NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 61
(Senate - April 09, 2019)

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[Pages S2334-S2348]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                     NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING

                                                    U.S. Congress,


                                       Office of Congressional

                                             Workplace Rights,

                                    April 9, 2019, Washington, DC.

     Hon. Charles Grassley,
     President Pro Tempore, U.S. Senate,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. President: Section 303(a) of the Congressional 
     Accountability Act of 1995 (CAA), 2 U.S.C. 1383(a), provides 
     that the Executive Director of the Office of Congressional 
     Workplace Rights ``shall, subject to the approval of its 
     Board of Directors, adopt rules governing the procedures of 
     the Office, including the procedures of hearing officers, 
     which shall be submitted for publication in the Congressional 
     Record. The rules may be amended in the same manner.'' 
     Section 303(b) of the Act, 2 U.S.C. 1383(b), further provides 
     that the Executive Director ``shall publish a general notice 
     of proposed rulemaking'' and ``shall transmit such notice to 
     the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President 
     pro tempore of the Senate for publication in the 
     Congressional Record on the first day of which both Houses 
     are in session following such transmittal.''
       Having obtained the approval of the Board as required by 
     section 303(b) of the CAA, 2 U.S.C. 1383(b), I am 
     transmitting the attached notice of proposed procedural 
     rulemaking to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. I 
     request that this notice be published in the Senate section 
     of the Congressional Record on the first day on which both 
     Houses are in session following the receipt of this 
     transmittal. In compliance with section 303(b) of the CAA, a 
     comment period of 30 days after the publication of this 
     notice of proposed rulemaking is being provided before 
     adoption of the rules.
       Any inquiries regarding this notice should be addressed to 
     Susan Tsui Grundmann, Executive Director of the Office of 
     Congressional Workplace Rights, Room LA-200, 110

[[Page S2335]]

     2nd Street SE, Washington, DC 20540; telephone: 202-724-9250.
           Sincerely,

                                         Susan Tsui Grundmann,

                                               Executive Director,
                         Office of Congressional Workplace Rights.

 From the Executive Director of the Office of Congressional Workplace 
  Rights: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Request for Comments From 
                           Interested Parties


   proposed amendments to the rules of procedure, notice of proposed 
   rulemaking, as required by 2 u.s.c. Sec. 1383, the congressional 
                 accountability act of 1995, as amended

