About FDA

Commisioner's Civil Rights Policy Statement

Public Health Service
Food and Drug Administration


Date: January 4, 2016

From: Acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs

Subject: Civil Rights Policy Statement

To: All FDA Employees

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is committed to protecting the civil rights of its customers. We want to ensure that all customers have access to participate in and benefit from all FDA programs and activities. For this reason, it is the agency's policy that our programs receive financial assistance from the FDA, and programs conducted by the FDA are free from discrimination.

It is our responsibility and legal obligation to guarantee the proper and equitable use of the funds that we provide whether through grants or contracts. Therefore, we make it a priority to hold those to whom we provide assistance accountable.  All FDA employees, but especially managers, supervisors and project officers that oversee such funding must demonstrate that discrimination and exclusionary practices in programs we fund or conduct will not be tolerated.

To achieve this goal, the FDA's Office of Equal Employment Opportunity works closely with the Department's Office for Civil Rights (OCR), to enforce compliance with civil rights laws that apply to federally funded and conducted activities. These laws include Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Titles VII and VIII of the Public Health Service Act, the Genetic Information Non­-Discrimination Act of 2008; and the privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Also, program-specific statutes often contain provisions that prohibit discrimination in federally funded or operated programs and activities.

FDA and OCR have signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that describes our respective roles in implementing these civil rights responsibilities. It also takes us one step closer to implementing the Department's policy to make civil rights an essential and integral part of every program.

If you need more information, please contact FDA's Office of Equal Employment Opportunity on 301.796.9400. Promoting non-discrimination and equal access in all our programs and services is an integral part of leadership. It also is essential to accomplishing FDA's goal of promoting and protecting the health of all Americans.

This memorandum supersedes the memorandum from the Commissioner of Food and Drugs dated May 5, 2014 to all employees.

Stephen Ostroff, M.D.

Page Last Updated: 02/24/2016
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