NOTIFICATION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEE ANTIDISCRIMINATION RETALIATION ACT OF 2002
On May 15, 2002, President Bush signed legislation called the No FEAR Act. This act, which took effect on October 1, 2003, makes Federal agencies individually accountable for violations of anti-discrimination and whistleblower protection laws. Requirements and agency responsibilities under the No FEAR Act include:
PAYMENT OF SETTLEMENTS AND JUDGMENTS
Agencies that lose or settle discrimination and whistleblower cases must pay judgments out of their individual budgets. In the past, most of these settlements and judgments were paid from a Government-wide “judgment fund.” Under the new law, agencies must now reimburse the fund for court judgments and settlement payments to complainants.
EMPLOYEE INFORMATION AND EDUCATION
Agencies must give their employees, former employees, and applicants for employment written notification of discrimination and whistleblower protection laws. This written notification must include posting the information on the agency’s website. Agencies are also required to provide their employees with training regarding the rights and remedies applicable to them under these laws.
TRAINING FOR MANAGERS
Agencies should ensure that managers have adequate training in the management of a diverse workforce and in dispute resolution and other essential communication skills.
ANNUAL REPORTS TO CONGRESS
Each agency must file an annual report with Congress, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Attorney General providing information about discrimination and whistleblower cases filed against the agency, including details on how cases were resolved and any disciplinary actions against agency employees resulting from violations of discrimination and whistleblower protection laws.
ONLINE POSTING OF EEO COMPLAINT DATA
Each Federal agency must post on its public website summary statistical data relating to equal opportunity complaints filed against the agency. The agency must post data for the current fiscal year on a cumulative basis (year-to-date information), updated quarterly. An agency also must post year-end data for the five previous fiscal years for comparison purposes. The posting of EEO data on agency public web sites is intended to help Congress, Federal agencies, and the public assess whether and the extent to which agencies are living up to their equal employment opportunity responsibilities.
For additional information, please contact the Equal Opportunity Office at 202-231-8178.