Federal Employee Antidiscrimination Act advances out of committee
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Monday, November 11, 2019

Federal Employee Antidiscrimination Act advances out of committee

By Pamela Wolf, J.D.

The bill was introduced by Elijah Cummings on the first day of the 116th Congress after Democrats gained the House Majority.

On November 6, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs ordered the Federal Employee Antidiscrimination Act of 2019 to be favorably reported with an amendment in the nature of a substitute. The bill, H.R. 135, would amend the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 to strengthen federal antidiscrimination laws enforced by the EEOC and expand accountability within the federal government.

"First day" legislation. The legislation was introduced by the recently deceased former House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman, Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), on January 3, 2019, the first day of the 116th Congress, when Democrats became the House Majority. The House passed the measure on January 15 with a unanimous vote.

In the Senate, the bill was advanced on November 6 by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee along with a package of nominations and other bills.

Federal Employee Antidiscrimination Act. The legislation would strengthen the management of federal EEO programs by:

  • requiring them to operate independently of agencies’ HR and general counsel offices;
  • requiring the head of each agency EEO program to report directly to the head of the agency; and
  • prohibiting any forms, policies, or agreements that seek to prevent an employee from disclosing waste, fraud, or abuse to Congress, the Office of Special Counsel, or an Inspector General.

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