Fermi National Laboratory

If you encounter discrimination or harassment at Fermilab, tell someone you trust. Talk to your supervisor, to Equal Employment Opportunity Manager Dianne Engram (4633), or to laboratory management, including the Laboratory Director Michael Witherell. You can call the Fermilab Action Line at 840-4000 to make your concerns known anonymously. If you feel you need to talk with someone outside the laboratory, you can talk directly to Corporate Counsel, URA, Inc., Washington, D.C. at 202-293-1382. You can call the hotline of the Inspector General of the Department of Energy at 1-800-541-1625 or 1-202-586-4073. You can also communicate directly with the DOE Area Manager's Office (x3281).


The policy at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory is to pursue its scientific goals with an emphasis on equal employment opportunity and a special dedication to human rights and dignity.

"Fermilab attracts scientists, not only from this country, but from many other nations all over the world. Foreign visitors, laypersons, as well as scientists, come to the laboratory to participate in its work. They represent a wide variety of races, nationalities, cultures and beliefs. It is essential that we provide an environment and maintain an atmosphere in which both staff and visitors can live and work with pride and dignity without regard to such differences as race, religion, sex, or national origin."

"In any conflict between technical expediency and human rights we will stand on the side of human rights. This is because of our dedication to science. The support of human rights in our laboratory and its environs is inextricably intertwined with our goal of making the Laboratory a center of technical and scientific excellence. The latter is not likely to be achieved without success of the former." -- From Robert Wilson's original policy statement on human rights at Fermilab.


Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory/URA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The established policy of Fermilab is to affirm and dedicate itself to the primary principle of nondiscrimination in all phases of its activities. As an equal opportunity employer, Fermilab is committed to a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Therefore, Fermilab expects that all relationships among persons in the workplace will be business-like and free of bias, prejudice and harassment. Fermilab pledges itself to the following policy for all employees as well as applicants for employment: Fermilab will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, veteran status, marital status, disability unrelated to ability to perform the job, or any other reason prohibited by law. The Laboratory has an Equal Opportunity Office located at Wilson Hall, 15W.

Each employee is expected to support and abide by this policy without exception.

Appropriate disciplinary action may be taken against any employee willfully violating this policy.


It is the policy of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory that all our employees and guests will enjoy a work environment free from all forms of harassment, to include those based on gender or sexual preference.

Sexual harassment is a form of misconduct, which undermines the integrity of the employment relationship. No employee - either male or female - should be subjected to unsolicited and unwelcome sexual overtures or conduct, either verbal or physical.

Sexual harassment does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature. It refers to behavior that is not welcome, which is personally offensive, which debilitates morale, and which, therefore, interferes with our work effectiveness. Such conduct, whether committed by supervisors or non-supervisory personnel, independent contractors or vendors, or guest researchers, is specifically prohibited. This includes: repeated offensive sexual flirtation; advances or propositions; continued or repeated verbal abuse of a sexual nature; graphic or degrading sexual comments about an individual or his/her appearance; or any offensive or abusive physical contact.

This policy also prohibits the use of electronic communications to download or transmit materials with pornographic, profane or sexually explicit content. In addition, no one should imply or threaten that an applicant or employee's "cooperation" of a sexual nature (or refusal thereof) will have any effect on the individual's employment, assignment, compensation, advancement, career development, or any other condition of employment.

We require employees to promptly report sexually harassing conduct they experience, learn of, or witness. All complaints will be investigated promptly, thoroughly, and with respect for the confidential nature of these complaints to the extent possible and practical. Offenders will be subject to corrective action, including discipline up to and including termination. The Laboratory will not tolerate any form of retaliation against persons who make a complaint, assist in the investigation of a complaint, or cooperate in the investigation. If an employee has any questions regarding this policy or feels he or she may have a complaint of harassment, the employee should contact the Equal Opportunity Manager, the employee's department head or the employee's immediate supervisor if appropriate. If the alleged harasser is a supervisor, the employee should bring the complaint to one of the individuals outside of the chain of command as indicated in this policy.

The EEO Manager can be reached at extension 4633. In the instance of harassment by key personnel of the Laboratory (defined as the Laboratory Director, Deputy Laboratory Director, Associate Laboratory Director, Assistant Laboratory Director or the Fermi Main Injector Project Director) complaints may be made directly to Corporate Counsel, URA, Inc., Washington, D.C. at 202-293-1382.


  1. Sexual harassment constitutes unlawful discrimination. For the purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined, as in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines, as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
  2. Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. Under this policy, harassment is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his/her race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability or any other characteristic protected by law that: (1) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment; (2) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance; or (3) otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment opportunities.

Harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to: epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes and display or circulation in the workplace of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group (including through e-mail).


These policies apply to all applicants and employees, and prohibit harassment, discrimination and retaliation whether engaged in by fellow employees, by a supervisor or manager or by someone not directly connected to Fermilab (e.g., an outside vendor, consultant or customer).

Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable in the workplace and in any work-related setting outside the workplace, such as during business trips, business meetings and business-related social events.


Fermilab prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or harassment or participates in an investigation of such reports. Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, will be subject to disciplinary action.



Fermilab strongly urges the reporting of all incidents of discrimination, harassment or retaliation, regardless of the offender's identity or position. An employee who believes that he or she is being subjected to conduct that is inconsistent with this policy is expected to make an appointment as soon as conveniently possible with the EEO Manager to discuss the concern. The employee is not required or expected to discuss the concern with his or her immediate supervisor, or with the perceived offender, prior to contacting the EEO Office.


Each complaint will be investigated. Confidentiality will be honored to the extent permitted by law, so long as the rights of others are not compromised thereby. In the event that the employee who filed the complaint is dissatisfied with the results of the investigation, he or she may appeal to the Director.

last modified 9/25/2003   email Fermilab