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John E. Potter
Postmaster General, CEO

Postal Service Policy on Sexual Harassment

The United States Postal Service is committed to providing a work environment free of sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual conduct. The Postal Service's workplace must be one in which all employees are treated with dignity and respect by supervisors, subordinates, and coworkers. There is no place in the Postal Service's workplace for sexually intimidating, threatening, or coercive behavior.

Sexual harassment is against the law. Employees will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including removal, for engaging in sexually harassing behavior such as, but not limited to:

• Making or threatening to make employment decisions based on an employee's submission to or rejection of sexual advances or requests for sexual favors.

• Deliberate or repeated unsolicited remarks with a sexual connotation or physical contacts of asexual nature that are unwelcome to the recipient.

• Behavior that creates a sustained hostile or abusive work environment so severe or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with or changes the conditions of one's employment.

Although not every instance of inappropriate sexual behavior may fit the legal definition of sexual harassment, such behavior in the workplace undermines morale and violates the Postal Service's standards of conduct. Disciplinary action may result even if the conduct is not sexual harassment under the law. The Postal Service owes its employees a safe, productive, and inclusive workplace and can tolerate nothing less.

Postal Service employees who believe they are the victims of sexual harassment or inappropriate sexually based conduct or who have witnessed inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature should bring the situation to the attention of a manager, supervisor, union official, an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) counselor, or to the manager of Human Resources.

All managers and supervisors are responsible for preventing sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior in the workplace and must respond promptly when they learn of any such conduct. Any manager or supervisor who receives a complaint will see that a prompt and thorough investigation is conducted and ensure that the harassment/inappropriate conduct does not happen again. All managers and supervisors should use the initial Management Inquiry Process materials available in Publication 552, Manager's Guide to Understanding Sexual Harassment, when a complaint is brought to their attention. If sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct is found, managers must take prompt and appropriate remedial action.

In addition, employees can seek relief through the EEO complaint process, grievance arbitration procedures established through the collective bargaining agreements with the unions, and the nonbargaining grievance procedures described in section 650 of the Employee and Labor Relations Manual. Employees pursuing an EEO complaint must contact an EEO counselor within 45 days of the act(s) giving rise to the claim in order to preserve their rights under federal law.

Any possible criminal misconduct should be reported to the Postal Inspection Service.

Retaliation against employees who raise a claim of sexual harassment, report inappropriate conduct, or provide evidence in any investigation is illegal and can result in disciplinary action.

The Postal Service will not tolerate sexual harassment, any inappropriate sexual conduct, or reprisal in the workplace.

John E. Potter, Postmaster General, CEO