Posted by Dennis Jao

Benefit Of Knowing The No FEAR Act

Benefit Of Knowing The No FEAR Act

On May 15, 2002, President Bush signed a No FEAR Act (Notification and Federal Anti-Discrimination and Retaliation of 2002). This law entered into force on October 1, 2003. The main objective of the law is to increase the accountability of agencies concerning anti-discrimination and whistleblowing laws.


What Is The Purpose Of The No FEAR Act?

The No FEAR Act increases the accountability of federal departments and agencies when it comes to discrimination or retaliation against employees. The No FEAR Act demands that federal agencies be held accountable for violations of anti-discrimination laws and complaints.


What Are The Nine Protected Features? 

  • Sex / Gender

  • Disability

  • Race

  • Marriage and civil partnership

  • Pregnancy and motherhood

  • Gender reassignment

  • Religion or belief

  • Age 

  • Sexual orientation.


What Are The Protected Classes?

  • Career

  • Color

  • Religion or belief

  • Nationality or ancestry

  • Sex (including gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity)

  • Age

  • Physical or mental handicap

  • Veteran Status


What Are The Reasons For Discrimination?

Fair Employment Practices Act: employers cannot discriminate based on race, national origin, religion, color, creed, marital status, physical or mental disability, age, or sex (including pregnancy) unless the reasonable needs of the employer a function performed require age distinctions, physical or mental handicap, marital status.


Is Discrimination A Violation Of Human Rights?

The right against discrimination is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and spelled out in the international human rights law through its inclusion in the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights and the International Covenant on economic, social, and cultural rights.


What Are The 14 Protected Areas That Ontarians Cannot Be Discriminated Against?

The law is against discrimination against employees on 14 “grounds”: age, ancestors, nationality, color, creed, disability, ethnic origin, marital status, family status, place of origin, race, criminal history, sex, and sexual orientation.


Disciplinary Actions

Under applicable law, DHS (Department of Homeland Security) reserves the right, from time to time, to sanction a federal employee for conduct inconsistent with federal laws that protect against discrimination and whistleblowing, including expulsion. Suppose the CSO has initiated an investigation under 5 USC 1214; however, under 5 USC 1214 (f). In that case, the DHS must seek the approval of a special advisor to discipline employees for, among other activities, engaging in retaliation prohibited. Nothing in the No FEAR Act modifies existing laws or allows DHS to take unfounded disciplinary action against a federal employee or violate the procedural rights of a federal employee who has been accused of discrimination.


Retaliation For Participation In A Protected Activity

A federal employee, including a DHS employee, cannot retaliate against an employee or job applicant for exercising their rights under any of the Federal Discrimination or Whistleblower Acts listed above. Suppose you believe you are being retaliated against for engaging in a protected activity. In that case, you should follow the procedures outlined in anti-discrimination laws and reporting sections or, where applicable, administrative or negotiated procedures, as appropriate to pursue any legal remedy.


Whistleblower Protection Laws

A Federal employee, including a DHS employee, with authority to initiate, request others to take, recommend or approve any personal action, must not use that authority to initiate or stop the application or threaten to take or stop the execution of individual action against an employee or a claimant for the disclosure of information by that person considered to be evidence of a violation: of laws, rules or regulations; serious mismanagement; gross waste of funds; abuse of power; or specific and substantial risk to public safety or health, unless the law expressly prohibits the disclosure of such information and an executive decree requires explicitly that such information be kept secret in the interest of national defense strategy or the conduct of business abroad.

Retaliation against an employee or candidate for making a protected disclosure is prohibited by 5 U.S.C. 2302 (b) (8).


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Dennis Jao
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