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Problem Resolution

 
   


The NOWCC ACES Program has a policy of promoting an appropriate work environment for Enrollees. It is not suitable for an Enrollee to be subjected to harassment, poor sanitation, dangerous conditions, and lack of proper instruction on how to perform the assignment or unresolved personal conflicts that interfere with assignment completion.

Enrollees experiencing difficulties should follow this procedure:

  1. The Enrollee should first request a meeting with the Monitor to explain the situation and to request assistance. If the situation remains unresolved after the meeting with the Monitor, the Enrollee should contact the NOWCC Field Office immediately.
  2. In the event the problem remains unresolved after a reasonable period of time, and after thorough communication with the Monitor and the NOWCC Field Office, a written appeal may be directed to the NOWCC Field Director, who shall consider all aspects of the problem objectively, carefully and promptly.
  3. If there is no satisfactory resolution after 10 business days, a written appeal may be made to the President and CEO of NOWCC, who may require an investigation by assigned individuals, and will render a decision within 10 business days. The NOWCC President and CEO's decision shall be final.

The NOWCC ACES Program is operated and administered in full recognition of, and in compliance with, the intent of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended.

Sexual or Other Forms of Harassment


Sexual and other forms of workplace harassment based upon race, age, sex, national origin, disability or religion will not be tolerated by the NOWCC ACES Program. All complaints made will be investigated promptly, fairly and thoroughly. The NOWCC ACES Program is responsible for investigating claims made by Enrollees as well as claims made against Enrollees. Harassment is a form of discrimination and is an unlawful workplace practice as interpreted by the courts under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Sexual harassment involves behavior with sexual overtones which is unwelcome. It may include verbal behavior such as offensive comments, suggestions, jokes, sex-oriented labels or pressure for sexual favors. Sexual harassment may also include physical behavior such as touching, feeling, patting or deliberate brushing against others in a sexual manner. Verbal or physical conduct constitutes harassment when any or all of the following occur:

  • The conduct is an element in a decision to enroll or release an individual.
  • The conduct is a factor in decisions related to the assignment of position duties.
  • The conduct interferes with an individual's performance or normal interpersonal relationships at work.
  • The conduct creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment for the individual.

To file a complaint of harassment:

Step 1. The Enrollee should confront the person who is being accused of harassment, state the nature of the offending activity, say that it is unwelcome and that it must stop.

Step 2. If the Enrollee is uncomfortable confronting the person accused of harassment, the assistance of the Monitor and/or NOWCC Field Office may be requested.

NOTE: IN MANY INSTANCES ONE OF THE ABOVE COURSES MAY BE SUFFICIENT TO END THE MATTER WITHOUT THE NEED FOR A FORMAL COMPLAINT. HOWEVER, THIS WILL NOT PRECLUDE A DECISION TO CONDUCT A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION IN SITUATIONS WHERE MANAGEMENT OR THE HARASSED ENROLLEE BELIEVES THIS STEP IS NECESSARY.

Step 3. If the Enrollee is accusing a Monitor of harassment, the assistance of the NOWCC Field Office may be requested.

Step 4. If the above mentioned informal attempts to resolve the situation are not satisfactory, the Enrollee should submit a written complaint to the NOWCC Field Office who will be responsible for investigating the complaint and responding to the Enrollee in a reasonable period of time.

Step 5. If the Enrollee initiating the complaint feels that the situation is still unresolved, he/she may appeal concerns within a reasonable period of time to the NOWCC Field Director, whose decision can be appealed to the NOWCC President and CEO, whose decision will be final.

Lobbying and Political Activities


NOWCC ACES Program Enrollees are paid from federal funds and may participate freely in the political process with the following exceptions:

  • Enrollees may not engage in political activities (partisan or non-partisan) while on duty or during their assignment hours unless they are on approved unpaid leave.
  • Enrollees may not present themselves as spokespersons for the NOWCC or the ACES Program while engaged in partisan or non-partisan political activity.

Questions may be directed to your NOWCC Field Office.

 

Uniform Policy

 ACES enrollees, are authorized to wear the Forest Service uniform when they have significant, frequent, or recurring contact with the public, or when it is important to establish their authority and/or identification as agency representatives.  The unit’s line officer should make the determination on when an ACES enrollee should wear a uniform. When ACES enrollees are authorized to wear the Forest Service uniform, attach the service partner patch to the right sleeve of the uniform in the corresponding location as the Forest Service patch on the left sleeve. ACES enrollees are not authorized to wear the brass Forest Service Badge, but they may wear the brass nameplate. ACES enrollees are bound by the same appearance and conduct standards as employees while wearing a Forest Service uniform.   ACES enrollees may also wear the service partner vest, service partner windbreaker, and/or service partner cap when they are working during their work assignment and when Forest Service partner identification is needed.  These items, along with a service partner patch, are available through the Forest Service uniform vendor. Service partner patches may also be worn on personal clothing.