     Introductory Statement
       Shortly after the enactment of the Congressional 
     Accountability Act (CAA or the Act) in 1995, Procedural Rules 
     were adopted to govern the processing of cases and 
     controversies under the administrative procedures established 
     in subchapter IV of the CAA. 2 U.S.C. 1401-07. Those Rules of 
     Procedure were amended in 1998, 2004, and again in 2016. The 
     existing Rules of Procedure are available in their entirety 
     on the public website of the Office of Congressional 
     Workplace Rights (OCWR): www.ocwr.gov.
       Pursuant to section 303(a) of the CAA (2 U.S.C. 1383(a)), 
     the Executive Director of the OCWR has obtained approval of 
     its Board of Directors regarding certain amendments to the 
     Rules of Procedure.
       After obtaining the Board's approval, the OCWR Executive 
     Director must then ``publish a general notice of proposed 
     rulemaking . . . for publication in the Congressional Record 
     on the first day on which both Houses are in session 
     following such transmittal.'' (Section 303(b) of the CAA, 2 
     U.S.C. 1383(b)).
     Notice
       Comments regarding the proposed amendments to the OCWR 
     Procedural Rules set forth in this NOTICE are invited for a 
     period of thirty (30) days following the date of the 
     appearance of this NOTICE in the Congressional Record. In 
     addition to being posted on the OCWR's website 
     (www.ocwr.gov), this NOTICE is also available in alternative 
     formats. Requests for this NOTICE in an alternative format 
     should be made to the Office of Congressional Workplace 
     Rights, at 202-724-9272 (voice). Submission of comments must 
     be made in writing to the Executive Director, Office of 
     Congressional Workplace Rights, 110 Second Street, S.E., Room 
     LA-200, Washington, D.C. 20540-1999. It is requested, but not 
     required, that an electronic version of any comments be 
     provided via e-mail to: Alexander Ruvinsky, Alexander. 
     [email protected] Comments may also be submitted by 
     facsimile to the Executive Director at 202-426-1913 (a non 
     toll-free number). Those wishing to receive confirmation of 
     the receipt of their comments are requested to provide a 
     self-addressed, stamped post card with their submission. 
     Copies of submitted comments will be available for review on 
     the OCWR's public website at www.ocwr.gov.
     Supplementary Information
       The Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, Pub. L. No. 
     104-1, was enacted into law on January 23, 1995. The CAA 
     applies the rights and protections of 13 federal labor and 
     employment statutes to covered employees and employing 
     offices within the legislative branch of the federal 
     government. Section 301 of the CAA (2 U.S.C. 1381) 
     establishes the OCWR as an independent office within that 
     branch. Section 303 of the CAA (2 U.S.C. 1383) directs the 
     Executive Director, as Chief Operating Officer, to adopt 
     rules of procedure governing the OCWR, subject to approval by 
     the Board of Directors of the Office. The OCWR Rules of 
     Procedure establish the process by which alleged violations 
     of the 13 laws made applicable to the legislative branch 
     under the CAA are considered and resolved.
       On December 21, 2018, the Congressional Accountability Act 
     of 1995 Reform Act was signed into law. (Pub. L. No. 115-
     397). The new law reflects the first set of comprehensive 
     reforms to the CAA since 1995. Among other reforms, the Act 
     substantially modifies the administrative dispute resolution 
     (ADR) process under the CAA, including: providing for 
     preliminary hearing officer review of claims; requiring 
     current and former Members of Congress to reimburse awards or 
     settlement payments resulting from harassment or retaliation 
     claims; requiring certain employing offices to reimburse 
     payments resulting from specified claims of discrimination; 
     and appointing advisers to provide confidential information 
     to legislative branch employees about their rights under the 
     CAA. Most changes to the ADR process will be effective 180 
     days from the date of enactment of the Reform Act, i.e., on 
     June 19, 2019.
       These proposed amendments to the OCWR's Procedural Rules 
     are the result of the OCWR's comprehensive review of the 
     OCWR's procedures in light of the changes in the Reform Act 
     to the ADR program, and they reflect the OCWR's experience 
     processing disputes under the CAA since the original adoption 
     of these Rules in 1995.
     Scope of Comments Requested
       The OCWR asks commenters to provide their views on the 
     changes to the Procedural Rules proposed by the OCWR.
     Summary of the Changes
       Subpart A. Subpart A of the Procedural Rules covers general 
     provisions pertaining to scope and policy, definitions, and 
     information on various filings and computation of time. The 
     OCWR's proposed amendments to subpart A provide additional 
     definitions, and also clarify pleading requirements and 
     procedures concerning confidentiality.
       Subpart B. Currently, subpart B of the Procedural Rules 
     sets forth the pre-complaint procedures applicable to 
     consideration of alleged violations of sections 201 through 
     207 of the CAA, which concern employment discrimination, 
     family and medical leave, fair labor standards, employee 
     polygraph protection, worker adjustment and retraining, 
     employment and reemployment of veterans, and reprisal. 
