Notice of Rights and Protections Available Under the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002
No Fear Act Notice.
The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) is publishing its notice under Title II of the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002, Public Law 107-174 (Act), as required by the Act and 5 CFR part 724. This notice describes the obligation of the NIGC and other federal agencies to notify all employees, former employees, and applicants for federal employment of the rights and protections available to them under federal antidiscrimination and whistleblower protection laws.
Table of Contents Back to Top
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top
Steffani A. Cochran, Commissioner/EEO Director, National Indian Gaming Commission, or the NIGC's Office of the General Counsel, 1441 L Street, NW., Suite 9100, Washington, DC 20005, 202-632-7003, or by facsimile at 202-632-7066 (not toll-free numbers). For further information regarding the No FEAR Act regulations, refer to 5 CFR part 724.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top
No FEAR Act Notice Back to Top
On May 15, 2002, Congress enacted the “Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002,” which is now known as the No FEAR Act. One purpose of the Act is to “require that Federal agencies be accountable for violations of antidiscrimination and whistleblower protection laws.” Public Law 107-174, Summary. In support of this purpose, Congress found that “agencies cannot be run effectively if those agencies practice or tolerate discrimination.” Public Law 107-174, Title I, General Provisions, section 101(1).
The Act requires the NIGC to provide this notice to all of its employees, former employees, and applicants for federal employment to inform them of the rights and protections available to them under federal antidiscrimination and whistleblower protection laws.
Antidiscrimination Laws Back to Top
A federal agency cannot discriminate against an employee or applicant with respect to the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status or political affiliation. Discrimination on these bases is prohibited by one or more of the following statutes: 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(1); 29 U.S.C. 206(d); 29 U.S.C. 631; 29 U.S.C. 633a; 29 U.S.C. 791; and 42 U.S.C. 2000e-16.
If you believe that you have been the victim of unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability, you must contact an Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) counselor within 45 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory action, or in the case of a personnel action, within 45 calendar days of the effective date of the action, before you can file a formal complaint of discrimination with your agency. See, e.g., 29 CFR 1614. If you believe that you have been the victim of unlawful discrimination on the basis of age, you must either contact an EEO counselor as noted above, or give notice of intent to sue to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) within 180 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory action. If you are alleging discrimination based on marital status or political affiliation, you may file a written complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) (See contact information below).
Whistleblower Protection Laws Back to Top
A federal employee with authority to take, direct others to take, recommend, or approve any personnel action must not use that authority to take or fail to take, or threaten to take or fail to take, a personnel action against an employee or applicant because of disclosure of information by that individual that is reasonably believed to evidence violations of law, rule, or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, unless disclosure of such information is specifically prohibited by law, and such information is specifically required by executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or the conduct of foreign affairs.
Retaliation against an employee or applicant for making a protected disclosure is prohibited by 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8). If you believe that you have been the victim of whistleblower retaliation, you may file a written complaint (using Form OSC-11) with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel at 1730 M Street, NW., Suite 218, Washington, DC 20036-4505 or online through the OSC Web site (http://www.osc.gov).
Retaliation for Engaging in Protected Activity Back to Top
A federal agency cannot retaliate against an employee or applicant because that individual exercises his or her rights under any of the federal antidiscrimination or whistleblower protection laws listed above. If you believe that you are the victim of retaliation for engaging in protected activity, you must follow, as appropriate, the procedures described in the Antidiscrimination Laws and Whistleblower Protection Laws sections.
Disciplinary Actions Back to Top
Under the existing laws, each agency retains the right, where appropriate, to discipline a federal employee for conduct that is inconsistent with Federal Antidiscrimination and Whistleblower Protection Laws, up to and including removal from the federal service. If the OSC has initiated an investigation under 5 U.S.C. 1214, however, according to 5 U.S.C. 1214(f), agencies must seek approval from the Special Counsel to discipline employees for, among other activities, engaging in prohibited retaliation. Nothing in the No FEAR Act alters existing laws or permits an agency to take unfounded disciplinary action against a federal employee or to violate the procedural rights of a federal employee who has been accused of discrimination.
Existing Rights Unchanged Back to Top
Pursuant to section 205 of the No FEAR Act, neither the Act nor this notice creates, expands or reduces any rights otherwise available to any employee, former employee, or applicant under the laws of the United States, including the provisions of law specified in 5 U.S.C. 2302(d).
Additional Information Back to Top
Additional information regarding federal antidiscrimination, whistleblower protection, and retaliation laws can be found at the EEOC Web site (http://www.eeoc.gov) and the OSC Web site (http://www.osc.gov).
George T. Skibine,
Steffani A. Cochran,
[FR Doc. 2010-2901 Filed 2-9-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7565-02-P