• U.S. Department of Energy
  • Fermilab



Section Head:
Kay Van Vreede x3396

Deputy Head
Barbara Brooks x5021

Administrative Support Assistant:
Christine Johnson x3381

Facsimile 630-840-6654
Section Office WH15SW

Senior Safety Officer:
Dave Esterquest x4604


This Policy is not a contract and is not intended to create any obligations on the Laboratory. This Policy may be terminated or changed by the Laboratory at any time, with or without notice.

It is the policy of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory that all our employees and guests will enjoy a work environment free from all forms of harassment, to include those based on gender or sexual orientation.

Sexual harassment is a form of misconduct that undermines the integrity of the employment relationship. No employee - either male or female - should be subjected to unsolicited and unwelcome sexual overtures or conduct, either verbal or physical.

Sexual harassment does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature. It refers to behavior that is not welcome, is personally offensive, debilitates morale, and therefore interferes with work effectiveness. Such conduct, whether committed by supervisors or non-supervisory personnel, independent contractors or vendors, or guest researchers, is specifically prohibited. This includes repeated offensive sexual flirtation, advances or propositions, continued or repeated verbal abuse of a sexual nature, graphic or degrading sexual comments about an individual or his/her appearance, or any offensive or abusive physical contact.

This policy also prohibits the use of electronic communications to download or transmit materials with pornographic, profane, or sexually explicit content. In addition, no one should imply or threaten that an applicant's or employee's "cooperation" of a sexual nature (or refusal thereof) will have any effect on the individual's employment, assignment, compensation, advancement, career development, or any other condition of employment.

We require employees to promptly report sexually harassing conduct that they experience, learn of, or witness. All complaints will be investigated promptly, thoroughly, and with respect for the confidential nature of these complaints to the extent possible and practical. Offenders will be subject to corrective action, including discipline up to and including termination. The Laboratory will not tolerate any form of retaliation against persons who make a complaint, assist in the investigation of a complaint, or cooperate in the investigation. If an employee has any questions regarding this policy or feels he or she may have a complaint of harassment, the employee should contact the Equal Opportunity Manager, the employee's department head, or the employee's immediate supervisor if appropriate. If the alleged harasser is a supervisor, the employee should bring the complaint to one of the individuals outside of the chain of command as indicated in this policy.

The EEO Manager can be reached at extension 4633. In the instance of harassment by key personnel of the Laboratory (defined as the Laboratory director, deputy Laboratory director, associate Laboratory director, and assistant Laboratory director), complaints may be made directly to General Counsel, FRA, Inc., Washington, D.C. at 202-293-1382.

Definitions of harassment

  • Sexual harassment constitutes unlawful discrimination. For the purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined, as in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines, as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example:
    1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment.
    2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual.
    3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
  • Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. Under this policy, harassment is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his/her race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law that:
    1. Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
    2. Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance.
    3. Otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment opportunities.

Harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to: epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; denigrating jokes and displays or circulation in the workplace of written or graphic material (including through e-mail) that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group.

Individuals and conduct covered

These policies apply to all applicants and employees and prohibit harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, whether engaged in by fellow employees, by a supervisor or manager, or by someone not directly connected to Fermilab (i.e. an outside vendor, consultant, or customer).

Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable in the workplace and in any work-related setting outside the workplace, such as during business trips, business meetings, and business-related social events.

Retaliation is prohibited

Fermilab prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or harassment or participates in an investigation of such reports. Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, will be subject to disciplinary action.

Complaint procedure

Reporting an incident of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation

Fermilab strongly urges the reporting of all incidents of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation regardless of the offender's identity or position. An employee who believes that he or she is being subjected to conduct that is inconsistent with this policy is expected to make an appointment as soon as conveniently possible with the EEO Manager to discuss the concern. The employee is not required or expected to discuss the concern with his or her immediate supervisor or with the perceived offender prior to contacting the EEO Office.

The investigation

Each complaint will be investigated. Confidentiality will be honored to the extent permitted by law, as long as the rights of others are not compromised thereby. In the event that the employee who filed the complaint is dissatisfied with the results of the investigation, he or she may appeal to the director.

Date policy last updated: March 2007