2019 Secretarial Policy Statement on

Equal Employment Opportunity



The Department of Commerce is charged with stimulating economic growth and expanding opportunities for Americans across the country.  We will do so by putting American workers first.  We will foster favorable conditions for economic growth and opportunity by promoting innovation, entrepreneurship, market development and commercialization.  We will promote fair trade through the rigorous enforcement of laws and encourage cutting-edge scientific understanding of economic, social and environmental systems. 


As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Commerce among nations must be fair and equitable.” I believe the same applies to our workforce.  To ensure a fair and equitable work environment for our employees, we embrace the principles of EEO, diversity and inclusion as we recruit, develop, and retain a high-performing workforce that truly reflects the face of our Nation as a whole, and that has the critical skills necessary for mission success.  We recognize that in order to achieve greatness as a Department, and as a Nation, we must practice our principles of mutual respect for all.  Our commitment to the following principles will enhance our ability to carry out the mission of the Department.


The Department of Commerce does not tolerate behavior, harassment, discrimination or prejudice 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).  We will also provide reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities.  Retaliation against those who initiate discrimination complaints, serve as witnesses or participate in the EEO process, or otherwise oppose discrimination and harassment is strictly prohibited.


These protections and principles guide all management practices and decisions, including recruitment and hiring practices, appraisal systems, promotions, training and access to career-development programs.  Commerce managers and supervisors are responsible for preventing, documenting, and promptly correcting harassing conduct in the workplace. Managers will be held accountable if they fail to prevent, document or promptly correct harassing conduct in the workplace.


We seek to resolve workplace conflicts in a prompt, impartial, confidential, nondiscriminatory, and constructive manner, without fear of reprisal.  You are encouraged to use the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program as a valuable tool in resolving EEO disputes.  All Commerce employees who believe they have been subject to or have knowledge of discriminatory or harassing behavior are encouraged to report the behavior to a supervisor, servicing human resources office or EEO office.  For avenues to address other workplace issues, please see: http://osec.doc.gov/ocr/CivilRights/Publications/WorkIssues.pdf.


Mutual respect for all and adherence to the principles and laws of equal employment opportunity are not only bedrock principles of our country, but they also undergird the success of American business and good government.  We expect all Commerce staff, supervisors and employees alike to carry out their responsibilities and adhere to the principles of this policy.





For the signed copy of the 2019 Secretarial Policy Statement on EEO please click here.





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Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
U.S. Department of Commerce

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Page last updatedFriday, June 16, 2017