Information about the No FEAR Act

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. This Act was signed by President George W. Bush on May 16, 2002 and became effective October 1, 2003.

The 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. 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).

Text of the No FEAR Act, Public Law 107-174 TXT | PDF

For most federal agencies, Section 201 of the Act changes the way payments are made for discrimination and retaliation judgments and settlements. Instead of paying for such judgments and settlements out of the government-wide Judgment Fund, agencies are now required to use their own funding. This provision does not affect the Postal Service because the Postal Service has, since its inception, paid for any discrimination and retaliation judgments and settlements out of its own funds.

Section 202 of the No FEAR Act requires that agencies provide written notification to former and current employees and to applicants for employment of their rights and protections under the anti-discrimination laws and the Whistleblower Protection Act. This includes posting information on the agency's Internet site. The Whistleblower Protection Act and the laws prohibiting discrimination based on marital status and political affiliation do not apply to the Postal Service. However, the Postal Service has adopted employment regulations that provide protections for Postal Service employee whistleblower activities and that prohibit discrimination against its employees based on marital status and political affiliation. View the written No FEAR Act Notice RTF | PDF to Postal Service employees of their rights and remedies.

Section 202 of the Act additionally requires periodic training of employees regarding their rights and remedies under the antidiscrimination and whistleblower protection laws that apply to them. Postal Service employees received that training in FY 2006 via Course No. 18201-25, titled "EEO Rights and Remedies."

Section 203 of the Act requires that agencies submit annual reports to Congress, EEOC, and the Attorney General on EEO complaint activity and other statistics and an analysis of all information provided.

Section 204 of the Act requires that within 30 days of the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM's) issuance of guidance regarding best practices for appropriate disciplinary actions against employees who discriminate, a written statement regarding adoption of those guidelines must be sent to Congress, EEO, and the Attorney General. Any decision or failure to adopt the guidelines must be explained. OPM has not yet issued the guidance.

Section 301 of the Act requires agencies to post statistical EEO data on their public website. The specific data to be posted is described in section 301(b) of the Act and 29 CFR 1614.704. View the required summary statistical data for EEO complaints filed against the Postal Service.

Section 302 requires the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to post government-wide, summary statistical data pertaining to EEO hearings requested under 29 C.F.R. Part 1614 and EEO appeals filed with EEOC. The specific data to be posted is described in section 302(a) of the Act and 29 CFR 1614.706. View the EEOC data.