In December 2017, the Board issued an agency-wide policy statement on the prohibition of harassment that reaffirmed its commitment to provide a work environment free from harassment or intimidation. It states that “there will be no retaliation or reprisal for reporting unwelcomed sexual advances, verbal innuendos and any behavior by colleagues that makes BBG employees uncomfortable, including being bullied or intimidated by a supervisor or peer.”
At its last meeting on March 14, 2018, the Board asked CEO & Director John F. Lansing for a progress report to ensure a civil and safe workplace free of any kind of harassment. The Board was impressed with CEO Lansing’s report and wishes to relay the proactive steps that the BBG has taken to clearly communicate and appropriately address harassment issues.
The BBG is in the process of scheduling 28 formal training sessions this spring on the prevention of sexual harassment. These sessions will use lectures, case studies, engaging learning activities, videos, and class discussion to focus on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) definition of sexual harassment, concepts, perceptions, third-party claims, behaviors, responsibilities, and responses to sexual harassment. The in-person training is mandatory for all BBG Federal employees and contractors.
Gender-specific small group sessions are also planned to allow a safe space to discuss acceptable and non-acceptable behavior in the BBG’s multi-cultural, multi-generational workplace. These sessions will be voluntary and facilitated as needed after the mandatory, all-staff training concludes.
The BBG’s grantee networks—Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA), and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN)—take all reported harassment claims very seriously and have developed robust, comprehensive policies to address alleged harassment in all forms. Employees and contractors have numerous options for reporting, including by means of anonymous channels. Each network delivers mandatory harassment prevention training to all staff and makes clear that retaliation against complainants will not be tolerated.
The Broadcasting Board of Governors remains committed to fostering a work environment that is civil, safe, and harassment free. Harassment is an unlawful, unwanted form of employment discrimination and the BBG has zero tolerance for it.
The Board encourages all employees to report any and all incidents, and that all reports of harassment will be handled expeditiously and with sensitivity. It is the responsibility of BBG management to protect employees and take corrective action as early as possible. BBG employees should be treated with respect by all colleagues, every single day.
BBG’s work is vital to our international audiences—and a safe, inclusive work environment is vital to our work.
U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors