The Postal Service's Initial Management Inquiry Process (IMIP) helps managers resolve harassment problems and ensure employees have a harassment-free work environment.
"The Postal Service is committed to providing a work environment free of harassment based upon race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, generic information or in retaliation for prior Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) activity," said PMG Jack Potter. "We will tolerate nothing less."
IMIPs - which are required by law - also help improve morale and reduce USPS liability.
Harassment is defined as unwelcome verbal or physical conduct, or demeaning or hostile behavior, aimed at an individual or group.
The six-step IMIP is conducted by trained managers, Postmasters and supervisors whenever a harassment complaint is brought to their attention.
The six steps in the process are:
• Respond promptly.
• Obtain information.
• Begin IMIP.
• Evaluate information.
• Plan of action.
• Follow up.
During the process, all parties also are advised of the confidentiality and limitations of the IMIP and that retaliation is illegal and will not be tolerated, according to EEO.
Managers are obligated to resolve a harassment complaint and remedy the situation as promptly and as thoroughly as possible. They also are responsible for conducting the investigation fairly and impartially.
"Any manager or supervisor who receives a complaint must see that a prompt and thorough investigation is conducted to ensure the harassment or inappropriate conduct does not happen again," said Potter.