Zero Tolerance for Workplace Harassment

March 15, 2016


To:                   All Employees

From:               Director  //signed// Jonathan B. Jarvis

Subject:            Zero Tolerance for Workplace Harassment

On January 12, 2016, the Office of Inspector General released the “Investigative Report of Misconduct at the Grand Canyon River District” revealing a disturbing culture of sexual harassment.  Many of you have seen or heard about this report through various electronic mediums and have expressed shock and dismay that the serious behavior and practices described has occurred for so long.

I agree with your concerns.  Recognizing that there are pending personnel and Equal Employment Opportunity cases which require confidentiality, I can assure you that we are taking active steps in response to this situation.  We are committed to fully implementing the actions described in the corrective action report.

That said, no employee has the right or the power by nature of their position to inflict their will or to subject co-workers, regardless of their status, to abuse.

Certainly, this type of behavior is unlawful.  While policy, rules and regulations exist to protect all of us, treating people with respect is foundational to our culture.  The National Park Service is committed to ensuring a work environment that is free of threatening, hostile or demeaning behavior.

The culture in this arena is of deep concern for me.  I am asking every one of you to work to change this.   Take it upon yourself to initiate the dialogue, as we all have the responsibility to bring these issues to the forefront.  If you have concerns, discuss them first with your supervisor. Leadership, regardless of position, matters.  If the response is inadequate, seek out a supervisor in a different discipline.  Initiate the dialogue, talk to a supervisor, and if a response or mediation does not occur, seek out your local equal opportunity counselor or contact.

Together we must create a culture of acceptance, which treats every individual with respect and provides employees with a safe and secure work environment.  You deserve nothing less.

Supervisors are reminded it is your responsibility to act on such matters within your organization and in coordination with your employee relations or equal opportunity specialists.

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