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By Debra Roth

Managers should be wary of running afoul of No Fear Act

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The 2002 No FEAR Act is supposed to hold managers accountable for equal employment opportunity violations and make federal employees more aware of their EEO and whistle-blower rights.

Managers should be aware of and wary of the No FEAR Act — the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act — and its requirements. Numerous provisions of the law are potential land mines for managers. For example, the law requires agencies to report to Congress annually about violations of anti-discrimination and whistle-blower reprisal laws, including such information as the number of offending managers who were disciplined, the nature of the discipline and the agency’s policy about taking discipline against managers who are found to have discriminated or retaliated against their subordinates.

This alone makes the threat to federal managers very real, but the rate of actual disciplinary action because of discrimination or reprisal seems low. This causes managers to relax a little too much and to not take seriously the threat of discipline because of the No FEAR Act. The cultural change that was supposed to have occurred because of No FEAR has simply not occurred.

This creates frustration and statements of outrage from civil rights groups who believe that managers regularly discriminate, but are almost never held accountable. The result of this pressure means that agencies will begin to take findings of discrimination in EEO cases seriously and may look for a manager to be a scapegoat.

The following is a brief list of the requirements of the No FEAR Act:

• Employees must be notified annually of their rights under anti-discrimination and whistle-blower protections statutes. Employee training must occur every two years.

• Any EEO judgments or settlements of EEO cases in federal court must be repaid by the agency to the Justice Department-administered Judgment Fund. The payment of a large settlement or jury verdict because of your management action will undoubtedly cause scrutiny by agency management.

• Annual reports must be submitted to Congress and the Office of Personnel Management detailing information about EEO cases in court, payments out of the Judgment Fund, the number of managers disciplined and the type of discipline and a detailed description of an agency’s disciplinary policy.

• OPM is obliged to develop best practices for disciplining managers who discriminate or retaliate. These best practices have been issued with advisory guidelines.

An examination of these advisory guidelines results in the unmistakable conclusion that agencies are under more pressure to pay attention to and make decisions about disciplining managers who have findings of discrimination.

The guidelines require the disciplinary process to address conduct inconsistent with anti-discrimination or whistle-blower protection laws and to ensure procedures are in place to promptly inform higher-level management of employee misconduct. This means that if you are a front-line manager who has a finding of discrimination against you or if a significant settlement of an EEO case occurs, a process should exist to make sure that someone at a higher level of authority will know about it. The guidelines specifically provide for the EEO office to be able to report what it believes to be potentially troublesome conduct.

Most managers think of the No FEAR Act as a law that mandates certain action or consideration if there is a finding of discrimination that requires repayment of the Judgment Fund. The relatively low number of EEO cases that go to federal court may have lulled many into a false sense of security. There is much more to No FEAR than just the Judgment Fund reimbursement. Congressional reports and advisory guidelines on discipline of managers are designed to change the culture. Change in whistle-blower reprisal laws pending in Congress may further increase the exposure of managers to disciplinary liabilities.

No FEAR means that managers should pay attention during their periodic No FEAR training and receive other training on how to avoid retaliatory conduct. This, and maintaining a mission-focused response to problem employees, will keep No FEAR goblins at a safe distance.

 

Comments

  1. Robert Says:
    October 31st, 2011 at 7:42 am

    I reported misconduct by managers under the No Fear Act.

    There were two investigations conducted one informal and one Formal under EEO. Both investigations subtantiated my allegations against the Manager at the Joint Staff Pentagon.

    I was retaliated and immediately removed from my position at the Joint Staff and transfered to another location on Detail. I have been on Detail 14 continous months as I am pending currently under my EO to be on the diocket with an Administrative Judge.

    The managers used their position to cinically lie to their superiors in an effort to sucessfully retaliate for my EEO complaint under the No Fear Act and for my Complaints to the DoD IG under the No Fear Act. Management as well as the Leadership are bth responsible for the violations and retaliation of the No Fear Act.

    Honestly I do not think they care of the consequences of their action of blatant retaliation and the violation of the No Fear Act.

