The Anti-Harassment Program provides an accountable process for management to address an employee, a contractor, an employee of FHWA partners (such as State DOT employees), or an applicant for employment allegations of harassment and take immediate and appropriate corrective action, including interim relief and use of disciplinary actions to eliminate harassing conduct, even if such conduct does not rise to a level that would violate the law. The goal of the anti-harassment policy and procedures is to address harassing conduct at the earliest possible stage.
What is Harassment?
Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy), national origin, older age (beginning at age 40), disability, or genetic information (including family medical history). Harassment becomes unlawful where 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or 2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive. Anti-discrimination laws also prohibit harassment against individuals in retaliation for filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or lawsuit under these laws; or opposing employment practices that they reasonably believe discriminate against individuals, in violation of these laws.
The Anti-Harassment Process (Process) provides an expedited, effective procedure to encourage employees to come forward when they feel they are experiencing harassing conduct. The procedures established in the Process are distinct from the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) procedures, and Employee Relations Process. The purpose of the EEO procedures and complaint process is to provide remedial relief to employees affected by discrimination and harassment, while the purpose of this Process is to provide an expedited process for reviewing allegations of harassing conduct, stopping further incidents of harassing conduct, and taking corrective action, where appropriate. The FHWA will not wait for inappropriate or harassing conduct to become severe or pervasive before taking corrective action.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) remains committed to providing a work environment free from harassment, to preventing harassing conduct, and to stopping such conduct as early as possible, before it can become pervasive or severe. Therefore, it is FHWA policy to take immediate and appropriate action when the Agency is made aware of allegations of harassment or determines that harassing conduct has occurred. This document sets forth the process within FHWA to address allegations of harassment.
Reporting Workplace Harassment:
Any person may bring an allegation of harassment, including but not limited to an employee, a contractor, an employee of FHWA partners (such as State department of transportation employees), an applicant for employment, or a member of the public.
Any person may raise an allegation of recent or ongoing harassment by contacting their immediate supervisor or the Anti-Harassment Coordinator. The person bringing the allegation need not be the alleged victim of harassment but may be someone who is exposed to or otherwise aware of the alleged harassment.
The Key FHWA Responsibilities of this process is to:
- Demonstrate FHWA's commitment to a work environment that is welcoming to all employees.
- Provide a neutral person to whom employees can report harassment and be confident that their allegations will be referred for serious consideration by someone in management. This person shall have ample access to high level Agency executives with authority to ensure there is a prompt inquiry of harassment allegations and appropriate action is taken in the event allegations of harassment are substantiated.
- Ensure prompt, thorough, and impartial inquiry of employee allegations of harassment and to ensure that interim relief is provided when appropriate.
- Ensure that when allegations of harassment are substantiated, FHWA management makes prompt changes to the work environment that stop the harassment from continuing to occur, and if appropriate, takes disciplinary action against the individual(s) responsible for the harassment.
- Ensure that individuals who are the target of harassment, who allege harassment, or who provide information about alleged harassment as a witness or otherwise, will be protected from retaliation.
- Track trends of harassment allegations within the Agency so that additional training or facilitation can be provided to decrease harassment incidents.
- In coordination with the Human Resources (HR) Employee Relations Team and the Office of Chief Counsel (HCC), to provide FHWA executive leadership with unbiased information regarding harassment trends and situations within the Agency to inform planning processes and decision-making.
42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
29 U.S.C. § 633a, Nondiscrimination on Account of Age in Federal Government Employment.
29 U.S.C. § 631, Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.
29 U.S.C. § 791(g), Rehabilitation Act of 1973
5 U.S.C. § 2302(b)(l), Prohibited Personnel Practices.
42 U.S.C. § 2000ff, Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of2008; see also 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1635 (2011).
5 U.S.C. Chapter 71, Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute of 2012.
5 CFR Part 724, Implementation of Title II of the Notification and Federal Employment Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002.
29 CFR § 1614.102(a)(3).
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Clause 52.222-26 - Equal Opportunity.
Executive Order 11478, Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government, August 8, 1969, as amended by Executive Order 13087, May 28, 1998, and Executive Order 13672, July 21, 2014.
Management Directive 715, EEO Reporting Requirements for Federal Agencies.
Model EEO Programs Must Have an Effective Anti-Harassment Program, U.S. Equal, Employment Opportunity Commission. https://www.eeoc.gov/federal/model_eeo_programs.cfm.
Secretarial Policy Statement on Equal Employment Opportunity.
Secretarial Policy Statement on the Prevention of Harassment.