     Specifically, subpart B sets forth procedures for mandatory 
     pre-complaint counseling and mediation, as well as the 
     statutory election to file either an administrative complaint 
     with the OCWR or a civil action in a U.S. district court. 
     Under the CAA Reform Act, however, counseling and mediation 
     are no longer mandatory jurisdictional prerequisites to 
     adjudication of an alleged violation of sections 201-07 of 
     the CAA. Therefore, the OCWR proposes to remove the 
     procedures for mandatory counseling and mandatory mediation 
     from subpart B. Under the proposed rules, the remaining 
     provisions of subpart B--which concern mediation and the 
     statutory election--appear in subpart D.
       The OCWR proposes to reserve a new subpart B for proposed 
     rules and procedures for enforcement of the inspection, 
     investigation and complaint sections 210(d) and (f) of the 
     CAA, which relate to Public Services and Accommodations under 
     titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 
     (Subpart C had been reserved for these rules since 1995.)
       Subpart C. The OCWR proposes to redesignate the contents of 
     current subpart D as subpart C. Therefore, sections 3.01 
     through 3.15 of this subpart prescribe rules and procedures 
     for enforcement of the inspection and citation provisions of 
     section 215(c)(1) through (3) of the CAA, which concern the 
     protections set forth in the Occupational Safety and Health 
     Act of 1970 (OSHAct). Sections 3.20 through 3.31 contain 
     rules of practice for administrative proceedings to grant 
     variances and other relief under sections 6(b)(6)(A) and 6(d) 
     of the OSHAct, as applied by section 215(c)(4) of the CAA. 
     The proposed modifications to subpart C reflect nomenclature 
     changes only. The modifications clarify that references to 
     the ``Hearing Officer'' in this subpart are to the ``Merits 
     Hearing Officer'' (defined in these proposed rules as the 
     individual appointed by the Executive Director to preside 
     over an administrative hearing conducted on matters within 
     the Office's jurisdiction under section 405 of the Act), and 
     not the ``Preliminary Hearing Officer'' (defined in these 
     proposed rules as the individual appointed by the Executive 
     Director to make a preliminary review of claims arising under 
     sections 102(c) and 201 through 207 of the CAA).
       Subparts D and E. The Procedural Rules currently set forth 
     a single set of procedures for filing ``complaints'' under 
     the CAA, whether the complaint is filed with the OCWR by an 
     employee alleging violations of sections 201 through 207 of 
     the Act, or by the OCWR General Counsel alleging violations 
     of sections 210, 215 or 220 of the Act. The CAA Reform Act, 
     however, uses the word ``claim'' to refer to an alleged 
     violation of sections 201 through 207 of the Act (as well as 
     an alleged violation of section 102(c) of the Act, which 
     incorporates the protections of the Genetic Information 
     Nondisclosure Act). As a result, the term ``complaint'' in 
     the CAA refers only to violations alleged by the OCWR General 
     Counsel.
       Because the procedures in the Reform Act governing employee 
     ``claims'' differ significantly from those governing General 
     Counsel ``complaints,'' these proposed rules set forth 
     separate procedures for each. Therefore, subpart D, which 
     concerns employee ``claims,'' includes new procedures for 
     informal employee requests for advice and information; 
     confidential advising services; filing of claims; electing to 
     file a civil action; initial processing and transmission of 
     claims to parties; notification requirements; voluntary 
     mediation; preliminary review of claims by a ``Preliminary 
     Hearing Officer;'' requesting an administrative hearing 
     before a ``Merits Hearing Officer;'' summary judgment and 
     withdrawal of claims; confidentiality requirements; and 
     automatic referral to congressional ethics committees.
       Proposed subpart E, which concerns General Counsel 
     complaints, sets forth procedures for filing complaints, 
     appointment of the Merits Hearing Officer, dismissals, 
     summary judgment, withdrawal of complaints, and 
     confidentiality requirements. The new provisions in the 
     Reform Act governing matters such as confidential advising 
     services, preliminary review of claims, and automatic 
     referral to congressional ethics committees, do not apply to 
     OCWR General Counsel complaints alleging violations of 
     sections 210, 215 or 220 of the Act. Therefore, they are not 
     addressed in proposed subpart E.
       Subparts F-H. Subparts F and G include the process for the 
     conduct of administrative hearings held as the result of the 
     filing of an administrative claim or an administrative 
     complaint. Subpart H sets forth the procedures for appeals of 
     decisions by Hearing Officers to the OCWR Board of Directors 
     and for appeals of decisions by the Board of Directors to the 
     United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
       Proposed amendments to subpart F concern such matters as 
     depositions requests in cases in which a Member of Congress 
     is an intervenor, rulings on motions to quash and motions to 
     limit, and formal requirements for sworn statements. Proposed 
     amendments to subpart G clarify the Merits Hearing Officer's 
     authority concerning frivolous claims,

