The Washington Informer
By Joseph Young
WI Staff Writer
They call themselves the No FEAR 7 – Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, Matthew F. Fogg, Blair Hayes, Janet Howard, Dennis E. Young, Joyce E. Megginson and Zena D. Crenshaw – all federal workers who blew the whistle on various federal government agencies for discrimination against minority workers.
The No FEAR 7 held a press conference last week at the Cannon House Office Building, announcing the Notification and Federal
Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act (No Fear), which will be introduced in the 110th Congress next year by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), who will chair the House Judiciary Committee when the Democrats take control of the chambers in January.
At the Capitol Hill press conference, Rep. Albert R. Wynn (D-Md.) said the No Fear Act of 2002 has loopholes, and it has not been effective in ending discrimination within the federal workplace. “It has not worked as well as we had hoped,” said Wynn. “The bill needs more teeth.”
Rev. Walter Fauntroy lends his support to the No FEAR Coalition campaign for a law
to protect government whistleblowers.
Wynn was joined by religious leaders including the Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy, former aide to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and congressional delegate for the District of Columbia from 1971 to 1991. Fauntroy said the bill is asking for stronger penalties.
The septet is being led by Coleman-Adebayo, a senior policy analyst in the Office of the Administrator at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who won a $600,000 award in a race and sex discrimination suit against the EPA in 2000.
Coleman-Adebayo said the new bill will call for tougher penalties for managers who discriminate, noting that since the first No Fear Act passed no managers have been fired or disciplined.
She also said the new bill will “not treat discrimination as a civil action” but as a criminal offense and “will hold managers personally accountable for breaking the law by being fired and force to repay their victims for abuse.”
“The [new bill] that we envision will have an independent organization training federal government employees … not the managers or potential defendants who are part of the problem,” said Coleman-Adebayo in a statement.
Matthew F. Fogg, a U.S. Marshall since 1978, said he has been harassed by coworkers since he filed racial discrimination complaints. He explained the group’s name as meaning “we will not back down.