Message from the NASA Wallops Director: Noose at a Construction Site

Status Report From: Wallops Flight Facility
Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013

image From: [] On Behalf Of WFF-Information
Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2013 9:45 AM
Subject: [wff700-all] [wff-all] Message from the Wallops Director


To follow up on our meeting with the center director last month regarding an incident involving the discovery of a noose at a construction site here, NASA's Inspector General has completed its own separate investigation into the issue. At this time, all investigative steps have been fully accomplished and are complete, bringing the investigation to a close.

The IG conducted an independent investigation into the circumstances of how and why the noose was placed at the Bldg. F-5 construction site. The IG's findings corroborated the results of the previous investigations conducted separately by the Office of Protective Services and the contractor. While the incident itself remains disturbing, it's important to note that none of the three investigations found evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Additional findings and actions being implemented follow:

. The contractor company involved in this incident provides training in a variety of topics relevant to harassment, diversity, and workplace violence to all supervisors, managers and employees

. The company's supervisors and managers receive on-line training annually through SATERN on the topics listed above

. The contractor has conducted refresher training, which included subcontractors and specifically addressed this incident

. The company fully acknowledged its responsibility under the contract to comply with all NASA and GSFC policies regarding prevention of and response to workplace violence and harassment and to communicate all relevant and applicable clauses to its subcontractors

. The contractor reaffirmed its commitment to report any suspicious activity when they become aware of it directly to NASA Protective Services and to work with NASA to ensure these matters are properly investigated

In addition to ongoing training, all base visitors will acknowledge in writing that they have read and understand NASA's policies regarding workplace violence, discrimination and harassment prior to receiving a visitor pass. Also, I intend to keep the dialogue open and ongoing regarding diversity and mutual respect. A specialized team of experts will visit Wallops next week to meet with employees and assess our workplace culture so that we may continue to cultivate a work environment where everyone has a full and equal opportunity to contribute to mission success. I look forward to sharing the assessment results with you.

As we move forward, know that all of you - individually and together as a team - are key to our continued success as an organization. Our mission at Wallops as a research, test and operations facility is to further scientific discovery. To maintain our record of excellence, a crucial objective must be to foster an organizational climate where employee diversity and mutual respect are catalysts for creativity and team effectiveness. Everyone at Wallops - employees, vendors, visitors, customers and clients - is expected to treat others with respect regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation and any other characteristics protected by law. Any conduct to the contrary is counterproductive to our mission and values and cannot be tolerated.

If you witness or experience any discrimination, harassment, retaliation or bullying, please report it immediately to the WFF Equal Employment Opportunity Office at (757) 824-2681 or to Protective Services at (757) 824-1300.

Bill Wrobel

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