Difference Between the Civil Program and the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)

It’s easy to get confused between the NIH Civil Program and EDI. Both offices play role in preventing and addressing harassment at the NIH but involve entirely separate processes with separate purposes.

EDI and the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program

All NIH employees, contractors, and job applicants have a right to file a complaint of discrimination on the following basis:

  • age
  • race
  • sex
  • national origin
  • disability
  • color
  • religion
  • retaliation
  • genetic information

If you choose to file a complaint of discrimination, contact the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Office within 45 days of the incident. 

Once an harassment complaint is filed, the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion will notify the Institute/Center/Office and the Civil Program of the allegation so appropriate action can be taken if applicable.  

NIH Civil Program

Civil is responsible for managing all allegations of harassment, including:

  • sexual harassment
  • hostile work environment
  • retaliation

Civil conducts a fact-finding investigation to see if NIH policy is violated and provides recommendations to management. The goal is to ensure that misconduct is addressed consistently across the NIH.

Other important things to understand:

  • There is no time frame to file an allegation with the Civil Program, although information too far in the past may hinder the ability to obtain relevant information
  • Civil does not mediate between management and employees. The office assesses the situation, coordinates resources, and makes sure the right groups are involved.
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