This policy updates the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or the Commission) long-standing anti-harassment policy, which assures that the FCC is taking all feasible steps to prevent harassment from occurring and to address conduct that does occur before it becomes severe or pervasive.
The FCC has zero tolerance for harassment. It is the policy of the FCC to maintain a work environment that is free from harassment based on race, color, religion, sex (whether or not of a sexual nature and including same-gender harassment and gender identity harassment), national origin, age (40 and over), disability (mental or physical), and sexual orientation and from retaliatory harassment based on opposition to discrimination or participation in the discrimination complaint process.
In addition, it is the policy of the FCC that no retaliation will be tolerated against any employee for reporting harassment under this or any other policy or procedure, or for assisting in any inquiry about such a report.
Definition of Harassment
Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, religion, sex (whether or not of a sexual nature and including same-gender harassment and gender identity harassment), national origin, age (40 and over), disability (mental or physical), sexual orientation, or retaliation, constitutes harassment when:
- The conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment; or
- A supervisor’s harassing conduct results in a tangible change in an employee’s employment status or benefits (for example, demotion, termination, failure to promote, etc.).
All FCC staff are responsible for implementing the anti-harassment policy and for cooperating fully in its enforcement. Employees must not engage in harassing conduct. Employees subjected to harassment should promptly follow the procedures in this policy to bring the matter to the attention of management. Supervisors and other management officials must act promptly and effectively to correct any harassment that does occur.
The Director of the Office of Workplace Diversity (OWD) shall receive reports of harassment, be responsible for further inquiries into such reports when necessary and must provide oversight, technical assistance and support to FCC staff to assure compliance with this policy. The OWD Director or his/her designee will conduct inquiries into reports of harassment and assure that they are swift, thorough, impartial and appropriate to the allegation.
Internal Complaint Procedure
If you believe you are the subject of harassment in violation of this policy, you should discuss the occurrence with your supervisor and/or the Director of the Office of Workplace Diversity. If you believe you are being harassed by your immediate supervisor, you should notify your supervisor's manager and/or the Director of the Office of Workplace Diversity, as well as any member of management with whom you feel comfortable discussing the problem. In addition, employees who observe or are made aware of possible harassment in the workplace have an obligation to immediately report the incident to their immediate supervisor, any member of management and/or the Director of the Office of Workplace Diversity. All information will be maintained on a confidential basis to the greatest extent possible. When a supervisor/manager is notified of alleged harassment, he or she must notify the Director of the Office of Workplace Diversity immediately.
A complaint alleging harassment, whether written or oral, should include the specific nature of the incident, date and place of the incident, names of all parties involved, as well as a detailed report of all pertinent facts. Complaints of harassment will be promptly and carefully investigated. Investigations will include interviews with all relevant persons, including the accused and other potential witnesses. Appropriate remedial action will be taken in all cases where harassment is found to have occurred. Such remedial action may include termination of employment.
The FCC prohibits any form of retaliation against any employee for making a good faith complaint under this policy or for assisting in a complaint investigation. However, if, after investigating any complaint of harassment or unlawful discrimination, the Commission determines that an employee has provided false information regarding the complaint, disciplinary action up to and including termination may be taken against the individual who made the complaint or who gave the false information.
Any employee wishing to initiate an EEO complaint arising out of the alleged incident of harassment must contact an FCC EEO Counselor or other EEO official within 45 calendar days of the date of the incident. For information on how to contact an EEO Counselor, visit http://www.fcc.gov/owd/counselors.html. The employee should not wait until the agency’s internal harassment inquiry is completed to contact a counselor if waiting will allow the 45-day time limit to expire.