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United States Department of the Interior
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669

February 24, 2011

1400-713 (MT910.SM) P                                                                                           
Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2011-029
Expires: 9/30/2012
To:             All Montana/Dakotas Employees
From:         State Director
Subject:     Policy on Equal Employment and the Prevention of Harassment
Program Area: Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
Purpose:  This Instruction Memorandum (IM) outlines the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Montana/Dakotas policy on Equal Employment and the Prevention of Harassment.
Policy/Action: It is the policy of BLM, Montana/Dakotas to provide an equitable and harassment-free work environment, one in which people treat each other with respect.  Managers, supervisors, and employees as well as contractors, cooperators, and volunteers have the responsibility to work for and maintain a discrimination-free environment and to prevent harassment in the work place.  The work environment may be government buildings and offices, field sites, or the fire line – anywhere that work-related activities, including travel, occur.  It is our responsibility to prevent harassment in the workplace, in all its various forms, and ensure a discrimination-free work environment for everyone. It is the policy of the BLM to ensure that any type of discrimination or harassment is unacceptable. Harassment, including but not limited to sexual harassment, has serious and negative consequences. This type of behavior affects morale, motivation, and job performance. It may result in increased absenteeism, turnover, and loss of productivity. Discriminatory harassment is a serious matter affecting the work life and sometimes the personal lives of individuals and others around them. Harassment cannot and will not be tolerated.

I want to emphasize that the BLM has a Zero Tolerance policy regarding unlawful harassment and other forms of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, and genetic information.  This policy also protects you from retaliation if you oppose employment discrimination, file a complaint of discrimination, or participate in the EEO complaint process (even if the complaint is not yours). Managers and supervisors must exhibit and encourage appropriate standards of conduct as well as take immediate and appropriate corrective action when incidents are brought to their attention.  

Employees must take responsibility for their work environment and conduct themselves in a professional manner. Ask yourself, “What could be the impact of my behavior?”
I urge you to read the attached policy carefully. You must be aware of and understand your responsibility in providing and maintaining a harassment-free work environment. Each of you is responsible for understanding this policy. Ignorance of the law is no defense for unlawful conduct.
If you are experiencing, or believe you are experiencing discriminatory harassment, immediately contact a supervisor, manager, or EEO official. For more information on the EEO Federal Complaint Process, please visit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s website at http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/fed_employees/complaint_overview.cfm. You may also view
WO-IB-2010-083, Policies on Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Employment and the Prevention of Harassment (sexual and non-sexual) or WO-IB-2011-016, Policy on Diversity and Inclusion.
Timeframe: This policy is effective immediately.
Budget Impact: None.
Background: The BLM Montana/Dakotas is committed to having a workplace that is free of discrimination and retaliation. Employees must be provided with a suitable environment where they can be productive and successful in promoting the bureau’s mission.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None.
Coordination: This IM was coordinated with State EEO Manager.
Contact: Any questions related to this memorandum should be addressed to Sara Romero-Minkoff, EEO Manager, Montana State Office, at (406) 896-5180.
Signed by:                                                                                          Authenticated by:
Jamie E. Connell                                                                                 Lynnell Cellmer
State Director                                                                                     Staff Assistant (MT932)
2 Attachments
       1 - Policy (2 pp)
       2 - EEO Staff (1 p)

Last updated: 06-28-2012