  2. C4CFED Says:
    October 31st, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Based on available EEOC and agency NO FEAR data, the rate of actual disciplinary action “imposed” on federal managers because of discrimination or reprisal seems low. Civil servants, some victims of managerial reprisal, are fully aware that no “mandatory discipline” is imposed on culpable managers who engage in civil rights violations. The Coalition for Change, Inc. (C4C) members assert that managers who engage in discriminatory/retaliatory activity should be exposed. Hence, the group established a Responsible Management Official “RMO” page. RMO page lists persons named in employment discrimination court proceedings, published articles, or administrative case proceedings. A “RMO” as defined by C4C’s webpage is the person(s) named by the complainant/plaintiff or indicated by the record (such as court / MSPB decision) as the individual responsible, in whole or in part, for participating in; taking or recommending the action or decision that is the issue of the employee complaint. The page list cases in the public domain that has contributed to increase cost to the taxpayer. Management officials cited on this page may or may not have been found guilty of alleged acts; however cases as cited indicate that management failed to resolve claims of discrimination or retaliation at the lowest level possible.

  3. Ricardo Jones Says:
    October 31st, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    What did we elected the president to do? The president has appointed bad/corrupt judges and heads of these civil rights agencies. The EEOC oversee’s the state and local civil rights agencies. The president appointed the head of the EEOC (Jacqueline Berrien) who is a friend of his wife and went to Harvard Law School with the first lady. The president has made a lot of bad appointments just as Bush did. Whom benefits from these bad appointments Big Law Firms and Bad employers ie: Corporations, Companies, State, county and city governments. The adminstration is bending over badwards to look the other way to let Bad employers break the laws so they will creat more jobs. Going to court early my save you time but won’t resolve your discrimination complaint. This is about government in bed with Bad employers for kick-backs and positions for themselves and their friends. This is Gangster Corruption of our country. Our elected officials know whats going on and benefit from this corruption. Business couldn’t serve unless the government looks the other way and let them break the employment laws. Force the president to do his job and make his federal agencies do their jobs not just dismissing complaints. What has the DOJ office of civil rights done nothing. What has the OSC done nothing against these Rogue Agencies ie: EEOC, MSPB, FLRA, OSC, DOL, OSHA and DOJ office of civil rights? NOTHING. A lot of attorney’s and Investigators doing what? Dismissing complaints thats all.

    The President and the adminstration are giving the Bad employers a free hand to violate all the civil rights and employment laws. Look at Wallstreet???

  4. dawn Says:
    November 1st, 2011 at 6:59 am

    US EPA Region 4 Atlanta office awarded a manager who was found guilty of discrimination. There needs to be accountability. People are scared to stand up and speak out against this because of the lack of accountability.

  5. Robert Says:
    November 3rd, 2011 at 10:08 am

    The retaliatory actions conducted by managers are Blatant at my agency the Joint Staff Pentagon

    The following is a summary of a real time blatant violation of the No Fear Act

    I reported under the No Fear Act the misconduct of managers to the DoD IG, and to the Chain of Command. And no one did anything to curtail or prevent the managers who were conducting blatant acts of open discrimination at the Agency.

    The manager as perpetrator disregarded my EEO Complaints the Informal as well as the Formal Investigations that have been completed and the Chain of Command was fully aware that my allegations were substantiated and did nothing to take appropriate corrective action.

    As the manager continue her open violation of Title VII and the No Fear Act without any expectations of disciplinary action because it has been the status quo in the past due to the lack of courage to evaluate the manager conduct and take appropriate corrective action.

    In addition I as the victim personally send a certified letter to the Chairman and the Director of the Joint Staff requesting assistant regarding my complaint of misconduct by the manager and they did nothing to correct the conduct of the manager at the contrary the manager continue her discriminatory activity and remain at her post as I as the complainant was removed and place on detail outside of the agency based on her false allegations to her supervisor that I was disruptive and causing lack of productivity. I have 45 years of Federal Service and know how to conduct myself her allegations were false and in an effort to cause reprisal and removal from the agency without due process.

    My concern as the victim is that the 2002 No FEAR Act is supposed to hold managers accountable for equal employment opportunity violations and make federal employees more aware of their EEO and whistle-blower rights.

