As a member of what will be the most diverse White House Cabinet in history, I am honored to lead VA. We are charged with caring for Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors. We will accomplish our mission by always putting Veterans first. I take full responsibility to ensure that our employees have everything they need to carry out the important work before us and that we operate in a culture that celebrates and draws strength from our country’s great diversity.

This means that all VA staff, patients, their families, caregivers, survivors, visitors and advocates must feel safe in a workplace free of harassment and discrimination. I will not accept discrimination, harassment, or assault at any level or at any facility within VA. We will provide a safe, inclusive, equitable environment for all employees and the Veterans we serve.

To ensure a welcoming environment for Veterans, we must foster fair and inclusive VA workplaces where the experiences and perspectives of our diverse employees are valued. The success of our mission depends on everyone being able to contribute their expertise, experience, talents, ideas and perspectives. I commit to advancing equity in VA and providing all employees with opportunities to reach their full potential; I commit to these principles and will make sure that my senior leadership team reflects and embeds them in everything that we do.

One manifestation of that will be the Department’s commitment to equal employment opportunity, maintaining a workplace free of unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation, and creating a workplace that promotes equity, diversity and inclusion. All employees, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, transgender status and sexual orientation), pregnancy, age (40 or older), disability, genetic information, marital status, parental status, or political affiliation will have an equitable and inclusive workplace free from unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

I will hold all VA managers and supervisors accountable for maintaining this safe and civil environment, and I will instruct them to review my policy statement with staff and colleagues to reinforce these expectations. These protections will guide all management practices.

VA and our Nation face great challenges made even more daunting by the COVID-19 pandemic. These challenges make it even more important that we have workplaces where everyone is treated well. I am committed to ensuring that employees have what they need to serve our Nation’s Veterans as well as those Veterans who have served us. As Americans, we owe a profound debt of gratitude to those who have worn our Nation’s uniforms.

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Published on Mar. 17, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.1 min.

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  1. Neri TawfiQ March 28, 2021 at 10:28 am

    Consultant Clinical Pharmacist Neri TawfiQ
    Discrimination against Disabled Veteran at Aleda E. Lutz VAMC

    I should not have to deal with DISCRIMINATION & HARASSMENT every-time , I come to work !!!!

  2. Patricia Ann Betz March 21, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    Taresa Fitzgerald
    There probably are benefits for you. They just don’t tell you about them. You need help, and it’s not fair at all.
    Call your county VA person. That’s how it is in WV.
    Call the regional office of the VA in your state. Call the patient advocate at your nearest VA Medical Center.
    I have a million questions for you and wish I could know more about the situation to help you more.
    I feel like you need help period, not just a covid shot. Call and go to the places that can help you, starting with the ones listed above. Do you have military or other veterans you can ask to get you going in the right direction for help? Reach out to your husbands buddies in and out of the military to point you in the right direction. Contact the Disabled Veterans of America. Any organization that can help get you to the right place and get answers. Good luck and best wishes. Just never give up! Call these people. Write your congressman. Whatever to get answers.
    Best of luck to you!!

  3. Sharon Stogoski March 21, 2021 at 2:52 pm

    I am applied for the Caregiver program, as I have taken care of husband who is a 100% disabled veteran for the past five years. We were denied, we appealed and were denied again. We received a letter yesterday saying we were denied again. So as far as the VA caregiver program, I would say it is an epic fail. Without my care 24/7 my disabled husband would be in a nursing home.

  4. Taresa Fitzgerald March 19, 2021 at 10:25 am

    Good morning my husband has served in the military for 14 years Served in 2 wars he’s a veteran he came home sick and I had to quit my job to take care of my husband now that vaccine has rolled out and I was told I could not get it, but I take care of my husband I don’t think that’s fair for a spouse not to be able to get the cov19 vaccine And also was told because I am not an employee of the veterans and which I thought I was I was told I was but I found that I wasn’t that I cannot get the shot or get any other benefits.please me and other spouses understanding.

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