[[Page S2336]]

     defenses, and arguments. The proposed amendments also set 
     forth the substantive requirements for the Merits Hearing 
     Officer's written decision, including required findings when 
     a final decision concerns a claim alleging a violation or 
     violations described in section 415(d)(1)(C) of the Act, 
     which requires Members of the House of Representatives and 
     the Senate to reimburse the ``compensatory damages'' portion 
     of a decision, award or settlement for a violation of section 
     201(a), 206(a), or 207 of the Act that the Member is found to 
     have ``committed personally.'' Proposed Amendments to subpart 
     H concern appellate proceedings before the Board. They 
     clarify that a report on preliminary review pursuant to 
     section 402(c) of the CAA is not appealable to the Board.
       Subpart I. Subpart I concerns other matters of general 
     applicability to the dispute resolution process and to the 
     OCWR's operations. Proposed amendments to subpart I concern 
     requests for attorney fees in arbitration proceedings; 
     informal resolution of disputes; general requirements for 
     formal settlement agreements--including settlement of cases 
     making allegations against a Member of Congress subject to 
     the payment reimbursement provisions of section 415(d) of the 
     Act.
       The proposed amendments to subpart I also concern payments 
     governed by section 415(a) of the CAA, which provides, in 
     relevant part, that ``only funds which are appropriated to an 
     account of the Office in the Treasury of the United States 
     for the payment of awards and settlements may be used for the 
     payment of awards and settlements under this chapter.'' 
     Pursuant to section 415(a), the OCWR, through its Executive 
     Director, prepares and processes requisitions for 
     disbursements from the Treasury account established pursuant 
     to section 415(a) when qualifying final decisions, awards, or 
     approved settlements require the payment of funds. These 
     proposed amendments provide further guidance for processing 
     certifications of payments from the funds appropriated to the 
     Section 415(a) Treasury Account. They are based on 
     regulations issued by the Department of Treasury's Bureau of 
     Fiscal Services at 31 C.F.R. part 256, which provide guidance 
     to agencies in the executive branch for submitting requests 
     for payments from the Judgment Fund, which is a permanent, 
     indefinite appropriation that is available to pay many 
     judicially and administratively ordered monetary awards 
     against the United States. The proposed amendments also 
     concern reimbursement to the Section 415(a) Treasury Account 
     in cases when the Act requires: (1) Members of the House of 
     Representatives and the Senate to reimburse the 
     ``compensatory damages'' portion of a decision, award or 
     settlement for a violation of section 201(a), 206(a), or 207 
     that the Member is found to have ``committed personally;'' 
     and (2) employing offices (other than an employing office of 
     the House or Senate) to reimburse awards and settlements paid 
     from the Section 415(a) Treasury Account in connection with 
     claims alleging violations of section 201(a) or 206(a) of the 
     Act.
       The proposed amendments to subpart I also add a new section 
     governing the requirement in the Reform Act that employing 
     offices must post and keep posted in conspicuous places on 
     their premises the notices provided by the OCWR, which 
     contain information about employees' rights and the OCWR's 
     ADR process, along with OCWR contact information. Finally, 
     the proposed amendments set forth rules concerning the new 
     requirement in the Reform Act that each employing office 
     (other than any employing office of the House of 
     Representatives or any employing office of the Senate) submit 
     a report both to the Committee on House Administration of 
     the House of Representatives and the Committee on Rules 
     and Administration of the Senate on the implementation of 
     the training and education program required under section 
     438(a) of the Act.
     Explanation Regarding the Text of the Proposed Amendments
       Only subsections of the Procedural Rules that include 
     proposed amendments are reproduced in this NOTICE. The 
     insertion of a series of five asterisks (* * * * *) indicates 
     that a whole section or paragraph, including its subordinate 
     sections paragraphs, is unchanged, and has not been 
     reproduced in this document. The insertion of a series of 
     three asterisks (* * *) indicates that the unamended text of 
     higher level sections or paragraphs remain unchanged when 
     text is changed at a subordinate level, or that preceding or 
     remaining sentences in a paragraph are unchanged. For the 
     text of other portions of the Procedural Rules which are not 
     proposed to be amended, please access the Office of 
     Congressional Workplace Rights public website at 
     www.ocwr.gov.
     Proposed Amendments
       For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the OCWR 
     proposes to amend subparts A through I of its Procedural 
     Rules as follows:

                          SUBPART A--[AMENDED]

