Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (01/12/1995)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: General

Title II: Extension of Rights and Protections

Part A: Employment Discrimination, Family and Medical

Leave, Fair Labor Standards, Employee Polygraph

Protection, Worker Adjustment and Retraining,

Employment and Reemployment of Veterans, and

Intimidation

Part B: Public Services and Accommodations Under the

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

Part C: Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970

Part D: Labor-Management Relations

Part E: General

Part F: Study

Title III: Office of Compliance

Title IV: Administrative and Judicial Dispute-Resolution

Procedures

Title V: Miscellaneous Provisions

Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 - Title I: General - Applies provisions of the following laws to the legislative branch: (1) the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA); (2) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; (3) the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA); (4) the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA); (5) the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA); (6) the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA); (7) provisions regarding Federal labor-management relations; (8) the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 (EPPA); (9) the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN); (10) the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and (11) the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1995.

Requires the Board of Directors (Board) of the Office of Compliance (established by this Act) to: (1) review provisions of Federal laws and regulations relating to the terms and conditions of employment (including protection from discrimination in personnel actions, occupational health and safety, and family, medical, and other leave) of employees and access to public services and accommodations; and (2) report on December 31, 1996, and biennially thereafter, on whether or to what degree such provisions are applicable or inapplicable to the legislative branch and if inapplicable whether they should be made applicable.

Requires each report of a congressional committee accompanying any bill or joint resolution relating to terms and conditions of employment or access to public services or accommodations to: (1) describe the manner in which the provisions of the bill or joint resolution apply to the legislative branch; or (2) if the provisions do not apply, include a statement of the reasons why. Makes it out of order, on the objection of any Member, for the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider such bill or joint resolution if the report of the committee on the measure does not comply with this Act. Allows such requirement to be waived in either House by a majority vote of that House.

Title II: Extension of Rights and Protections - Part A: Employment Discrimination, Family and Medical Leave, Fair Labor Standards, Employee Polygraph Protection, Worker Adjustment and Retraining, Employment and Reemployment of Veterans, and Intimidation - Requires all personnel actions affecting covered employees to be made free from any discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability. Defines a "covered employee" as an employee of the House, the Senate, the Capitol Guide Service, the Capitol Police, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Office of the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), the Office of the Attending Physician, the Office of Compliance, or the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA).

Makes available the remedies awarded under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ADEA, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the ADA, as appropriate, for discrimination violations affecting covered employees.

Amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the ADEA to apply their protection and remedies to the Government Printing Office (GPO) and the General Accounting Office (GAO). Extends coverage under the ADA to GPO and GAO as well.

Makes specified remedies and procedures set forth in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 available to any employee of an instrumentality of the Congress who alleges a violation of the rights and protections under the ADA, except that the authorities of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shall be exercised by the chief official of the instrumentality of the Congress.

(Sec. 202) Applies the rights, protections, and remedies of the FMLA, EPPA, WARN (with regard to closures or mass layoffs), and veterans' employment and reemployment rights to covered employees, GAO, and the Library of Congress. Applies the FLSA to covered employees and GPO. Prohibits covered employees from receiving compensatory time in lieu of overtime compensation. Provides that nothing in this Act shall preclude the Capitol Police from using lie detector tests in accordance with prescribed regulations under this Act.

(Sec. 207) Makes it unlawful for an employing office to intimidate, take reprisal against, or otherwise discriminate against, any covered employee for opposing any practice made unlawful by this Act, or for initiating proceedings, making charges, or testifying, assisting, or participating in any manner in a hearing or other proceeding under this Act. Provides that the remedy available for such violation shall be such legal or equitable remedy as would be appropriate.

Part B: Public Services and Accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 - Applies the rights and protections against discrimination in the provision of public services and accommodations under the ADA to the Senate, the House, congressional and joint committees, the Capitol Guide Service, the Capitol Police, CBO, AOC, the Office of the Attending Physician, the Office, and OTA.

Makes available specified remedies awarded under the ADA, as appropriate, except that with respect to any claim of employment discrimination asserted by any covered employee, the exclusive remedy under this title shall apply. Describes procedures to remedy other ADA violations, including filing a charge with the General Counsel of the Office, mediation, and judicial review.

Makes specified remedies and procedures under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 available to disabled visitors, guests, or patrons of instrumentalities of the Congress (GAO, GPO, and the Library) who allege violations under ADA provisions described by this part.

Part C: Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 - Directs each employing office (including GAO and the Library) and covered employees to comply with OSHA. Requires the remedy for an OSHA violation to be an order to correct the violation. Establishes procedures for such remedies, including granting the General Counsel and the Board certain authorities exercised by the Secretary of Labor under OSHA.

