2J02 Potential Harassment and Discrimination

While conducting interviews and review of records, COs may obtain information regarding potential harassment or discrimination based on religion or national origin, or both. Like harassment based on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or veteran status, harassment based on religion or national origin may take a number of forms. Examples include name calling, negative treatment, or derogatory speech directed at individuals of a specific religion or national origin. If a CO obtains information about potential harassment or discrimination, the CO must investigate further to determine whether the:

  • Discrimination occurred in the past or is ongoing;
  • Contractor knew or should have known of the discrimination;
  • Contractor has internal discrimination and harassment complaint procedures in place;
  • Contractor’s internal discrimination and harassment complaint procedures are known to the employees; and
  • Contractor has done anything to address the problem.

Additional information regarding harassment and hostile environment on the bases of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status is discussed in Chapter 6, Complaint Investigation.

Additionally, if the CO finds indicators of disparate treatment or disparate impact,134 or both, the CO must fully investigate the issue. The CO must obtain copies of any documents reflecting these concerns or indicating how the contractor dealt with the concern. The CO must also interview people knowledgeable about the matter. If the investigation identifies issues specific to religious or national origin discrimination that the Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Religion or National Origin do not address, the CO must follow Title VII principles in determining whether a violation may have occurred.

134. Definitions for these terms are included in the Key Words and Phrases section of the Manual.