       [Table of contents omitted]
       1. Revise section 1.01 to read as follows:
     Sec. 1.01 Scope and Policy
       These Rules of the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights 
     (OCWR) govern the procedures for considering and resolving 
     alleged violations of the laws made applicable under parts A, 
     B, C, and D of title II of the Congressional Accountability 
     Act of 1995, as amended by the Congressional Accountability 
     Act of 1995 Reform Act of 2018. The Rules include definitions 
     and procedures for seeking confidential advice, preliminary 
     review, mediation, filing a claim or complaint, and electing 
     between filing a claim with the OCWR and filing a civil 
     action in a United States district court under part A of 
     title II of the CAA. The Rules also address the procedures 
     for compliance, investigation, and enforcement under part B 
     of title II, and for compliance, investigation, enforcement, 
     and variance under part C of title II. The Rules include 
     procedures for the conduct of hearings held as a result of 
     the filing of a claim or complaint and for appeals to the 
     OCWR Board of Directors from Merits Hearing Officers' 
     decisions; as well as other matters of general applicability 
     to the dispute resolution process and to the OCWR's 
     operations. It is the OCWR's policy that these Rules shall be 
     applied with due regard to the rights of all parties and in a 
     manner that expedites the resolution of disputes.
       2. Revise section 1.02 to read as follows:
     Sec. 1.02 Definitions.
       Except as otherwise specifically provided, the following 
     are the definitions of terms used in these Rules:
       (a) Act.--The term ``Act'' means the Congressional 
     Accountability Act of 1995, as amended by the Congressional 
     Accountability Act of 1995 Reform Act of 2018.
       (b) Board.--The term ``Board'' means the Board of Directors 
     of the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights.
       (c) Chair.--The term ``Chair'' means the Chair of the Board 
     of Directors of the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights.
       (d) Claim.--The term ``claim'' means the allegations of 
     fact that the claimant contends constitute a violation of 
     part A of title II of the Act, which includes sections 102(c) 
     and 201-207 of the Act.
       (e) Claim Form.--The term ``claim form'' means the written 
     pleading an individual files to initiate proceedings with the 
     Office of Congressional Workplace Rights that describes the 
     facts and law supporting the alleged violation of part A of 
     title II of the Act, which includes sections 102(c) and 201-
     207 of the Act. The ``claim form'' also may be referred to as 
     the ``documented claim.''
       (f) Claimant.--The term ``claimant'' means the individual 
     filing a claim form with the Office of Congressional 
     Workplace Rights.
       (g) Complaint.--The term ``complaint'' means the written 
     pleading filed by the Office by the General Counsel with the 
     Office of Congressional Workplace Rights that describes the 
     facts and law supporting the alleged violation of sections 
     210(d)(3), 215(c)(3) or 220(c)(2) of the Act.
       (h) Confidential Advisor.--A ``Confidential Advisor'' 
     means, pursuant to section 382 of the Act, a lawyer appointed 
     or designated by the Executive Director to offer to provide 
     covered employees certain services, on a privileged and 
     confidential basis, which a covered employee may accept or 
     decline. A Confidential Advisor is not the covered employee's 
     designated representative.
       Covered Employee.--see ``Employee, Covered,'' below.
       (i) Designated Representative.--The term ``designated 
     representative'' means an individual, firm, or other entity 
     designated in writing by a party to represent the interests 
     of that party in a matter filed with the Office.
       (j) Direct Act.--The term ``direct act,'' with regard to a 
     Library claimant, means a statute (other than the Act) that 
     is specified in sections 201, 202, or 203 of the CAA.
       (k) Direct Provision.--The term ``direct provision,'' with 
     regard to a Library claimant, means a direct act provision 
     (including a definitional provision) that applies the rights 
     or protections of a direct act (including the rights and 
     protections relating to nonretaliation or noncoercion).
       (l) Employee.--The term ``employee'' includes an applicant 
     for employment and a former employee.
       (m) Employee, Covered.--The term ``covered employee'' means 
     any employee of
       (1) the House of Representatives;
       (2) the Senate;
       (3) the Office of Congressional Accessibility Services;
       (4) the Capitol Police;
       (5) the Congressional Budget Office;
       (6) the Office of the Architect of the Capitol;
       (7) the Office of the Attending Physician;
       (8) the Library of Congress, except for section 220 of the 
     Act;
       (9) the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights;
       (10) the Office of Technology Assessment;
       (11) the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service Training 
     and Development;
       (12) the China Review Commission, the Congressional 
     Executive China Commission, and the Helsinki Commission;
       (13) to the extent provided by sections 204-207 and 215 of 
     the Act, the Government Accountability Office; or
       (14) unpaid staff, as defined below in subparagraph 1.02(r) 
     of the Rules.
       (n) Employee of the Office of the Architect of the 
     Capitol.--The term ``employee of the Office of the Architect 
     of the Capitol'' includes any employee of the Office of the 
     Architect of the Capitol, or the Botanic Garden.
       (o) Employee of the Capitol Police.--The term ``employee of 
     the Capitol Police'' includes civilian employees and any 
     member or officer of the Capitol Police.
       (p) Employee of the House of Representatives.--The term 
     ``employee of the House of Representatives'' includes an 
     individual occupying a position the pay for which is 
     disbursed by the Chief Administrative Officer of

