By Amanda J. Richard
In a ceremony in the C Street lobby of HST, April 26, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo introduced the Department of State’s new professional Ethos statement, emphasizing the idea of “One Team, One Mission, One Future.” Demonstrating respect in the workplace is a key component to ensuring that all employees feel valued, recognized and are able to work harmoniously with their colleagues. A work environment of civility and respect where all employees feel included is of the utmost importance, and nothing erodes this more than discrimination and harassment.
In 2018, the Office of Civil Rights (S/OCR) conducted anti-harassment training for all American direct-hire employees. Additionally, S/OCR, along with the Bureau of Human Resources, created an informative video to ensure that all employees received the training within the year. As part of the Department’s continued effort to uphold the values that are showcased in the Ethos statement, and to ensure accountability with the anti-harassment training requirements, S/OCR worked with the Foreign Service Institute to develop a new course, released in April 2019, called “Preventing Harassment at State (PK405).”
This course explains discriminatory harassment, highlights the mandatory reporting requirements for supervisors and responsible management officials, and helps employees understand the Department policies and procedures in place to protect them from discriminatory harassment and sexual harassment.
The creation of this course “represents our ongoing commitment to upholding our Professional Ethos and fostering a culture of integrity and respect for all,” said Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan in an email to all employees announcing the course.
All Department employees—Foreign Service and civil service—are required to complete this training course before Dec. 31, 2019 and every other year thereafter. Locally employed staff are highly encouraged to take the course as well. Employees can register for the distance learning course on FSI’s website. Additionally, the Department’s policy on harassment is listed in 3 FAM 1525 and 3 FAM 1526. Anyone may at any time report incidents of harassment to S/OCR’s reporting website.
Amanda J. Richard is the multimedia editor at State Magazine.