9700.6 HRM CHGE 2 Anti-Harassment Procedures in the Workplace
- Posted Date: 05/13/2021
- Status: Validated
- Outdated on: 05/13/2028
GENERAL SERVICE ADMINISTRATION
Washington, DC 20405
HRM 9700.6 CHGE 2
May 13, 2021
1. Purpose. This Order establishes procedures to ensure the General Services Administration (GSA) maintains a workplace free from unlawful harassment. It defines harassing, hostile, or abusive conduct, outlines the rights and responsibilities of employees, requires periodic training on harassment and establishes a system of accountability for ensuring a workplace free from unlawful harassment. This Order is a part of GSA’s ongoing efforts to provide a model workplace for its employees.
2. Background. Harassment in the Federal workplace is defined as any unwelcome conduct, verbal or physical, based on an individual membership in a protected class as outlined in the GSA Policy Statement on Harassment, Including Sexual and Non-Sexual. It is also defined as retaliation for making reports or allegations of harassment or providing information related to such allegations when: (1) The behavior can reasonably be considered to adversely affect the work environment, or (2) An employment decision affecting the employee is based upon the employee’s acceptance or rejection of such conduct.
Harassment in the workplace violates Federal law and policy when it is based on the protected Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) classes of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation), national origin, age, disability, or genetic information, and retaliation based on previous EEO activity as described in:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended;
- the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967;
- the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008; and
- Genetic information under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 [PDF].
In addition, all employees and applicants are to be free from harassment without regard to their:
- Parental status under Executive Order 13152 (signed May 2, 2000); and/or
- Marital status and political affiliation under the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978.
3. Scope and Applicability.
- This policy applies to all employees working for GSA.
- This Order does not apply to allegations of harassment brought by contractor employees against the contractor, the contractor employees’ supervisors and/or the contractor employees’ co-workers.
- The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has independent personnel authority. See Section 6 of the Inspector General Act of 1978, (5 U.S.C. App.3), as amended and GSA Order, ADM P 5450.39D CHGE 1 GSA Delegations of Authority Manual (Delegations Manual), Chapter 2, Part 1 [PDF]. Similarly, GSA specifically recognizes that the Inspector General (IG) has independent authority to formulate policies and procedures for addressing harassment in the workplace. The OIG in establishing its workplace procedures, can consider this Order, to the extent that it does not infringe on the IG’s independent personnel authority and does not conflict with other OIG policies.
4. Cancellation. This directive cancels and supersedes HRM 9700.6 CHGE 1, Anti-Harassment Procedures in the Workplace.
5. Policy. It is the Agency's policy that GSA employees shall be free from harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. In accordance with the GSA Policy Statement on Harassment, Including Sexual and Non-Sexual, these procedures are designed to address the Agency’s handling of harassment allegations.
6. Authority. The process established under this Order is entirely separate and apart from the EEO complaint process. An employee who reports harassment in accordance with this Order has not filed an EEO complaint under 29 CFR 1614. An employee who wishes to file an EEO complaint must contact the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) within 45 days of the alleged harassment.
- Employees are expected to:
(1) Understand their rights and responsibilities under this Order;
(2) Refrain from engaging in unwelcomed harassing, hostile, or abusive conduct;
(3) Report promptly any incident of harassing conduct by employees or others in the workplace;
(4) Inform the supervisor, or another management official, or the Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM) if subjected to unwelcome harassing conduct;
(5) Cooperate fully in any inquiry or investigation; and
(6) Participate in training as required by the agency.
- Supervisors and management officials, in addition to the above, shall:
(1) Promote a workplace free from unwelcomed harassing conduct;
(2) Ensure that their subordinates are aware of this Order and its requirements;
(3) Act promptly, in accordance with this Order, to address any harassing conduct of which they are aware;
(4) Notify their first and second level supervisors and the Anti-Harassment Coordinator of reported or observed harassing conduct;
(5) Take immediate and appropriate corrective action when it’s determined that harassment has occurred, including disciplinary action, as necessary in consultation with OHRM and the Office of General Counsel (OGC);
(6) Evaluate appropriately subordinate supervisors and managers of their performance under this Order;
(7) Protect the confidentiality of employees who allege or report harassment, to the extent possible;
(8) Participate in training as required by the agency;
(9) Act as or designate a fact-finder to conduct fact-finding into allegations of harassment where fact-finding is necessary.