    The leadership as well as the Manager at the Joint Staff completely disregarded the fact that my complaint was under EEOC for manager EEO Misconduct and that my Complaint was filed under the No Fear Act as I was retaliated by the manager with false allegations to her superior that failed in validating her allegations which resulted in my immediate removal and placed on detail currently 14 months under detail as the action taken was in complete disregard of the No Fear Act filing of my Complaint as the agency manager had no expectations of disciplinary action.

    Our managers at the Joint Staff are not wary of the No FEAR Act — and the Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act — and its requirements. And the numerous provisions of the law.

    My frustration has been that this manager regularly discriminates at the Joint Staff, but is never held accountable.

    My additional frustration is that the manager is unqualified for the position is holding and uses the position to discriminate openly against subordinates

    The following requirements of the No FEAR Act have never been met as I have been in the agency for three (3) years:

    • Employees must be notified annually of their rights under anti-discrimination and whistle-blower protections statutes. Employee training must occur every two years. It has not happen since I been here because Title VII and the No Fear Act has not been implemented at any level.

    I as the retaliated victim under the No Fear Act have made sure that my agency Leadership is fully aware of the acts of discrimination by the manager and the findings of the two EEO Investigations as the chain of command at a higher level of authority have been informed by certified mail. What I reported is the continuous troublesome conduct of an unqualified manager that constantly uses the position to blatantly discriminate and violate openly Title VII and the No Fear Act. In addition the manager blatantly lies about subordinate’s character and conduct to the superiors who are oblivious of the real facts and motives of the manager.

    It is the responsibility of every manager that is aware that a subordinate manager conducts himself or herself in this manner to be held accountable for their conduct because they are in violation of the law and in addition they deplete the agency resources on very costly EEO settlements.

    One concern that I have is that this corrupt managers tarnish this prestigious agency the Joint Staff with their bad conduct and retaliatory activity as they lie to their superiors.

    Robert

  6. Robert Says:
    November 7th, 2011 at 10:14 am

    The laws of our nation are in place on the No Fear Act to protect the individual who has disclosed wrong doing at their agency. It can be a case or Larceny, A case of violations of Civil Rights under Title VII or a Case of Blatant Retaliation under EEO to intimidate the individual on his complaint.

    During this process the individual making the disclosure is reatliated and abused by the exposed manager as he or she conducts multi acts of retaliation against the individual who has filed a complaint against the manager for misconduct.

    One very important and noticiable issue has been the conduct of the Senior Managers or Leadership that have contantly look the other way due to their lack of courage to hold accountable subordiate managers under their supervision that have conducted acts of misconduct as they have been reported to the DoD IG and the Chain of Command and because of their exposure to the DoD IG and the Chain of Command for misconduct this corrupt managers take further action against the individual making the complaint or exposure to retaliate against their subordinate workers.

    My concern has been when a Senior Managers is fully aware of the conduct of a subordinate manager and he or she as the Senior Managers looks the other way becuase of their lack of courage to stop the corrupt behaviour of his subordinate manager currently under his supervision then he or she becomes an accessory to the approval of the conduct of his subordinate corrupt manager and an he theSenior Mananger becomes an accessory in the violation of the No Fear Act at his Agency.

    Senior Management needs to be in tune on the implementation of the No Fear Act at their Agencies and in tune to stop misconduct of subordinates and to hold accountability for their actions of any individual that violates the No Fear Act.

    During the period tof the investigation the individual he or she that conducted the violations needs to be removed from their post by the manager and detail to other duties pending the findings of the investigation and if found guilty take further corrective action.

    The lack of courage is no excuse for any Agency Senior Manager to look the other way with the expectations that nothing will happen and the problem will go away. If any Senior Manager looks the other way he or she needs to be removed as a manager becuase they are not meeting the expectations as Manangers and Federal Employees supporting the laws of our nation The United States of America the nation that you took an oath to support and defend.

    The No Fear Act is Law and if violated there needs to be accountability with out any excuses.

    Robert

  7. Robert Says:
    November 10th, 2011 at 8:18 am

    The lack of courage by Leaders and Manangers to implement Title VII EEO and the No Fear Act at their agency continues to hamper this nation vision for equality to all.

