Bush signs anti-discrimination bill into law

President Bush signed legislation Wednesday that will make federal agencies more accountable for discrimination and retaliation against employees.

The Notification and Federal Employee Anti-Discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2001 (No FEAR) requires agencies that lose or settle discrimination and whistleblower cases to pay judgments out of their own budgets. Those judgments are currently paid out of a general government fund.

No FEAR requires agencies to make employees aware of discrimination and whistleblower protection laws. Agencies also must now file an annual report detailing the number of discrimination or whistleblower cases filed against them, how the cases were resolved, the amount of settlements and the number of agency employees disciplined for discriminating against other workers or harassing them.

"No longer will discrimination and retaliation be swept under the rug and considered an inconvenience for working at a federal agency," said Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and sponsor of the No FEAR bill.

The House unanimously passed the bill (H.R. 169) last October, and the Senate approved the legislation with minor changes in April.

Allegations of discrimination at the Environmental Protection Agency prompted the No FEAR bill, which Sensenbrenner and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, introduced in October 2000. In August 2000, a black senior manager at the EPA won a $600,000 verdict in a race and gender discrimination suit against the agency.

During an October 2000 hearing before the House Science Committee, then-EPA Administrator Carol Browner and other agency officials vigorously defended the EPA's commitment to diversity.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.