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

No FEAR Act

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:

  • NIH’s anti-harassment activities for both NIH staff and for NIH-funded research organizations were presented and discussed in a public forum during the June 2018 Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) meeting. Listen to the presentation (Anti-Harassment efforts begin at 4:35).
  • An anti-harassment communication campaign by the NIH Office of Human Resources (OHR) Civil Program launched in fall 2018. The campaign, with activities at all NIH facilities across the United States, aims to educate the NIH community about workplace harassment and OHR’s Civil Program.
  • New training modules and materials created by the Civil Program will be available in fall 2018 to inform the NIH community of the new anti-harassment policy and tools.
  • The Civil Program and the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) are in the process of updating the required Prevention Of Sexual Harassment (POSH) training to reflect the new policy and tools.
  • EDI is creating an active directory shutdown process for staff who do not complete the biennial No FEAR and POSH training. Scheduled for implementation in January 2019, this system will disable staff from accessing their computer accounts until they have successfully completed the training.
  • NIH launched an agency-wide survey in early 2019 to better understand workplace climate and sexual harassment at NIH, and the effect workplace climate and sexual harassment has on NIH career trajectories. The survey was managed by the Office of Scientific Workforce Diversity.

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 June 12, 2019