    We all as Federal Employees have sworn to support and defend the laws of our nation but unfortunatly there are quie a few federal and state employees as well as military leaders that still in their own time warp of the 1950′s n the deep south and continue to implement and apply open racisim at their place of work by using their position to implement their open racisim upon the defenseless minorities because they have the expectations that are un able to defend themselves.

    The focal point is to intimidate them and make them submisive to them and treat them as third wold country citizens by taking their rights away as U.S. Citizens.

    Some Leaders as well as managers think that they are better Class than the rest of us in the Federal Government.
    We are now in 2011 and a very well educated work force as the leaders and managers are out of contact on reality and we can read and write and know our civil rights that Dr. King had to fight with countless minorities to obtain the implementation of Title VII EO for all male, female regardless of color and creed.

    This violators of Title VII and the No Fear Act are the individuals that use open and blatant retaliation as a tool to intimidate and destroy the careers of the individuals who have been reporting them for misconduct. What is also amazing is that the Leadership Military as well as Senior Civilians fully ware of their misconduct looks the other way as the individual perpetrator continues his openly multi acts of retaliation.

    All of us as Federal Employees have the responsibility and need to be aware that we are liable for the violations of the No Fear Act shal we use our positions to retaliate when some one reports our acts of misconduct. And all leaders and managers need to be aware that they do have responsibilities for the implementation at the agency for Title VII EO and the No Fear Act.

    Failure to do so is the shirking of your responsabilities under the laws of our nation.

    Robert

  8. Robert Says:
    November 10th, 2011 at 8:21 am

    The lack of courage by Leaders and Managers to implement Title VII EEO and the No Fear Act at their agency continues to hamper this nation vision for equality to all.

    We all as Federal Employees have sworn to support and defend the laws of our nation but unfortunately there are quite a few federal and state employees as well as military leaders that still in their own time warp of the 1950′s n the deep south and continue to implement and apply open racism at their place of work by using their position to implement their open racism upon the defenseless minorities because they have the expectations that are un able to defend themselves.

    The focal point is to intimidate them and make them submissive to them and treat them as third world country citizens by taking their rights away as U.S. Citizens.

    Some Leaders as well as managers think that they are better Class than the rest of us in the Federal Government.
    We are now in 2011 and a very well educated work force as the leaders and managers are out of contact on reality and we can read and write and know our civil rights that Dr. King had to fight with countless minorities to obtain the implementation of Title VII EO for all male, female regardless of color and creed.

    This violators of Title VII and the No Fear Act are the individuals that use open and blatant retaliation as a tool to intimidate and destroy the careers of the individuals who have been reporting them for misconduct. What is also amazing is that the Leadership Military as well as Senior Civilians fully aware of their misconduct looks the other way as the individual perpetrator continues his openly multi acts of retaliation.

    All of us as Federal Employees have the responsibility and need to be aware that we are liable for the violations of the No Fear Act shall we use our positions to retaliate when someone reports our acts of misconduct. And all leaders and managers need to be aware that they do have responsibilities for the implementation at the agency for Title VII EO and the No Fear Act.

    Failure to do so is the shirking of your responsibilities under the laws of our nation.

    Robert

  9. Ricardo Jones Says:
    December 26th, 2011 at 10:31 am

    None of the current Black leaders are concerned about civil rights corruption at the federal level because they’re all taking some form of kickbacks. Maxine Water Representative from Compton Ca, was interviewed by Donald Winkfield of Black Star News this month (December) and she said the EEOC is not investigating Black complaints because of the lack of Budget. This is a lie to cover-up for the corruption at the EEOC. Mr. Winkfield told Maxine Waters that the EEOC is dismissing all Black complaints and he has a Senior Federal Investigator who has evidence and witnessed same. Maxine Waters didn’t ask to speak to Ricardo Jones. All of the Black politicians are in on the gaming of Black people. Many of the Black elite accept the corruption against their own people and benefit from same. See Fear does different things to different people. Elite Blacks earn a well paid living from white bigots. Elite Blacks will never bite the hand that feeds them. When the elite Blacks are finally forced to confront racism and lose they cave-in totally and just accept the condition that has feed them all the time. Our real enemy are the elite Blacks. Don’t take me wrong we as Black people need to unite under Pan-Africanism which means: African Americans, Blacks from Caribian and South America, All Blacks from Africa must vote as a block just like other ethnic groups ie: Jews, Irish, Italians, Asians, latins and others. We must force obama to include a PLANK in his re-election platform which addresses our concerns “JOBS and a RIGHT TO WORK IN A HOSTILE FREE WORK ENVIRONMENT and enforce all current laws reference same and update/reform same.
    If obama doesn’t then we will vote against him (obama) and any politician who supports him (obama). None of this the devil I know verse the Devil I don’t know BS. We don’t have much time to do this or it will be four more years of YES WE CAN which lead to what??