[[Page S2337]]

     the House of Representatives, or another official designated 
     by the House of Representatives, or any employment position 
     in an entity that is paid with funds derived from the clerk-
     hire allowance of the House of Representatives, but not any 
     such individual employed by any entity listed in 
     subparagraphs (3) through (13) of paragraph (m) above.
       (q) Employee of the Senate.--The term ``employee of the 
     Senate'' includes any employee whose pay is disbursed by the 
     Secretary of the Senate, but not any such individual employed 
     by any entity listed in subparagraphs (3) through (13) of 
     paragraph (m) above.
       (r) Employee, Unpaid Staff.--The term ``unpaid staff'' 
     means:
       (1) any staff member of an employing office who carries out 
     official duties of the employing office but who is not paid 
     by the employing office for carrying out such duties (also 
     referred to as an ``unpaid staff member''), including an 
     intern, an individual detailed to an employing office, and an 
     individual participating in a fellowship program, in the same 
     manner and to the same extent that section 201(a) and (b) of 
     the Act applies to a covered employee; and
       (2) a former unpaid staff member, if the act(s) that may be 
     a violation of section 201(a) of the Act occurred during the 
     service of the former unpaid staffer for the employing 
     office.
       (s) Employing Office.--The term ``employing office'' means:
       (1) the personal office of a Member of the House of 
     Representatives or a Senator;
       (2) a committee of the House of Representatives or the 
     Senate or a joint committee;
       (3) any other office headed by a person with the final 
     authority to appoint, hire, discharge, and set the terms, 
     conditions, or privileges of the employment of an employee of 
     the House of Representatives or the Senate;
       (4) the Office of Congressional Accessibility Services, the 
     Capitol Police, the Congressional Budget Office, the Office 
     of the Architect of the Capitol, the Office of the Attending 
     Physician, and the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights;
       (5) the Library of Congress, except for section 220 of the 
     Act;
       (6) the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service Training 
     and Development, the Office of Technology Assessment, the 
     China Review Commission, the Congressional Executive China 
     Commission, and the Helsinki Commission; or
       (7) to the extent provided by sections 204-207 and 215 of 
     the Act, the Government Accountability Office.
       (t) Executive Director.--The term ``Executive Director'' 
     means the Executive Director of the Office of Congressional 
     Workplace Rights.
       (u) Final Disposition.--The term ``final disposition'' of a 
     claim under section 416(d) of the Act means any of the 
     following:
       (1) An order or agreement to pay an award or settlement, 
     including an agreement reached pursuant to mediation under 
     section 404 of the Act;
       (2) A final decision of a hearing officer under section 
     405(g) of the Act that is no longer subject to review by the 
     Board under section 406;
       (3) A final decision of the Board under section 406(e) of 
     the Act that is no longer subject to appeal to the United 
     States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit under section 
     407;
       (4) A final decision in a civil action under section 408 of 
     the Act that is no longer subject to appeal; or
       (5) A final decision of an appellate court, to include the 
     United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, that 
     is no longer subject to review.
       (v) General Counsel.--The term ``General Counsel'' means 
     the General Counsel of the Office of Congressional Workplace 
     Rights.
       (w) Hearing.--A ``hearing'' means an administrative hearing 
     as provided in section 405 of the Act, subject to Board 
     review as provided in section 406 of the Act and judicial 
     review in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal 
     Circuit as provided in section 407 of the Act.
       (x) Hearing Officer.--The term ``Hearing Officer'' means 
     any individual appointed by the Executive Director to preside 
     over administrative proceedings within the Office of 
     Congressional Workplace Rights.
       (y) Hearing Officer, Merits.--The term ``Merits Hearing 
     Officer'' means any individual appointed by the Executive 
     Director to preside over an administrative hearing conducted 
     on matters within the Office's jurisdiction under section 405 
     of the Act.
       (z) Hearing Officer, Preliminary.--The term ``Preliminary 
     Hearing Officer'' means an individual appointed by the 
     Executive Director to make a preliminary review of the 
     claim(s) and to issue a preliminary review report on such 
     claim(s), as provided in section 403 of the Act.
       (aa) Intern.--The term ``intern,'' for purposes of section 
     201(a) and (b) of the Act, means an individual who, for an 
     employing office, performs service which is uncompensated by 
