Office of the Ombudsman

Confidential - Neutral - Independent - Informal

When To Contact Us


I want to file an EEO complaint. Which office should I contact?

I believe some of the data in my lab is being fabricated. Is there some way I can bring this to the attention of someone outside of my lab?

I read my coworker’s Facebook page and was shocked to read some of his obscene and anti-Semitic posts. I think I should forward that link to the other people in my department so they know what kind of person he is. Is this a good idea and what other way might I handle this?


I’m a biologist and I used to be a fellow here. When I was a fellow, my understanding was that there wasn’t much time for taking vacations. Are there different rules that apply to me about taking vacation leave now that I’m a staff biologist?

Almost every division in my institute allows its employees to telework from home at least once per week. However, in my division we’ve been told we can’t telework. Is this allowable?


My work team is heading in the wrong direction. No one is on the same page regarding roles and responsibilities. In addition, morale is low and people don’t seem to want to collaborate on anything. How do we address this?

Several people in my department told the new guy they’d retaliate if he told our supervisor that they leave work early. The new guy is scared. I told our supervisor about their threats but our supervisor thinks it’s all a joke and won’t address the problem.


My coworker has bad breath and a mean temper; I can’t work with this woman and I can’t talk to her either.

My supervisor has a PhD and I only have a high-school diploma, but that’s still no reason for him to treat me like I’m stupid.


I’m the only openly gay man in my lab. Could this be why I haven’t been asked to present at lab meetings?

My boss asked me to meet her at a bar in downtown Bethesda to talk over our work. I feel uncomfortable going, but I don’t think I can say no.


My employee’s performance is really starting to decline. I get the sense that something is wrong but he won’t to talk to me about anything, and if I say something he gets defensive. I don’t want to go down a formal route of monitoring his performance – I just want to have a conversation to figure out what is going on. What I can do to support him and help him preserve a good performance rating?


My lab mate and I just can’t seem to communicate. Do you have advice on how I can improve this situation?

I am having an issue that is affecting my work satisfaction and productivity, but I am really am not sure whether I should do anything about it. However, I want to discuss the different options open to me so I can make an informed decision. Can you help?


I should be the first author on this paper; after all, I did more than half of the work. Now I’m told someone else will be first author and I’m upset as I need this publication to advance my career.

I’m a new fellow here and I expected to receive good mentoring. No one istraining me and when I ask for help, my PI yells at me. What will happen to my scientific career if things don’t change?