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Policy Statement on the Prevention of Harassment

The U.S. Department of Transportation is committed to creating a work environment free from harassment on the basis of race, color, sex (gender, pregnancy, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, gender identity, or transgender status), national origin, religion, age (40 and over), disability (mental or physical), equal pay/compensation, genetic information, or retaliation.  Harassment, in this context, is defined as conduct that is so offensive as to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or offensive.  As Secretary of Transportation, I am committed to our longstanding policy that harassment will not be tolerated and must not occur.

Employees, contractors, and applicants for employment who believe that they have been victims of harassment may, without fear of retaliation, seek the immediate assistance of a management official, their Office of Human Resources, or the designated anti-harassment program manager.  All reports of alleged harassment will be promptly, thoroughly, and impartially investigated.  All information provided regarding concerns about harassment will be maintained on a confidential basis to the greatest extent possible.  I expect a manager or supervisor who becomes aware of harassment or behavior that, if left unchecked, may rise to the level of legally actionable harassment to take immediate and appropriate corrective action to ensure that the harassment or behavior stops and does not recur.  Violations of the law prohibiting harassment or violations of this policy will result in appropriate disciplinary actions against the offenders, up to and including dismissal.  This also includes cases where a manager or supervisor should have known about the harassment and failed to take prompt and appropriate corrective action.  All employees and contractors are prohibited from retaliating against and/or harassing those who report such conduct or behavior.  Employees and applicants for employment who believe they have been subjected to harassment should also contact an Equal Employment Opportunity Counselor or their Office of Civil Rights to file a complaint within 45 calendar days of the alleged harassment or discrimination or the date on which they reasonably became aware of the harassment or discrimination.  If a formal complaint is filed and accepted, there will be a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation.

I am committed to providing a workplace free from harassment where every employee, contractor, and applicant is treated with respect and dignity.  I expect each employee and contractor to join me in ensuring a harassment-free workplace by engaging in conduct that is consistent with this policy.

Elaine L. Chao

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