     the United States to earn credit awarded by an educational 
     institution or to learn a trade or occupation, and includes 
     any individual participating in a page program operated by 
     any House of Congress.
       (bb) Library Claimant.--A ``Library claimant'' is a covered 
     employee of the Library of Congress who initially brings a 
     claim, complaint, or charge under a direct provision for a 
     proceeding before the Library of Congress and who may, prior 
     to requesting a hearing under the Library of Congress' 
     procedures, elect to--
       (1) continue with the Library of Congress' procedures and 
     preserve the option (if any) to bring any civil action 
     relating to the claim, complaint, or charge, that is 
     available to the Library claimant; or
       (2) file a claim with the Office under section 402 of the 
     Act and continue with the corresponding procedures of this 
     Act available and applicable to a covered employee.
       (cc) Library Visitor.--The term ``Library visitor'' means 
     an individual who is eligible to allege a violation under 
     title II or III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 
     1990 (other than a violation for which the exclusive remedy 
     is under section 201 of the Act) against the Library of 
     Congress.
       (dd) Member or Member of Congress.--The terms ``Member'' 
     and ``Member of Congress'' mean a United States Senator, a 
     Representative in the House of Representatives, a Delegate to 
     Congress, or the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico.
       Merits Hearing Officer.--see ``Hearing Officer, Merits,'' 
     above.
       (ee) Office.--The term ``Office'' means the Office of 
     Congressional Workplace Rights.
       (ff) Party.--The term ``party'' means:
       (1) an employee or employing office in a proceeding under 
     part A of title II of the Act;
       (2) a charging individual, an entity alleged to be 
     responsible for correcting a violation, or the General 
     Counsel in a proceeding under part B of title II of the Act;
       (3) an employee, employing office, or as appropriate, the 
     General Counsel in a proceeding under part C of title II of 
     the Act;
       (4) a labor organization, individual employing office or 
     employing activity, or as appropriate, the General Counsel in 
     a proceeding under part D of title II of the Act; or
       (5) any individual, office, Member of Congress, or 
     organization that has intervened in a proceeding.
       Preliminary Hearing Officer.--see ``Hearing Officer, 
     Preliminary,'' above.
       (gg) Respondent.--The term ``respondent'' means the party 
     against which a claim, a complaint, or a petition is filed.
       (hh) Senior Staff.--The term ``senior staff,'' for purposes 
     of the reporting requirement of the House and Senate Ethics 
     Committees under the Act, means any individual who is 
     employed in the House of Representatives or the Senate who, 
     at the time a violation occurred, was required to file a 
     report under title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 
     (5 U.S.C. App. 101 et seq.).
       Unpaid Staff.--see ``Employee, Unpaid Staff,'' above.
       3. Amend section 1.03 by:
       (a) Revising paragraph (a)(1);
       (b) Revising the first four sentences of paragraph (a)(3); 
     and
       (c) Revising the first five sentences of paragraph (a)(4).
       The revisions read as follows:
     Sec. 1.03 Filing and Computation of Time.
       (a) * * *
       (1) In Person. A document shall be deemed timely filed if 
     it is hand delivered to the Office at: Adams Building, Room 
     LA-200, 110 Second Street, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20540-1999, 
     before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the last day of the 
     applicable time period.
       (2) * * *
       (3) By Fax. Documents transmitted by fax machine will be 
     deemed filed on the date received at the Office at 202-426-
     1913, or on the date received at the Office of the General 
     Counsel at 202-426-1663 if received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern 
     Time. Faxed documents received after 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time 
     will be deemed filed the following business day. A fax filing 
     will be timely only if the document is received no later than 
     11:59 p.m. * * *
       (4) By Electronic Mail. Documents transmitted 
     electronically will be deemed filed on the date received at 
     the Office at [email protected], or on the date received at 
     the Office of the General Counsel at [email protected] if received 
     by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Documents received electronically 
     after 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time will be deemed filed the 
     following business day. An electronic filing will be timely 
     only if the document is received no later than 11:59 p.m. 
     Eastern Time on the last day of the applicable filing period. 
     Any party filing a document electronically is responsible for 
     ensuring both that the document is timely and accurately 
     transmitted and for confirming that the Office has received 
     the document. * * *