    The Black community will not survive as little corrupt white people . This is the position of the Black elite. Once again if you replace a Bad white COP with a Bad Black COP we accomplish nothing. Because they both beat heads for the same reasons??? Steve Biecko a GREAT Black Leader of South Africians said this and was killed for it and for standing up of his peoples (Blacks) rights. For the those who don’t know who Steve Beicko is Danzel Washington played Steve Beicko in the GREAT GREAT movie “CRY FREEDOM” which was made to show the conversion of a White liberal editor from South Africa Donald Woods. Look it up.

    Power of the people.

  10. Ricardo Jones Says:
    March 20th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    The real concerns of who we are as a ethnic group (Black people) revolves around the exploitation and manipulation of the Black poor and/or the Black working class. The Black middle class have become what they believe to be the Black Elite by titles. The Black Intellectuals have been around from and before reconstruction. We all evolved from the Black poor as a result of some form of Slavery. During Slavery there was the House Negro’s and the Field Negro’s.

    Today we still have the same groups the Black Elitist and Black Intellectuals are the House Negro’s and Black poor and Black working class are the Field Negro’s. The House Negro’s have forgotten where they come from originally the Black poor.

    Many of the House Negro’s pretend to be concern about the Field Negro’s but this is just smoke and mirrors. The question is where and/or whom are the Field Negro’s and are they moving up to become House Negro’s? Are the Field Negro’s just being eliminated and replaced with others?

    The issues that affect us as Black Americans are accountability for all to include the Black Elite and/or Black Intellectuals and the president. If were going to make exceptions for the Black Elite and/or Black Intellectuals then we have only copied and accepted the white racist system. Then we must find someone to oppress to be true little racist bigots. Whom will that be? Corruption, Racism and Bigotry all go with the system we’re inheriting from our oppressors. Is this what we inherited from our grand parents and pass on to our grand children?

    Ricardo

  11. MAURICE M. CARTER Says:
    November 20th, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    YOUR
    Article may play to the stands well in govenrment management circles,
    but as far as claimant s are concerned it is a c0mplete waste of
    publcation. 50% of federal employees are in the excepted service and
    employers do anything they want. adolf hitler was a piker n comparison.
    out of a recent study i did, 20000 people were discriminated against,
    3000 claims were made, and 1000 got to the eeoc. and three were won.
    the entire cilmate among all the entities meintioned in you blogs, above
    none take the side of people discrimiiated against..
    claiming to enforce merit and discrimination and whisteblower claims IS A
    BIG BUSINEES AND TAKES A LOT OF STAFF. THE FEDERAL CLIMATE FOR WORKERS
    IS TOTALLY HOSTILE AND IF YOU WISH TO SPEND YOUR LIFE SAVINGS TO NO
    AVAIL AND THEN GET FIRED, THAT IS THE WAY IT WORKS., I HAVE WORKED IN
    DOD FOR MANY YEARS IN CHARGE OF LARGE PROGRAMS AND I NEVER THOUGHT IT
    COULD GET EVEN WORSE. THE ENTIRE SYSTEM AS IT EXISTS IS TOTALLY HOSTILE
    AND NON RESPONSIVE AND IS VINDICATIVE TO EMPLOYEES. READ YOUR OWN BLOGS
    EVEN THE UNIONS WHICH ARE FAST BEING KILLED OFF DO NOT HAVE THE GUTS
    TO STAND UP FOR THEIR MEMBERS.
    . CARTERMMC@GMAIL.COM

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