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Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement

2023 Secretarial Policy Statement on
Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and safe Work Environment 

November 27, 2023

The Department of Commerce (DOC) is committed to welcoming and inclusive environments dedicated to the values of equal opportunity, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA). As Secretary, I work with our committed leadership team to actively advance equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunity for all employees and applicants.  We do this by addressing systemic racism, strengthening civil rights programs, and ensuring safe working environments free from harmful harassing behaviors while also building trust within and outside of the DOC.  We must strive for consistent transparency in our policies and communications, the equitable delivery of quality programs and services, and hold ourselves accountable toward meeting these goals.

It continues to be important for DOC leadership to reaffirm work environments that protect employee and applicant rights and ensure that we support equal employment opportunity (EEO) for all.  EEO covers all personnel/employment programs, management practices, and decisions, including, but not limited to, recruitment/hiring, merit promotion, transfer, reassignments, training and career development, benefits, and separation.  Therefore, the DOC does not tolerate retaliation for protected EEO activity nor harassment or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, transgender status, and pregnancy), national origin, age (40 years of age and over), genetic information (including family medical history) or disability (physical or mental).  Consistent with these principles, the DOC also provides reasonable accommodations to qualified employees and applicants with disabilities and for sincerely held religious beliefs, observances, and practices and for limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions.  All applicants and employees have the freedom to compete for employment and advancement opportunities, on a fair and equitable playing field.

As the DOC aspires to be a leader in DEIA and a model EEO employer, it is imperative that all DOC employees and applicants are free from harassment and discrimination and are able to raise allegations of discrimination without fear of reprisal.  Any employee who is found to have discriminated or harassed someone or retaliated against an employee who has made a complaint of discrimination or harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.  We will seek to resolve workplace conflicts in a timely, impartial, confidential, nondiscriminatory, and constructive manner.  We will ensure a complaint process that provides a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation.

If you believe that you have been subject to discrimination or have knowledge of discriminatory or harassing behavior, you are encouraged to report the behavior to a supervisor, your Servicing Human Resources Office (SHRO), or your Bureau EEO Office within 45 days from the date of the alleged discriminatory event, or the date you became aware of such discrimination.  You are also encouraged to use the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program as a valuable tool in resolving EEO disputes at the lowest possible level.  For avenues to address other workplace issues, please see: 

Addressing Workplace Issues: At A Glance.

Employees who believe they have been sexually harassed or assaulted are encouraged to report the matter as soon as possible to appropriate law enforcement, your SHRO, or supervisory personnel.  The DOC takes every allegation seriously and stands ready to support those who come forward.  The DOC is committed to an environment that is welcoming, safe, and inclusive – that cannot exist if harassment and assault are present.

All employees must comply with EEO laws, policies, procedures, and executive orders as we perform the DOC’s mission.  Accordingly, all senior leaders, managers, and supervisors must model values-based leadership and appropriate behavior, leading always by example, treating everyone with dignity and respect, and promoting an ethical, equitable, inclusive, and accessible workplace culture.


Gina M. Raimondo 

Secretary of Commerce


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2023 EEODEIA and Safe Work Environment Policy Statement 238.94 KB