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house Bill H.R. 702

Changing How Federal Agencies Deal With Workplace Discrimination

Argument in favor

This bill increases federal agencies’ ability to take action against discrimination and retaliation. Everyone deserves to feel safe in the workplace, especially when they are reporting instances of discrimination or retaliation.

Ticktock's Opinion
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07/10/2017
With the negative attitude of the current Administration federal employees need to have all the assurances possible that any employee action is equitable and legal. It employers do what they should do these protections would not be necessary.
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JayFeat's Opinion
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07/10/2017
We need to do what we can to insure that federal employees, and all employees, are not discriminated against for ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, etc.... This is especially important in today's world given our current attorney general and his past views.
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Dagmar's Opinion
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07/10/2017
There should be more protection against retaliation when someone reports something. It is awful.
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Argument opposed

Discrimination and retaliation in the workplace are bad things, yes. But there are already departments tasked with enforcing these rules in the federal government. Creating more bureaucracy isn’t the answer.

operaman's Opinion
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07/10/2017
Let's fix the VA program first. Maybe we should fix one program before creating a new program.
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Vanessa's Opinion
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07/10/2017
We need better "enforcement" of existing laws that are already in place. There is enough red tape to cut through already.
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Janis's Opinion
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07/10/2017
No more regulations! We have tons of laws and regs on the books covering this. Thousands of dollars are spent in human resources and lawyers now. Small business eases are crippled.
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What is House Bill H.R. 702?

This bill would seek to prevent discrimination in federal agencies by creating new procedures for handling it. It sets up an independent Equal Employment Opportunity program in every federal agency, tasked with resolving discrimination and retaliation issues. They would report directly to the head of the agency.

This bill also sets up new procedures for handling EEOC issues. If the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found a case of discrimination or retaliation in a federal agency, that agency would have 30 days to create a notification on their website detailing what happened, the laws that were broken and the day that the EEOC ruled on it. The agency would also have to put a link to this notification on their website’s homepage and leave it up for a year. The agency would also have to report to the EEOC on how the employee that made the violation was disciplined. EEOC rulings would also be reported to the Office of the Special Counsel.

Federal agencies would also have to initiate a tracking process for complaints of discrimination or retaliation. Employees that were subject to discriminatory action would have this noted in their personnel file. Finally, the bill bans non-disclosure agreements within federal agencies.

Impact

Federal agencies.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 702

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would increase administrative costs by less than $500,000 per year.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) introduced this bill to strengthen protections for federal employees:

"The Federal Employee Antidiscrimination Act will help ensure that federal employees can report discrimination without suffering retaliation and that such reports will be thoroughly, fairly, and timely investigated and adjudicated. The bill would also prohibit policies, forms or agreements that seek to prevent employees from disclosing waste, fraud, or illegal actions to the Congress."

This legislation passed the House Oversight & Government Reform committee on a voice vote, and has the bipartisan support of two Republican and two Democratic cosponsors in the House. A previous version passed the House by voice vote during the last Congress but wasn't considered by the Senate.

Of Note: You probably know what discrimination is, and more or less what it would look like in the workplace — sitting through HR videos is part of the human condition. But what about retaliation? The retaliation that this bill refers to is when one person at an agency takes a hostile action against another person after being reported for an infraction. 

For example, in April 2015, a prison employee had her office moved to a converted cell when she reported a superior for trying to move their staff office closer to his house. In 2011, the EEOC said that it was their number-one complaint from federal employees.


Media:

Summary by James Helmsworth and Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user USDAgov

AKA

Federal Employee Antidiscrimination Act of 2017

Official Title

To amend the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 to strengthen Federal antidiscrimination laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and expand accountability within the Federal Government, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  • The house Passed July 11th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedJanuary 27th, 2017

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    With the negative attitude of the current Administration federal employees need to have all the assurances possible that any employee action is equitable and legal. It employers do what they should do these protections would not be necessary.
    Like (52)
    Follow
    Share
    Let's fix the VA program first. Maybe we should fix one program before creating a new program.
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    We need to do what we can to insure that federal employees, and all employees, are not discriminated against for ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, etc.... This is especially important in today's world given our current attorney general and his past views.
    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
    We need better "enforcement" of existing laws that are already in place. There is enough red tape to cut through already.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    There should be more protection against retaliation when someone reports something. It is awful.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    No more regulations! We have tons of laws and regs on the books covering this. Thousands of dollars are spent in human resources and lawyers now. Small business eases are crippled.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Government agencies have EEO programs that really don't work. Entirely a waste of money. I know there should be no discrimination but all I seen was lazy workers trying to get away with out doing their job. To many programs to get paid without working and if the supervisor says anything it is harassment. Waste of time and money. To bad for those that really do have issues. The others are ruining it for them.
    Like (6)
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    This is so important; I'm tired of being frightened into silence in the workplace. I think it is time to deal with this on a federal level to remind victims of workplace inequality and other injustices that we matter.
    Like (6)
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    There are already federal laws intended to protect employees from retaliation when they report workplace discrimination or harassment to either an internal or external body such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The American people would be better served by efforts to strengthen adherence and enforcement of the existing laws; redundancy serves to only complicate or contradict.
    Like (5)
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    With the shocking level of discrimination we have seen acted out by # 45 in crowds, the increased hate crimes, the institutionalized Jim Crow and all forms of racism,classism,sexism,Islamophobia, homophobia and misogyny displayed by the sub – swamp Cabinet and #45, this seems absolutely necessary to protect people from hatred in the workplace. Every day more protections are being a eliminated that were won with the blood and other sacrifices of the s/heroes before us, so any protection from workplace bullying and discrimination is more than welcome!
    Like (5)
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    Bureaucracy to manage the bureaucracy? I think no.
    Like (4)
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    We don't need more overhead we need everyone to meet the laws already in place and that extend across the public and private sector
    Like (4)
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    Specifically because this is bi-partisan, the cost negligible, it prohibits non-disclosure agreements, and no one should be discriminated against anywhere, let alone at their place of employment, I say yes to this legislation. By the way, libs, I really don’t care for much of what E.Cummings does, or his politics, but I don’t let hate drive my choices. One should vote for something on its merits, not by whose idea it was or by whom is its sponsor. It is either good or bad legislation. Independent thinkers vote in this manner...period.
    Like (4)
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    Spending a half million dollars of tax payer money to regulate regulation, Stupid waste of time and money. Is anyone in Washington there to serve the people?
    Like (4)
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    Include ALL discrimination, including ageism.
    Like (3)
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    Employees should never be discriminated against
    Like (3)
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    I doubt this will help but it is worth a try.
    Like (3)
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    Too often the ball is dropped when discrimination in the workplace happens. It does no one any good to have laws, if those laws are not enforced.
    Like (3)
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    Unnecessary. Current laws are perfectly fine.
    Like (2)
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    Obama caused this black and white shit
    Like (2)
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