The No FEAR Act
On May 15, 2002, President Bush signed legislation called the No FEAR Act (Notification and Federal Anti-Discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002). 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:
- Payments of Settlements and Judgments - Agencies that lose or settle discrimination and whistleblower cases must pay judgments out of their individual budgets.
- 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 web site. Agencies are also required to provide their employees with training regarding the rights and remedies applicable to them under these laws.
- 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.
- Posting of EEO complaint data on the Internet - Each Federal agency must post on its public web site summary statistical data relating to equal opportunity complaints filed against the agency.