- Associate Administrator, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) will:
(1) Ensure an effective functioning of anti-harassment policy and procedures, in collaboration with OHRM and OGC;
(2) Ensure that the head of the EEO Office or designee provides advice on all EEO matters to employees, supervisors, and management officials.
- Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO), OHRM will:
(1) Appoint an individual to serve as the agency Anti-Harassment Coordinator (AAHC) at the national level who will work with the Director, Office of Human Resources Services to appoint Employee Relations Specialists to serve as Anti-Harassment Coordinators (AHC). The AHCs will provide for multiple points of contacts for employees to raise allegations of harassing conduct;
(2) Ensure that performance plans of all supervisors and managers include language addressing compliance with this Order; and
(3) Provide to the Associate Administrator, OCR, annual data on the actions taken pursuant to this Order for the purpose of determining GSA's compliance with Federal sector EEO requirements.
- Agency Anti-Harassment Coordinator (AAHC) will:
(1) Work in partnership with the designated Anti-Harassment Coordinators (AHC) and OCR to provide appropriate training to all employees on this Order, and evaluation of the anti-harassment procedures, and its requirements;
(2) Collaborate with OCR to publish the anti-harassment policy and procedures throughout GSA to ensure that the names and locations of the AHCs are readily available, including the appropriate dissemination of the anti-harassment policy, procedures, and informational materials, including but not limited to, posting on GSA web sites and in common areas throughout GSA;
(3) Ensure dissemination of this Order to all employees on an annual basis and periodically remind employees of their responsibilities under this Order;
(4) Receive reports of alleged violations of this Order and, as described in this Order, make or direct further inquiries into such reports, as appropriate and necessary;
(5) Provide oversight, technical assistance, training, and support to GSA staff to assure compliance with this Order;
(6) Maintain a written record of reports made and actions taken pursuant to this Order. These records will be maintained in a secure location; and
(7) Maintain an e-mail address to respond to inquiries from GSA employees.
- Anti-Harassment Coordinator (AHC), a designated Employee Relations Specialist, will:
(1) Be familiar with the requirements of this Order, and assist the AAHC to ensure compliance;
(2) Assist managers and supervisors regarding allegations of harassment, e.g., fact-finding, as appropriate;
(3) Assist managers and supervisors in ensuring immediate and appropriate corrective action is taken if the GSA determines that harassing conduct has occurred as stated in Taking Corrective Action, section 3. b.(13)(a) below;
(4) Ensure that the fact-finding is completed,
(5) Provide consultation to managers and supervisors with the proper selection of a designated fact-Finder;
(6) Assist with the consultation of union representative, or other representatives, as needed;
(7) Assist the supervisor with providing interim relief to alleged harassees, pending the outcome of fact-finding, as appropriate;
(8) Protect the confidentiality of employees who allege or report harassment, to the extent possible; and
(9) Maintain proper tracking and case files in accordance with this Order, the Privacy Act of 1974, and the GSA Records Retention Schedules.
- OGC shall be consulted by, and shall provide legal advice to, supervisors, managers, and OHRM, as needed.
- Fact-Finder shall:
(1) Be appointed by the manager or supervisor, in consultation with the AHC, to conduct a thorough inquiry/investigation into the allegation(s) of harassment, to the extent that the manager or supervisor does not personally act as the fact-finder;
(2) Not be subordinate to any official involved in the matter being investigated;
(3) Be impartial and competent to perform the fact-finding, as verified by the AAHC and/or AHC, if needed; and
(4) Upon the completion of the fact-finding, prepare a fact-finding Report to be given to the manager or supervisor. If the fact-finder is not the AHC, the fact-finder shall notify the servicing AHC/AAHC that the report has been completed.
8. Explanation of Changes. To ensure compliance with U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance, this Change Order:
- Added harassment definition (from Appendix I) to paragraph 2.
- Listed protected EEO classes in paragraph 2.
9. Implementation Action. Implementation of this Order must be carried out in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and as it affects employees represented by a labor bargaining unit is contingent upon completion of labor relations obligations.
Chief Human Capital Officer
Office of Human Resources Management