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Policy on Equal Employment

October 2, 2007

To: All NIH Employees

From: Director, NIH

Subject: Policy on Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is re-issuing the Policy Statement on Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Diversity Management to reaffirm my commitment to achieving the goal of a discrimination-free work environment. This includes maintaining an atmosphere where employment opportunities are open to all candidates. EEO means that decisions are made on the basis of merit, without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation (through the Department of Health and Human Service's [DHHS] Policy on Sexual Orientation), disability, or reprisal for engaging in a prior protected activity. It is critical that the NIH, as a premier biomedical research institution, continue to uphold its reputation for excellence by recruiting, training, and retaining employees from all backgrounds who are committed to working to reach our common goal of better health for everyone.

As an agency within the DHHS, the NIH will continue to develop and implement essential elements of a model EEO program, as defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Management Directive-715 (MD-715). These elements are the following: demonstrated commitment from agency leadership; integration of EEO into the agency's strategic mission; management and program accountability; proactive prevention of unlawful discrimination; efficiency; and responsiveness and legal compliance. The MD-715 process is designed to identify and eliminate barriers to full participation in the workforce for minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities.

In addition to our actions to eliminate employment barriers, we must make efforts to eliminate discrimination and harassment in any form at the NIH. Employees and applicants who believe they have been discriminated against may exercise their right to seek redress by contacting staff of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management. No reprisal against an applicant or employee is permitted. Any manager or supervisor, who discriminates or retaliates against an employee is subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the NIH Table of Penalties.

I am confident that continued support of this policy throughout the NIH will demonstrate an inclusive and fair work environment that compliments our noble mission.


Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.