Part D: Labor-Management Relations - Applies Federal labor- management relations provisions to employing offices and covered employees. Grants the Board and the General Counsel specified authorities of the Federal Labor Relations Authority to enforce such provisions.

Part E: General - Allows the hearing officer, Board, or court, as the case may be, to award attorney's fees, expert witness fees, and other costs as would be appropriate under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to a covered employee with respect to a claim under this Act or a qualified person with a disability with respect to a claim under the ADA. Prohibits a civil penalty or punitive damages from being awarded with respect to any claim under this Act. Bars persons other than veterans from commencing an administrative or judicial proceeding to seek a remedy for the rights and protections afforded by this Act except as provided in this Act. Provides that only a covered employee who has undertaken and completed the employee counseling and mediation procedures described in this Act may be granted a remedy under Part A of this title.

Part F: Study - Directs the Administrative Conference of the United States to study the application of the following laws to GAO, GPO, and the Library of Congress and the regulations and procedures used by such entities to apply and enforce such laws: (1) title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; (2) the ADEA; (3) the ADA; (4) the FMLA; (5) the FLSA; (6) OSHA; (7) the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; (8) Federal labor-management relations provisions; (9) the General Accounting Office Personnel Act of 1980; (10) the EPPA; (11) the WARN; and (12) provisions regarding veterans' employment and reemployment rights.

Title III: Office of Compliance - Establishes in the legislative branch an Office of Compliance (Office) to carry out: (1) a program of education for Members of Congress and other employing authorities of the legislative branch respecting the laws made applicable to them; and (2) a program to inform individuals of their rights under such laws. Requires the Board Chair to appoint an Executive Director, a Deputy Executive Director for the Senate, and a Deputy Executive Director for the House of Representatives.

(Sec. 304) Sets forth procedures for congressional approval of the Board's regulations required under title II to implement this Act, including regulations on the appropriate application of exemptions under the laws made applicable in such title.

(Sec. 305) Authorizes appropriations.

Title IV: Administrative and Judicial Dispute-Resolution Procedures - Sets forth procedures for counseling, mediation, election of proceedings, hearings, judicial review of Board decisions and enforcement, civil actions, and judicial review of regulations issued by the Board with respect to consideration of alleged violations of Part A of title II.

(Sec. 410) Prohibits judicial review of actions taken pursuant to this Act, except as expressly authorized by this title.

(Sec. 415) Authorizes appropriations for the establishment of an account in the Treasury for the Office for payment of awards and settlements under this Act. Prohibits funds in the account from being available for awards and settlements involving GAO, GPO, and the Library. Authorizes appropriations for funds for: (1) administrative, personnel, and similar expenses of employing offices which are needed to comply with this Act; and (2) the correction of OSHA and ADA accommodation and access violations.

(Sec. 416) Makes all counseling, mediation, and hearings and deliberations of the Board confidential. Permits the records of hearing officers and the Board to be made public if required for judicial review. Authorizes the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct and the Senate Select Committee on Ethics to have access to hearing records and decisions after the issuance of a final decision on a complaint.

Title V: Miscellaneous Provisions - Provides that it shall not be a violation of any provision of Section 201 to consider the party affiliation, domicile, or political compatibility, with respect to employment decisions, of employees who are: (1) on the staff of the House or Senate leadership; (2) on the staff of congressional committees, joint committees, or subcommittees; (3) on the staff of Members of the House or Senators; (4) officers of the House or the Senate or elected or appointed congressional staff; or (5) applicants for any such positions.

(Sec. 503) Provides that the Senate Select Committee on Ethics and the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct retain full power with respect to the discipline of Members, officers, and employees for violating rules of the Senate and House on nondiscrimination in employment.

(Sec. 505) Requires the Judicial Conference of the United States to report to the Congress on the application to the judicial branch of: (1) the FLSA; (2) title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; (3) the ADA; (4) the ADEA; (5) the FMLA; (6) OSHA; (7) Federal labor- management relations provisions; (8) the EPPA; (9) the WARN; (10) the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and (11) veterans' employment and reemployment provisions. Requires the report to include any recommendations the Judicial Conference may have for legislation to provide judicial branch employees with the rights, protections, and procedures under such laws, including administrative and judicial relief, that are comparable to those available to legislative branch employees under titles I through IV of this Act.

(Sec. 506) Sets forth transitional provisions with respect to certain existing claims.

(Sec. 507) Considers any travel award that accrues by reason of official travel of a Member, officer, or employee of the Senate to be the property of the office for which the travel was performed and prohibits the conversion of such award to personal use.

(Sec. 508) Expresses the sense of the Senate that the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration should review the rules applicable to purchases by Senate offices to determine whether they are consistent with acquisition simplification and streamlining laws enacted in the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994.