NPS Guides to Understanding, Preventing and Reporting Harassment


The National Park Service is committed to providing its employees with a safe, productive and inclusive workplace. To achieve a workplace free of harassment, the NPS wants to make sure that every employee and supervisor knows what harassment is, what to do if it happens and how to prevent it.

The following guides for supervisors and employees cover the basics of harassment: types of harassment, legal protections and steps to take if you are a victim of or witness workplace harassment. The supervisors’ guide covers additional supervisory responsibilities regarding workplace harassment and maintaining a zero-tolerance workplace culture.

What You’ll Learn

For Supervisors

A Supervisor’ Guide to Understanding, Preventing, and Reporting Harassment covers the following:

  • Legal definitions of harassment
  • NPS Management responsibilities
  • The importance of maintaining a safe and inclusive work environment
  • Communicating to staff what actions or words are unwelcome or illegal in the workplace
  • Contractors, vendors, volunteers and other third parties
  • Protecting against retaliation
  • Preventing workplace harassment
  • Educating yourself and others
  • Enforcing policies
  • The Inquiry Process and Confidentiality

A Quick Reference for Managers to Address Workplace Harassment

For Employees

An Employee’s Guide to Understanding, Preventing, and Reporting Harassment covers the following:

  • Legal definitions and types of harassment
  • Legal protections for employees
  • Perception and unwelcome words or actions
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • What to do if you are harassed
  • Supervisory responsibilities
  • Preventing harassment
  • Retaliation and assault
  • Contractors, vendors and third parties

NPS Ombuds Office

The NPS Ombuds office is an independent, impartial, informal and confidential resource for employees seeking resolution of individual and systemic problems in the workplace. Any NPS employee can meet with the Ombuds team to discuss a range of workplace issues, including harassment, without fear of reprisal or retribution. It is the function of the Ombuds team to explore employee concerns and possible resolution options in a prompt, thorough, impartial, consistent and confidential manner.

The Ombuds team is not a part of the management structure or a part of the formal grievance or complaint process. The team does not replace formal complaint processes but is a tool to address individual conflicts and raise employee concerns to leadership.

Meet the NPS Ombuds Team

NPS Ombuds Memo November 30, 2016

NPS Ombuds Overview

NPS Ombuds Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Information

Downloadable resource sheet for employees

Report Discrimination

If you feel you’re being discriminated against based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetics and/or sexual orientation, the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity can help, even if you are unsure whether discrimination is a factor. They can help whether or not you decide to file a formal complaint.

Remember, however, that a complaint must be filed within 45 days of the incident.



  • Do these guides help you understand your rights and responsibilities as an NPS employee in preventing and reporting harassment?
  • The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available for all current and former NPS employees and offers free, confidential counseling and mental health support.
  • Employee Resource Groups and your colleagues in the CLP Commons offer further resources for peer support and creating an inclusive, diverse workplace in the NPS.

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