Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Helps Expose Lack of Implementation of the No FEAR Act

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Helps Expose Lack of Implementation of the No FEAR Act

CONGRESSWOMAN SHEILA JACKSON LEE TALKING POINTS: “NO FEAR ACT OF 2002

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PRESS CONFERENCE: MARCH 10, 2004, 2:00 P.M., RHOB 2141

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Jackson Lee, First Vice Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Member of the House Science Committee and Judiciary Committee, has  worked with the No FEAR Act.  Today, the Congresswoman and other Memberss of Congress will join the Coalition to highlight the slow, or sometimes failed, implementation of the No FEAR Act at some agencies.

Congresswoman Jackson Lee was a primary coauthor of the Notification and Federal Employee Anti-Discrimination  and Retaliation Act of 2002, or “No FEAR” Act, that was signed into law by President Bush on May 15, 2002, codified as Public Law 107-174.  “This legislation was passed in order to bring immediate relief  to federal government employees who have suffered from civil rights or other abuse in the workplace.  If its implementation is slow or ineffective, we need immediate transparancy and exposure of the problems,” said Congresswoman Jackson Lee.

On January 22, 2003, OPM published an interium final regulation to implement the No FEAR Act requirement that agencies reimburse the judgement award fund for payments concerning violation claims arising from such laws.  However, despite concerns by labor groups that the regulation is inadequate and processing times are too long, it has been reported that the OPM Administrator has refused to meet with members of the No FEAR Coalition to address the issue.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee concluded, “The federal government has, for years, been thought of as a great place to work and one of the least hostile places of employment.  If the findings that have been brought to our attention today are accurate, there needs to be immediate redress and disciplining of offending managers, in order to restore integrity.  As we approach the two-year anniversary of No FEAR-the first civil rights legislation of the 21st Century-I call on my colleagues in the House to excersise our Congressional oversight to ensure that the Agencies are properly implementing the law that we created, and that the President signed.”

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