- Issue Date: February 7, 2003
- Revision Date: January 29, 2016
- Primary Contact: Director of Human Resources and EEO Officer
- Responsible Member of Directorate: Vice President of Finance & Administration
- Responsible Office: Human Resources
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is committed to maintaining a positive, respectful working and learning environment, and an environment free of illegal discrimination and harassment. Institution scientists, administrators, managers and supervisors ashore and at sea are obligated to strongly support this effort and report any behaviors or actions that could be construed as discriminatory or harassment. All shore-based and at-sea employees, postdocs and students of the Institution as well as those who have a relationship with the Institution including Trustees, Corporation members, Guest Investigators, contractors, vendors, customers, etc., are expected to support this goal while affiliated with the Institution.
Reason for PolicyAs a matter of policy, the Institution endorses the principle of equal employment opportunity and prohibits sexual harassment and all other forms of discriminatory harassment.
Reason for Policy
Who Should Be Familiar With This Policy
Definitions & Responsibilities
Other Discriminatory Harassment
Condition of Employment/Status in a Program
Where and When Policy Applies
Use of Institution Property
Other Discriminatory Harassment
Forms of Sexual Harassment and Other Discriminatory Harassment
Reporting Perceived Harassment
Who Should Be Familiar With This PolicyEmployees
Other individuals who have a relationship with the Institution that enables the Institution to exercise some control over their conduct in places and activities that relate to the Institution's business (e.g. Trustees, Corporation Members, Guest Investigators, contractors, vendors, customers, etc.)
|Institution Policies||Other Documents|
|Human Resources: Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy
Human Resources: Respectful Workplace and Violence Prevention Policy
|Brochure – Harassment: What is it and what can be done about it? (pdf)|
ContactsEEO Officer/Title IX Coordinator
WHOI Ethics Hotline
Definitions & ResponsibilitiesThese definitions apply to these terms as they are used in this policy.
|Reporting Perceived Harassment|
Employees of the Institution, postdocs and students should promptly report any incident of perceived harassment affecting them or others according to the procedure below:
Whenever possible, such incidents should be reported to the supervisor or academic advisor, department head or administrator, ship's Captain or Chief Scientist, or other appropriate resource personnel. The individual to whom the incident is reported should report a serious allegation to the EEO Officer and/or the Title IX Coordinator as appropriate. The EEO Officer is available to help an employee, postdoc or student resolve concerns while offering as much privacy and confidentiality as the Institution can provide given the circumstances. Similarly, the Title IX Coordinator is available for postdocs and students.
If the circumstances warrant an investigation, the EEO Officer, Title IX Coordinator, and/or the General Counsel or designee will investigate the allegations, typically including interviewing anyone identified as an offending individual and witnesses who may have relevant information. The investigation will be undertaken promptly. While the location of incidents (e.g., at sea) may affect the timing of an investigation, the Institution will strive to complete an investigation as promptly as can reasonably be expected under the circumstances.
An alternative resource for employees, postdocs, and students is the WHOI Ethics Hotline hosted by an independent third party hotline provider called EthicsPoint. EthicsPoint provides a neutral, confidential resource to report concerns. Reporting can be accomplished by placing a phone call or through a confidential website. The reporting person may choose to be anonymous or to identify themselves when reporting the concern. The reporting person may also request that no action be taken. The WHOI Ethics Hotline can be accessed by either calling: 866-868-0920 or by visiting the website www.whoi.ethicspoint.com. Communications with EthicsPoint are not considered official notice to the Institution and are confidential to the full extent possible unless or until the individual decides otherwise. However, an anonymous report should be aware that, depending on the report and allegations, an investigation may still be necessitated depending on the circumstances.
Initially, resolution through informal, with all Institutional support requested or available, means is encouraged and, in most instances, will be satisfactory. However, if the problem remains unresolved, or if the problem reoccurs, more formal action, including an investigation, may be taken.
Whether the report is made informally (through EthicsPoint) or formally (through the EEO Officer or Title IX Coordinator), it will be handled as discreetly and with as much confidentiality as is reasonably possible, and as allowed under Title IX and other laws.
The WHOI Ethics Hot Line: Phone Number: 866-868-0920 Website: www.whoi.ethicspoint.com.
The information provided through the WHOI Ethics Hotline noted above will be shared with the Institution’s EEO Officer and/or Title IX Coordinator by EthicsPoint on a completely confidential and anonymous basis. Unless the individual provides permission through EthicsPoint, personal contact information will not be shared. Communication between individuals filing a report and the Institution’s EEO Officer and/or Title IX Coordinator will be facilitated entirely through EthicsPoint. The WHOI Ethics Hotline noted above should not be used casually or inappropriately.
|Other Reporting||The Institution strongly encourages employees, postdocs and students to bring any concerns about possible sexual or other discriminatory harassment to the Institution’s attention. Inquiries may also be directed to the agencies responsible for government enforcement of employment discrimination laws as listed below:
Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
One Ashburton Place, Rm. 601
Boston, MA 02108
United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
One Congress Street, 10th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
As with any other Institution EEO policy, individuals found in violation of this policy are subject to disciplinary action, which may include any level of counseling, warnings, transfers, suspensions, reductions in pay or duties, and/or termination of employment.
Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against anyone who engages in any form of retaliation against a person reporting sexual harassment or other discriminatory harassment or against any other person who cooperates with an investigation into alleged violations of this policy.