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TO: All Employees
FROM: Victoria A. Lipnic, Acting Chair
Office of the Chair
CC: Erica D. White-Dunston, Director
Office of Equal Opportunity
SUBJECT:    FY 2019 EEO Policy Statement
DATE: October 12, 2018

The core mission of this agency is the protection of workers' civil rights, and the eradication of discrimination in the workplace, whether public or private sector, to ensure equal employment opportunity for all.  This is who we are.  As Acting Chair of the EEOC, I am committed to ensuring a workplace that allows every employee to do his or her job to the best of their ability - a workplace free from unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.  This commitment to our employees and applicants for employment is an affirmation of our commitment to our nation's civil rights laws.  

EEOC employees and applicants for employment are protected by federal laws, Presidential Executive Orders, and state and local laws - all designed to protect both federal employees and job applicants from discrimination on the bases of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), parental status, national origin, age, disability, family medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military service, or other non-merit based factors.  These protections extend to all management practices and decisions, including recruitment and hiring practices, appraisal systems, promotions, training, and career development programs. 

Over the past year, we have witnessed a national awakening to a new era on the topic of sexual harassment.  In the work that we do here at the Commission, I have been overwhelmingly proud of our response and our leadership on the issue.  Of course, we must also be diligent in ensuring that harassment - on any protected basis - does not occur in our own workplace.  For this reason, in November 2017, the agency published a Policy Statement on the Prohibition of Harassing Conduct in the Workplace, and an updated Order 560.005 on the Prevention and Elimination of Harassing Conduct in the Workplace.  In addition to encouraging all EEOC employees to review these documents, I also take this opportunity to remind that EEOC employees shall not engage in harassing conduct, and that if harassing conduct does occur, it should be reported.  And, I remind EEOC managers and supervisors of their critical role and responsibility in preventing and eliminating harassing conduct in our workplace.  

Consistent with federal laws, acts of retaliation against an employee who engages in protected activity, whistleblowing, or the exercise of any appeal or grievance right provided by law will not be tolerated in our workplace.  In addition, consistent with the RESOLVE Program Non-Retaliation Statement, the EEOC will not tolerate retaliation against RESOLVE participants.  

Any EEOC employee or applicant who believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination or retaliation should contact EEOC's Office of Equal Opportunity at (202) 663-7081 or; or, as appropriate, the Office of Special Counsel at (202) 254-3600 or the Merit Systems Protection Board at (202) 653-7200.  Any employee wishing to participate in the RESOLVE program should contact the RESOLVE office at (202) 663-4545.  In addition, job applicants should visit the Office of Equal Opportunity's page on the EEOC's external website.  

It is incumbent upon each of us, at every level of seniority, to ensure that the EEOC set the best example of equity and inclusiveness for all workplaces, both public and private sector.  Likewise, each of us must take responsibility for implementing the Commission's EEO Policy and cooperating fully in its enforcement.  In doing so, we reaffirm our agency's commitment to a workplace free of unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.  

My personal thanks to each of you for all the important work you perform daily in protecting and defending the civil rights of America's workers.  You are making a difference.