How to Report a Complaint of Discrimination or Harrassment

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science (SC) does not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind, including sexual or non-sexual harassment, bullying, intimidation, violence, threats of violence, retaliation, or other disruptive behavior in the federal workplace, including DOE field site offices or at national laboratories, scientific user facilities, academic institutions, other institutions receiving SC funding' or other locations where activities funded by SC are carried out.

While the mechanisms for oversight and compliance with federal laws and DOE regulations regarding discrimination and harassment may vary for financial assistance recipients, DOE national laboratory contractors, and Federal employees, all entities conducting business on behalf of DOE or participating in DOE-funded activities are strictly prohibited from discriminatory behavior and harassment of any kind. More information on the DOE policies and regulations that apply to each entity can be found here.

DOE SC encourages individuals who want to report complaints of discrimination or harassment to contact the appropriate institutional officials or offices established to receive and address complaints, in accordance with the institutional policies, federal statutes, and DOE policies and regulations.

Please see the detailed information below on how to report a complaint based your institutional affiliation with DOE.   

If at any time you have questions or need guidance on reporting a complaint, please do not hesitate to contact the DOE Office of Civil Rights and Diversity at civilrights@hq.doe.gov, or call (202) 586-2218.

If you are: 

At an Institution Receiving DOE Grants or Cooperative Agreements

Includes college and university faculty, students, and staff; non-profit, for-profit or small business employees.

Colleges and universities receiving DOE financial assistance funding (i.e., grants or cooperative agreements) are required by Title VI and IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended), and by DOE regulations, to have established personnel and procedures for receiving and addressing complaints of discrimination or harassment.  Institutions are also required to broadly and prominently communicate their procedures for reporting a complaint.

DOE SC encourages faculty, students, and staff to use the procedures established at their institutions to report a complaint of discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment. This may be the Title IX Coordinator’s office, an Office of Equal Employment Opportunity or equivalent.

Faculty, students, and staff at educational institutions may also report complaints of discrimination or harassment to the DOE Office of Civil Rights and Diversity (OCRD) at civilrights@hq.doe.gov, or call (202) 586-2218. If you have concerns that a complaint reported to your institution may not be fully addressed by your institution or you have concerns about retaliation, we encourage you to contact DOE OCRD.

Employees of non-profit or for-profit organizations or small businesses receiving financial assistance awards from DOE (e.g. through the Small Business Innovation Research/ Small Business Technology Transfer [SBIR/STTR] Programs) may also report complaints of discrimination or harassment to the DOE OCRD at civilrights@hq.doe.gov, or call (202) 586-2218. 

DOE OCRD is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with civil rights regulations that apply to DOE financial assistance recipients and has established authorities and procedures for receiving and investigating complaints involving discrimination or harassment, including sexual and non-sexual harassment. 

At a DOE National Laboratory

Includes DOE laboratory contractor employees, visiting scientists, facility users.

DOE’s sixteen national laboratories managed under federal contracts are subject to Title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 60 (41 CFR 60), which defines the obligations and guidelines for federal contractors and subcontractors for meeting requirements and responsibilities established in federal civils rights laws, including the prohibition of discrimination and harassment.

In general, the DOE national laboratories maintain one or more options for internally reporting complaints of discrimination or harassment. Those include, but are not limited to, the laboratory’s Employee Concerns Program, the human resources department, the laboratory’s legal department, or an ethics hotline. The DOE national laboratories are required to broadly and prominently communicate the procedures for reporting complaints to laboratory employees, as well as visiting scientists and facility users.

DOE SC encourages laboratory contractor employees, visiting scientists, and visiting laboratory facility users to use the internal procedures established at the national laboratory to report a complaint of discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment. The DOE laboratories are required to investigate complaints and take appropriate administrative or legal actions.

DOE laboratory contractor employees may also report a grievance or complaint to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). The DOL OFCCP has jurisdiction over enforcement of federal contract requirements for affirmative action and equal employment, including post-hire discrimination and sexual harassment. DOE laboratory contractor employees have 180 calendar days from the date of alleged discrimination or harassment to file the complaint. The DOL OFCCP instructions for filing a complaint, as well as their investigation procedures, can be found here.  A laboratory contractor employee who has reported a complaint through the DOE national laboratory’s internal process is not precluded from also filing a formal complaint with the OFCCP, but is still held to the 180 day limit.

If DOE laboratory contractor employees or laboratory visitors have concerns that a complaint may not be addressed by the DOE national laboratory or by OFCCP, or have concerns about retaliation, we encourage you to contact the DOE Office of Civil Rights and Diversity (OCRD) for guidance on reporting options, at civilrights@hq.doe.gov, or call (202) 586-2218.  

If DOE laboratory contractor employees have concerns that the laboratory’s processes for investigating and responding to complaints of discrimination or harassment do not meet the requirements of 41 CFR 60, you are encouraged to contact the DOE Office of the Inspector General at https://www.energy.gov/ig/office-inspector-general, ighotline@hq.doe.gov, 202-586-4073, or 800-541-1625.

DOE Federal Employees

Includes Federal employees at all DOE sites and federal offices.

The FY 2018 DOE Policy Statement on Equal Employment Opportunity, Harassment, and Retaliation can be found here.

DOE federal employees are encouraged to promptly report complaints regarding discrimination or harassment to any management official or directly to the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office. DOE Field Site employees should contact their local EEO office. DOE Headquarters (HQ) employees should contact the HQ EEO Office.

DOE SC Field Site employees can find contact information for their EEO managers and additional information on the SC Consolidated Support Center EEO site.

DOE headquarters employees also may report a complaint through theDOE Office of Civil Rights and Diversity (OCRD) at civilrights@hq.doe.gov, or call (202) 586-2218.

DOE employees have the right to report incidents of discrimination or harassment without fear of retaliation. Managers who have knowledge of an act of possible discrimination or harassment should contact their local EEO Office or Human Capital Office, or the Office of the Ombudsman, for guidance.

Complaints should be reported within 45 calendar days of the alleged discrimination or harassment, or 45 calendar days from the date in which you reasonably became aware of the discrimination or harassment.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provides additional information to federal employees on the Federal EEO Complaint Process and appeals processes.