Skip top navigation Skip to content

Print   Email  Share

The Government Employee Rights Act of 1991

42 U.S.C.
Title 42 - THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
CHAPTER 21 - CIVIL RIGHTS
SUBCHAPTER VI - EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

§2000e-16a. Short title; purpose; definition

(a) Short title

Sections 2000e-16a to 2000e-16c of this title may be cited as the "Government Employee Rights Act of 1991".

(b) Purpose

The purpose of sections 2000e-16a to 2000e-16c of this title is to provide procedures to protect the rights of certain government employees, with respect to their public employment, to be free of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability.

(c) "Violation" defined

For purposes of sections 2000e-16a to 2000e-16c of this title, the term "violation" means a practice that violates section 2000e-16b(a) of this title.

§2000e-16b. Discriminatory practices prohibited

(a) Practices

All personnel actions affecting the Presidential appointees described in section 1219 1 of title 2 or the State employees described in section 2000e-16c of this title shall be made free from any discrimination based on-

(1) race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, within the meaning of section 2000e-16 of this title;

(2) age, within the meaning of section 633a of title 29; or

(3) disability, within the meaning of section 791 of title 29 and sections 12112 to 12114 of this title.

(b) Remedies

The remedies referred to in sections 1219(a)(1) 1 of title 2 and 2000e-16c(a) of this title-

(1) may include, in the case of a determination that a violation of subsection (a)(1) or (a)(3) of this section has occurred, such remedies as would be appropriate if awarded under sections 2000e-5(g), 2000e-5(k), and 2000e-16(d) of this title, and such compensatory damages as would be appropriate if awarded under section 1981 or sections 1981a(a) and 1981a(b)(2) of this title;

(2) may include, in the case of a determination that a violation of subsection (a)(2) of this section has occurred, such remedies as would be appropriate if awarded under section 633a(c) of title 29; and

(3) may not include punitive damages.

§2000e-16c. Coverage of previously exempt State employees

(a) Application

The rights, protections, and remedies provided pursuant to section 2000e-16b of this title shall apply with respect to employment of any individual chosen or appointed, by a person elected to public office in any State or political subdivision of any State by the qualified voters thereof-

(1) to be a member of the elected official's personal staff;

(2) to serve the elected official on the policymaking level; or

(3) to serve the elected official as an immediate advisor with respect to the exercise of the constitutional or legal powers of the office.

(b) Enforcement by administrative action

(1) In general

Any individual referred to in subsection (a) of this section may file a complaint alleging a violation, not later than 180 days after the occurrence of the alleged violation, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which, in accordance with the principles and procedures set forth in sections 554 through 557 of title 5, shall determine whether a violation has occurred and shall set forth its determination in a final order. If the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determines that a violation has occurred, the final order shall also provide for appropriate relief.

(2) Referral to State and local authorities
(A) Application

Section 2000e-5(d) of this title shall apply with respect to any proceeding under this section.

(B) Definition

For purposes of the application described in subparagraph (A), the term "any charge filed by a member of the Commission alleging an unlawful employment practice" means a complaint filed under this section.

(c) Judicial review

Any party aggrieved by a final order under subsection (b) of this section may obtain a review of such order under chapter 158 of title 28. For the purpose of this review, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shall be an "agency" as that term is used in chapter 158 of title 28.

(d) Standard of review

To the extent necessary to decision and when presented, the reviewing court shall decide all relevant questions of law and interpret constitutional and statutory provisions. The court shall set aside a final order under subsection (b) of this section if it is determined that the order was-

(1) arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not consistent with law;

(2) not made consistent with required procedures; or

(3) unsupported by substantial evidence.

In making the foregoing determinations, the court shall review the whole record or those parts of it cited by a party, and due account shall be taken of the rule of prejudicial error.

(e) Attorney's fees

If the individual referred to in subsection (a) of this section is the prevailing party in a proceeding under this subsection,1 attorney's fees may be allowed by the court in accordance with the standards prescribed under section 2000e-5(k) of this title.