                           *   *   *   *   *

       4. Amend section 1.04 by:
       (a) Revising paragraph (a);
       (b) Revising the first sentence of paragraph (b); and
       (c) Revising paragraphs (c) through (d).
       The revisions read as follows:
     Sec. 1.04 Filing, Service, and Size Limitations of Motions, 
         Briefs, Responses, and Other Documents.
       (a) Filing with the Office; Number and Form. One copy of 
     claims, General Counsel complaints, requests for mediation, 
     requests for inspection under OSH, unfair labor practice 
     charges, charges under titles II and III of the Americans 
     with Disabilities Act of 1990, all motions, briefs, 
     responses, and other documents must be filed with the Office. 
     A party may file an electronic version of any submission in a 
     format designated by the Board, the Executive Director, the 
     General Counsel, or the Merits Hearing Officer, with receipt 
     confirmed by electronic transmittal in the same format.
       (b) Service. The parties shall serve on each other one copy 
     of all motions, briefs, responses and other documents filed 
     with the

[[Page S2338]]

     Office, other than the request for advising, the request for 
     mediation, and the claim. * * *
       (c) Time Limitations for Response to Motions or Briefs and 
     Reply. Unless otherwise specified by the Merits Hearing 
     Officer or these Rules, a party shall file a response to a 
     motion or brief within 15 days of the service of the motion 
     or brief upon the party. Any reply to such response shall be 
     filed and served within 5 days of the service of the 
     response. Only with the Merits Hearing Officer's advance 
     approval may either party file additional responses or 
     replies.
       (d) Size Limitations. Except as otherwise specified no 
     brief, motion, response, or supporting memorandum filed with 
     the Office shall exceed 35 double-spaced pages, exclusive of 
     the table of contents, table of authorities and attachments. 
     The Board, the Executive Director, or the Merits Hearing 
     Officer may modify this limitation upon motion and for good 
     cause shown, or on their own initiative. Briefs, motions, 
     responses, and supporting memoranda shall be on standard 
     letter-size paper (8-\1/2\" x 11"). If a filing exceeds 35 
     double-spaced pages, the Board, the Executive Director, or 
     the Merits Hearing Officer may, in their discretion, reject 
     the filing in whole or in part, and may provide the parties 
     an opportunity to refile.
       5. Amend section 1.05 by revising paragraph (a). The 
     revisions read as follows:
     Sec. 1.05 Signing of Pleadings, Motions, and Other Filings; 
         Violation of Rules; Sanctions.
       (a) Signing. Every pleading, motion, and other filing of a 
     party represented by an attorney or other designated 
     representative shall be signed by the attorney or 
     representative. A party who is not represented shall sign the 
     pleading, motion or other filing. In the case of an 
     electronic filing, an electronic signature is acceptable. The 
     signature of a representative or party constitutes a 
     certificate by the signer that the signer has read the 
     pleading, motion, or other filing; that to the best of the 
     signer's knowledge, information, and belief formed after 
     reasonable inquiry, each of the following is correct:
       (1) It is not presented for any improper purpose, such as 
     to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase 
     the cost of resolution of the matter;
       (2) The claims, defenses, and other legal contentions the 
     party advocates are warranted by existing law or by a 
     nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing 
     existing law or for establishing new law;
       (3) The factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if 
     specifically so identified, will likely have evidentiary 
     support after a reasonable opportunity for further review or 
     discovery; and
       (4) The denials of factual contentions are warranted on the 
     evidence or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably 
     based on belief or a lack of information.

                           *   *   *   *   *

        6. Amend section 1.06 by:
       (a) Revising paragraph (a);
       (b) Revising the first sentence of paragraph (b);
       (c) Revising paragraphs (c) through (d); and
       (d) Removing paragraph (f).
       The revisions read as follows:
     Sec. 1.06 Availability of Official Information.
       (a) Policy. It is the policy of the Board, the Executive 
     Director, and the General Counsel, except as otherwise 
     ordered by the Board, to make available for public inspection 
     and copying final decisions and orders of the Board and the 
     Office, as specified and described in subparagraph (d) below.
       (b) Availability. Any person may examine and copy items 
     described in paragraph (a) above at the Office of 
     Congressional Workplace Rights, Adams Building, Room LA-200, 
     110 Second Street SE, Washington, D.C. 20540-1999, under 
     conditions prescribed by the Office, including requiring 
     payment for copying costs, and at reasonable times during 
     normal working hours so long as it does not interfere with 
     the efficient operations of the Office. * * *
       (c) Copies of Forms. Copies of blank forms prescribed by 
     the Office for the filing of claims, complaints, and other 
     actions or requests may be obtained from the Office or online 
     at www.ocwr.gov.

                           *   *   *   *   *

       (f) [Removed]
       7. