For NIH Staff

NIH is committed to creating and maintaining a work environment that is free of harassment and other inappropriate conduct in the NIH community. Harassment, including sexual harassment, is unacceptable and will be handled with administrative and/or legal action, as appropriate. The information below applies to all NIH employees, contractors, trainees and visitors.

NIH Policies and Expectations


The Notification and Federal Employee Anti-discrimination and Retaliation (No FEAR) Act of 2002 (Public Law No. 107-174) is a law aimed at improving Federal agency accountability for ensuring that employees who pursue claims under the federal administrative equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaint process and who engage in whistleblower activities know their rights and are protected against retaliation for reporting a claim.

For more information on the primary purpose of the No FEAR and No FEAR Data visit the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion NoFEAR Act webpage.

Activities and Initiatives

Numerous efforts are underway to bolster NIH’s policies and programs, and prevent and address incidents of workplace sexual harassment at NIH. These include:

Policies and Processes:

Training and Education:

  • Creating new training modules and materials available on the Civil website to inform the NIH community of the new policies and tools.
  • Updating the NIH Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) mandatory anti-harassment training to include the Notification and Federal Employee Anti-discrimination and Retaliation (No FEAR) and Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) training with customized scenarios for various NIH workplace settings.
  • Increasing the frequency of this training from every two years to annually for all NIH Federal employees, trainees, fellows, and contractors.
  • Developing a new training program through the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE) specifically for trainees to ensure understanding of the NIH policies, emphasize trainee rights, and educate trainees on the reporting procedures.

NIH Presentations and Events:

Workplace Climate and Harassment Survey:

Staff Assistance

NIH Civil Program

The NIH Civil Program conducts administrative inquiries into reports by NIH employees, contractors, trainees, and visitors of uncivil, disruptive, or harassing workplace behaviors. This also includes behaviors of concern that may lead to acts of violence, such as bullying, intimidation, threats, suicidal ideation, and domestic violence.

Contact the NIH Civil Program

Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides personalized consultation, short-term support, and wellness counseling. Counselors can also connect individuals to other NIH resources and the outside community.

EAP services are strictly confidential.

Contact the NIH Employee Assistance Program

Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion oversees the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint process if an individual feels discriminated against because of race, religion, color, national origin, age (older than 40), physical or mental disability, or sex, as well as individuals who feel that they have been retaliated against for opposing employment discrimination, filing a complaint of discrimination, or participating in the EEO complaint process (even if the complaint is not theirs).

Contact the NIH Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Office of Intramural Training & Education (OITE)

The Office of Intramural Training & Education (OITE) helps meet the needs of trainees across all NIH Institutes and Centers. This resource exists solely for trainees, and OITE has extensive practice working in tandem with the Civil Program on harassment-related issues.

Contact the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education

Office of the Ombudsman

The Office of the Ombudsman provides a full range of dispute resolution programs and services, including coaching, facilitation, mediation, and partnering agreements.

Ombudsman Office assistance is strictly confidential.

Contact the Office of the Ombudsman

This page last reviewed on February 8, 2021