The No Fear Act reaffirms the strong public policy commitment to ensure that all Federal employees feel free to come forward with allegations of discrimination, wrongdoing, or misconduct, by making sure that Federal employees are aware of their rights. This law, signed on May 15, 2002, by President Bush, aims to increase the accountability of federal agencies for acts of discrimination and reprisal. The Act is commonly referred to as the "No Fear" Act. The law took effect in Fiscal Year 2004, on October 1, 2003.
The "No Fear" Act requires Federal agencies to:
- Notify employees and applicants for employment on their public website and provide training for employees about their rights under the discrimination and whistleblower laws;
- Post statistical data relating to Federal sector equal employment opportunity complaints on their public website;
- Ensure that their managers have adequate training in the management of a diverse workforce, early and alternative conflict resolution, and essential communications skills;
- Conduct studies on the trends and causes of complaints of discrimination;
- Implement new measures to improve the complaint process and the work environment;
- Initiate timely and appropriate discipline against employees who engage in misconduct related to discrimination or reprisal;
- Reimburse the Treasury Judgment Fund out of their own budget for settlements and monetary judgments awarded in discrimination in federal court cases instead of these payments coming out of the Department of Justice’s Judgment fund; and
- Submit annual reports of status and progress to Congress, the Attorney General and the U.S. Equal Employment Commission on the number of discrimination and retaliation cases, the disposition of those cases, the cost, and the number of employees disciplined for discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation.