Senior Environment Employee enrollee, a student volunteer or intern, or a Public Health Service Officer who believes he or she has been subjected to harassment in the course of his or her employment or performance of agency-related functions.