Policy Statement on Equal Employment Opportunity

September 30, 2021


NOAA has one of the most diverse and impactful missions across the Federal government, and its workforce must reflect the people and communities that we support and serve. NOAA is committed to equal opportunities for all employees and applicants for employment.

At NOAA, all employees may be assured they have the freedom to compete on a fair and level playing field. There is no tolerance for any form of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination), sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age (40 years of age and over), genetic information, or disability (physical or mental), including the provision of reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. Furthermore, retaliation against anyone who initiates a discrimination complaint, serves as witnesses, or otherwise opposes discrimination is strictly prohibited.  These Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) protections cover all employment programs, management practices, and decisions, including, but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, merit promotions, transfers, reassignments, training and career development, benefits, and separations. 

Employees, applicants, and contractors, who believe they have been discriminated against, and want to initiate an EEO complaint, must contact the NOAA Office of Inclusion and Civil Rights (OICR) within 45 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory event or when they become aware of an alleged discriminatory act.  If you wish to file a complaint, or want more information on the EEO complaint process, you can visit the OICR website at https://www.noaa.gov/inclusion-and-civil-rights, call OICR at 1 (800) 452-6728(301) 713-0500, or email them at noaa.oicr@noaa.gov. Pursuant to Departmental Administrative Order (DAO) 202-751, an employee who is found to have discriminated against another employee may be subject to discipline.

I encourage all employees who file an EEO complaint to take advantage of the EEO Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program.  It is a valuable tool designed to resolve EEO disputes as quickly as possible through the use of mediation with impartial mediators.

Please be mindful of other policies that help us maintain a safe and inclusive workplace such as DAO 202-955: Allegations of Harassment Prohibited by Federal Law and NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 202-1106: NOAA Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response Policy. Under these policies, NOAA managers and supervisors are responsible for preventing, documenting, and promptly correcting harassing conduct in the workplace. 

Ensuring people feel valued while contributing to the NOAA mission results in greater workplace engagement and innovation. As the new NOAA Administrator, I am committed to cultivating a discrimination-free workplace fully inclusive of all employees.  I ask that you join us in this endeavor, and if you see inappropriate or discriminatory behavior that you report it.  Together we can ensure a safe, diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace that provides the best possible services to our nation and the world!



Richard W. Spinrad, Ph.D.
Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere
 and NOAA Administrator