Supporting Policies

The following list of regulations, executive orders, statutes, and memoranda supports the NIH's committment to protect applicants and employees from discrimination, as well as help advance racial equity and diversity and inclusion efforts in the workplace.


  • No FEAR Act of 2002

    The Notification and Federal Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act (No FEAR) became effective on October 1, 2003. This statute imposes duties on federal agency employers to affirm their obligation to provide a work environment free of discrimination and retaliation. Among other things, it requires federal agencies to reimburse the Judgment Fund for payments made to employees, former employees or applicants because of a violation of the discrimination laws, whistleblower protection laws and retaliation. It requires an annual notice to the workforce regarding whistleblower protection laws. It also requires that agencies train each of their employees every two years on the employment discrimination and whistleblower protection laws.

  • Elijah E. Cummings Federal Anti-Discrimination Act of 2020

    The Elijah E. Cummings Federal Employee Anti-Discrimination Act of 2020 amends the NoFEAR Act of 2002 by requiring each federal agency to establish an EEO Complaint Tracking System; Notification in personnel records for acts of discrimination; Fair and impartial processing and resolution of EEO complaints; Establishment of Model EEO Program that is not under the control of the Human Resources Office or General Counsel; Head of EEO Program reports directly to Agency Head; and Referral by EEOC to the Office of Special Counsel of findings of discrimination.

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)

    This law makes it illegal to discriminate against an employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against an employee or applicant for employment because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. The law also requires that employers reasonably accommodate applicants’ and employees’ sincerely held religious practices, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business.

Regulations & Policies

  • 29 C.F.R. Part 1606: Guidelines on Discrimination Because of National Origin

    National origin discrimination can involve treating applicants for employment or employees unfavorably because of their actual or perceived place of birth, country of origin, ancestry, native language, accent, or because they have the physical, cultural or linguistic characteristics of a national origin group.

  • This describes the procedures for processing Federal Sector EEO complaints. The statutes and regulations enforced by EEOC make it illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, disability, or age.

  • NIH Manual Chapter 1311: Preventing and Addressing Harassment and Inappropriate Conduct

    This new chapter describes the NIH policies and procedures regarding allegations of harassment and inappropriate conduct in the workplace.

Executive Orders

  • Executive Order 13985

    January 20, 2021, issued by President Joe Biden – On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.

  • Executive Order 13592

    December 2, 2011, issued by President Barack Obama – Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities.

  • Executive Order 13583

    August 18, 2011, issued by President Barack Obama – establishing a coordinated government-wide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce.

  • Executive Order 13515

    October 14, 2009, issued by President Barack Obama – Increasing Participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Federal Programs.

  • Executive Order 13171

    October 12, 2000, issued by President Clinton – Hispanic Employment in the Federal Government.

  • Executive Order 13160

    June 23, 2000 - Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Race, Sex, Color, National Origin, Disability, Religion, Age, Sexual Orientation, and Status as a Parent in Federally Conducted Education and Training Programs.

  • Executive Order 12067

    June 30, 1978 - Providing for coordination of Federal Equal Employment Opportunity programs.

  • Executive Order 11478

    August 8, 1969, issued by President Richard M. Nixon – Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government.


  • Memorandum

    Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

  • 2020 EEO Diversity & Inclusion Policy Statement

    Each year, the agency Director signs an EEO Policy Statement. These policy statements, signed over the many NIH Director terms, will serve as an annual reflection of the NIH commitment to these important civil rights and diversity matters.

  • MD-110

    Management Directive 110 is a guidance issued by EEOC to provide detailed procedures under 29 CFR Part 1614 (“1614 regs”) for the processing of complaints of discrimination filed by federal employees and applicants for federal employment.

  • MD-715

    Management Directive 715 (MD-715) is a directive to all federal agencies issued in 2003 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to ensure a diverse and inclusive workforce. It is intended to be a strategic tool to assist agencies in developing action plans to establish and maintain effective affirmative programs for equal employment opportunity.

  • Sixteen-Point Federal Employment Plan

    1970, issued by President Richard M. Nixon - a comprehensive Plan aimed at increasing Hispanic representation in the Federal workforce. In 1973, the 16-point plan was renamed “Spanish-Speaking Program” to emphasize bilingual skills; and in 1978, the program was again renamed to what it is known as today, the “Hispanic Employment Program” (HEP).