Harassment of any kind, including sexual and non-sexual harassment, bullying, intimidation, violence, threats of violence, retaliation, or other disruptive behavior is not tolerated in the federal workplace, including Department of Energy (DOE) site offices, or at DOE national laboratories, scientific user facilities, academic institutions, other institutions receiving Office of Science funding, or at locations where activities are funded by the DOE Office of Science.

Harassment includes any unwelcome conduct or reprisal (verbal, written, or physical) that is based on an individual’s race, color, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), religion, national origin, age, disability (physical or mental), genetic information, or participation in protected equal employment opportunity (EEO) activities including reporting allegations of harassment or providing information related to harassment allegations.

Harassing behaviors include any unwelcome conduct that: (1) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee's work performance; (2) creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment; or (3) affects an employee's employment opportunities or compensation.

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature including, but not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors (i.e., sexual coercion, including quid pro quo), physical conduct of a sexual nature, or other similar behavior. Sexual harassment also includes verbal and nonverbal behaviors that convey hostility, objectification, exclusion, or second-class status about members of a particular gender (e.g., gender harassment) (NAS 2018). Sexual harassment, like non-sexual harassment, is not always obvious and often subtle.

All sexes may be a victim or perpetrator of sexual harassment; sexual harassment is not limited to prohibited conduct by a male employee toward a female employee. Similarly, sexual harassment is not limited to the actions of a supervisory employee toward a nonsupervisory employee. For example, the harasser may be an agent of the employer, a supervisory employee who does not supervise the victim, a coworker, or a non-employee.

Retaliation can be a form of harassment or discrimination, where an individual is subjected to an adverse employment action or harassment, solely because he or she filed a charge of discrimination or harassment; participated in an EEO investigation, proceeding, or hearing; or taken other similar action in opposition to unlawful discrimination or harassment.

Allegations of harassment should be reported to appropriate institutional officials in accordance with institutional policies, federal statutes, and DOE policies, or as defined in DOE financial assistance agreements and contracts. Individuals found to engage in harassment, in violation of the law or DOE regulations or policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the recipient. Sexual assault is a crime against another person. Victims of sexual assault should report to local law enforcement.


FY 2018 DOE Policy Statement on Equal Employment Opportunity, Harassment, and Retaliation.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2018 report. Sexual harassment of women: climate, culture, and consequences in academic sciences, engineering, and medicine.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission