"This Order has been cancelled by GSA Order ADM 2325.5 dated November 16, 2012"
GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
Washington, DC 20417
SUBJECT: General Services Administration (GSA) policy statement on harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.
1. Purpose. This order defines and prescribes GSA’s policy on harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. This policy updates GSA's long-standing commitment to provide a workplace free of discriminatory harassment. GSA's harassment policy ensures that GSA is taking all feasible steps to prevent harassment from occurring and to address such conduct before it becomes severe or pervasive.
2. Cancellation. This order cancels Order ADM 2325.3, and rescinds any and all existing policy statements in GSA regional offices regarding harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.
3. Policy. It is the agency’s policy that GSA shall be free from harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. GSA employees are expected to maintain the highest standard of conduct to ensure proper performance of the agency’s business. Employees who report harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, are protected against retaliation.
a. Harassment violates Federal law if it is based on race, color, religion, sex (with or without sexual conduct), national origin, or retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, age under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, disability under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, or genetic information under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. Harassment in this context refers to unwelcome verbal or written comment or physical conduct that is so objectively offensive that it alters the terms or conditions of employment or creates a hostile work environment. Harassment is actionable when the conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile work environment or results in a tangible change in an employee’s employment status or benefits (for example, demotion, termination, failure to promote, etc.). GSA has zero tolerance for harassment and for retaliation based on reporting harassment.
b. Sexual harassment as used in this policy statement, means:
(1) any conduct of a sexual nature, without limitation, through spoken or written communication, gestures or physical contact, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors where acceptance or rejection could affect employment decisions, remarks containing sexual content, or displays of sexually suggestive materials;
(2) any conduct of a sexual nature that an employee knows or reasonably should know is unwelcome by those to whom it is directed or who witness it;
(3) any conduct of a sexual nature that is intended, or is reasonably understood as being intended, to threaten, harass, coerce, intimidate, or offend.
c. Sexual misconduct, as used in this policy statement, means sexual harassment or any conduct of a sexual nature by or between employees that interferes with the performance of their official duties or the official duties of other employees, including conduct that results in or gives the appearance of resulting in favoritism in employment decisions concerning one of the participants.
d. Any employee who believes that he or she has been the victim of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, should promptly bring the matter to the attention of management. Any manager or supervisor who learns of an allegation of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, must promptly, thoroughly, and impartially conduct an inquiry into the allegation. If the allegation is sustained, GSA will take appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including removal action, against employees who engage in sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, and also against managers and supervisors who fail to take timely and appropriate corrective action, if warranted.
e. Any employee who believes he or she has been the victim of harassment, other than sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, may opt to participate in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and may seek assistance through the equal employment opportunity (EEO) program or alternative avenues of redress available in the employee's work area.
f. Any employee who wishes to initiate an EEO complaint arising out of an alleged incident of harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, must contact an EEO official within 45 calendar days of the date of the incident. Employees should not wait until a GSA internal inquiry is completed to contact an EEO official if waiting will allow the 45-day time limit to expire.
For additional information on how to contact an EEO official, visit http://www.gsa.gov/civilrights.
g. For a claim involving sexual orientation brought under Executive Order 13152, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Civil Rights do not have jurisdiction over sexual orientation claims because they are not actionable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. For a claim involving sexual orientation, an employee may seek assistance from the Office of Personnel Management, Merit Systems Protection Board, Office of Special Counsel, or invoke GSA's grievance process, for limited matters not appealable to the Merit Systems Protection Board or reviewable by the Office of Personnel Management.