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USGS Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement

As described in our newly released 21st Century Science Strategy, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is committed to delivering science to advance the economic welfare of the Nation, protect the safety and health of our people, contribute maps and data to the public good, and advance understanding of the environment, ecosystems, and species that share our planet.

To ensure that we carry our mission forward and achieve our potential for transformational earth and biological science, it is critical that we attract, retain, and develop a skilled and high performing workforce, establish and strengthen sustainable relationships with our diverse communities, educational institutions, and professional organizations, and foster an attractive workplace that reflects the best and the brightest of every segment of our society.

In exercising the delegated authority of the USGS Director, I want to emphasize my unwavering commitment to equal employment opportunity (EEO), diversity and inclusion, and employment decisions made in accordance with merit system principles contained in 5 U.S.C § 2301 and DOI Prohibited Personnel Practices. The USGS cannot and will not tolerate discrimination, and all employees, former employees, applicants for employment, and members of the public who seek to participate in USGS programs, activities, and services will not be discriminated against based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sex stereotyping, gender identity, gender expression or transgender status), national origin, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, age, protected genetic information, status as a parent, marital status, or political affiliation; or face retaliation based on previous EEO activity. In addition, the USGS will not tolerate any type of harassment – either sexual or nonsexual.

Reinforcing EEO as the principal element, the USGS is taking steps toward a comprehensive approach to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). To ensure the USGS workplace is free of discrimination, identification of additional actions for EDI are underway, including positioning the USGS as an attractive workplace for underserved communities and efforts to support retaining and developing the workforce. As such, the USGS is dedicated to building EDI and devoted to a zealous commitment toward concerted actions that support a workplace where opportunities are fair and open, and where all employees feel welcome, valued, and have a sense of belonging to reach their full potential.

While EEO covers all personnel and employment programs, management practices, and decisions, including but not limited to recruiting and hiring, merit promotions, transfers, reassignments, training, and career development, benefits, and separations, the USGS emphasizes the importance of inclusion of all employees, not just the legally-protected classes, to achieve genuine and credible results in employment-related matters. The USGS will make sure that EEO program requirements are enforced in accordance with the governing regulatory guidelines, and we will promptly and professionally investigate and address allegations of discrimination or workplace harassment. Also, where allegations are substantiated, the USGS will take appropriate action. Therefore, all employees must fully participate in investigations into allegations of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. Managers and supervisors must also participate in the alternative dispute resolution program for resolving EEO allegations.

Stepping boldly into the next few decades, the USGS has pledged to deliver advanced science products to further our Nation’s prosperity and ensure our citizens’ safety and well-being by leveraging diversity and promoting natural science disciplines. Our future success will be determined by inclusive efforts, including the decisions and investments we make in our people, technology, and scientific research in the coming years.

The USGS has an exemplary reputation as the Nation's premier earth science agency delivering unbiased, objective, and independent scientific data and findings. The future vitality of the USGS depends on attracting diverse individuals with the best talent, broadest experience, and the assurance that every qualified person has an equal opportunity to compete and contribute their full potential. Therefore, I strongly support and embrace the principles of EEO, and fully support the implementation of EDI initiatives in the workplace. Likewise, every USGS employee has a responsibility for making the USGS an inclusive workplace environment.

If you believe you have been subjected to unlawful discrimination or harassment, you can contact the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity at (703) 648-7770 and ask to speak with an EEO Counselor. The EEO Counselor will have a discussion with you about your situation, explain the EEO complaint process, and explain your rights and responsibilities. You can also find more information at the following web sites: and


I am counting on everyone to do their part in these efforts, and I expect all employees, supervisors, and managers to adhere to the principles of this policy.

David Applegate

Associate Director for Natural Hazards

Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Director