The NoFEAR Act. Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act (NoFEAR Act) Mandatory Training Module DHHS/OS/ASAM Office of Diversity Management & EEO U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Introduction.
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Notification and Federal
Employee Antidiscrimination and
Retaliation Act (NoFEAR Act)
Mandatory Training Module
Office of Diversity Management & EEO
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
This training will inform you of the NoFEAR Act and will meet your new Employee or Biennial NoFear Training Requirement
At the conclusion of this training, you should:
Congress enacted the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act (NoFEAR Act) on May 15, 2002.
The Act requires “…Federal agencies be accountable for violations of antidiscrimination and whistleblower protection laws.”
Intent is to prevent and reduce discrimination by helping to ensure federal agencies:
NoFEAR Act was prompted by:
Agencies should not retaliate for court judgments or settlements relating to discrimination or whistleblower laws by targeting claimants or other employees with:
Agencies must ensure managers have adequate training in managing a diverse workforce and in dispute resolution
Prohibits agencies from taking unfounded disciplinary actions against, or violating procedural rights of managers accused of discrimination
Agencies must provide Federal employees and applicants written notification of their rights and protections under discrimination and whistleblower laws.
The Act improves accountability by requiring agencies to pay for discrimination or whistleblower judgments out of their operating funds
Individuals are to be held accountable for their actions
Each Federal agency is required to post summary statistical data relating to EEO complaints filed by employees, former employees or applicants on their public website.
EEOC is also required to post information relating to hearings requested and appeals filed from final agency actions on a public website.
Agencies must submit an annual report, not later than 180 days after the end of each fiscal year to Congress, EEOC and the Attorney General addressing:
Reporting Agency information is used to:
Illegal discrimination occurs when one employee is treated differently than another employee and treatment is based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, and disability.
As a Federal employee, you are protected from illegal discrimination in employment matters on the basis of your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, and disability.
The Antidiscrimination Laws protect you from discrimination concerning the terms and conditions of your employment.
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as amended, protects employees from employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, or religion.
Sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination are considered forms of sex discrimination and are prohibited by Title VII.
In addition to protection against discrimination because of religion, Title VII also establishes the agency’s duty to provide reasonable accommodation for an employee’s religious beliefs unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits discrimination against Federal employees who are 40 years of age or older.
The Act protects older employees from employment actions based on stereotypes or stigmas associated with age.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits employment discrimination against Federal employees with disabilities.
A “disability” is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity (breathing, walking, seeing, hearing, performing manual task).
A temporary or short term illness is not a disability. An inability to work in only one type of job, for one particular supervisor, or in one location is not a disability.
You must be qualified for your position.
If you cannot perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation, you are not qualified.
The Federal government has an obligation to provide reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities.
A reasonable accommodation is an adjustment to the work situation or environment to enable you to perform your job, as long as it is not an undue hardship to the agency.
The accommodation does not have to be specific to what is being requested by the employee. It does have to be a reasonable, effective accommodation.
The Agency has no obligation to change performance standards or to eliminate essential functions of your position as a reasonable accommodation.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits federal agencies from paying employees of one sex lower wages than those of the opposite sex for performing substantially equal work.
The Antidiscrimination laws protect you from reprisal for exercising your rights under those Acts.
Protected activities may include filing a complaint of discrimination, requesting reasonable accommodation, giving evidence or testimony to an investigator or in a hearing, participating in the EEO process, or complaining about or protesting perceived discrimination against you or another employee.
You must contact your EEO Office for the assignment of an EEO Counselor within 45 calendar days from when you first became aware of the alleged discrimination.
Employees complaining about age discrimination may give notice of intent to sue to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 180 days of the alleged discrimination.
The EEO Counselor will try to resolve the complaint and will offer you an opportunity to use the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve your complaint.
If the complaint is not resolved, you will be provided a Notice of Right to File a Complaint. You must file within 15 calendar days from receipt of the Notice.
Employees covered by a negotiated bargaining agreement which permits allegations of discrimination, may elect to proceed under the negotiated bargaining agreement, rather than filing a formal complaint of discrimination. You cannot do both.
In some cases, extensions of the time frames for contacting an EEO Counselor or filing a complaint are possible, if a valid reason is presented.
You should fully explain any delays for untimely EEO Counselor contact or complaint filing.
You are entitled to a reasonable amount of time to:
While there is no set amount of time, it is normally granted in terms of hours, not days.
Federal law makes it illegal to discriminate against Federal employees because of their marital status or political affiliation, or to retaliate against employees for exercising their rights.
If you believe discrimination has occurred on one of these bases, you may file a written complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.
A manager or supervisor is required to:
Provide a reasonable amount of time to an employee to work on an EEO complaint
Cooperate with an EEO Counselor or EEO Investigator
Ensure employees are not subjected to a hostile work environment because of their race, color, national origin, age, religion, sex or disability. Act on all complaints of alleged discrimination or harassment
5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8) prohibits retaliation against an employee or applicant for disclosing information reasonably believed to evidence:
Employees may not disclose information if disclosure is specifically prohibited by law or if the information is required under Executive Order to be protected from disclosure in the interest of national security.
A Federal agency cannot retaliate against an employee or applicant (through personnel action or otherwise) because that individual exercises his or her rights under the Whistleblower Protection Act
If an employee believes he/she has been subjected to retaliation via a personnel action within the jurisdiction of the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB), the employee may:
If the employee chooses to go directly to the MSPB:
If the personnel actions do not fall under the MSPB jurisdiction, the employee must first file a complaint with the OSC before filing an appeal with the MSPB.
A complaint may be filed with OSC by using Form OSC-11 (Complaint of Possible Prohibited Personnel Practice or other Prohibited Activity)
Form OSC-11 can be obtained by contacting:
Office of Special Counsel (OSC)
Complaints Examining Unit
1730 M Street, NW, Suite 218
Washington, DC 20036-4505
1-800-872-9855 (toll free) or (202) 653-7188
After the OSC complaint process is exhausted, the appellant may file an appeal with the MSPB:
If OSC has not notified the appellant that it will seek corrective action within 120 days of the filing date, the appellant may file an MSPB appeal at any time after the 120 day period expires.
EEO Complaint process:
Whistleblower Act and Protections:
HHS NoFEAR Act Notice
Public Law 107-174 (NoFEAR Act)
HHS Equal Employment Opportunity Data Posted Pursuant to NoFEAR Act
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the NoFEAR Act Training
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Office of Diversity Management and Equal Employment Opportunity
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NoFEAR Act Training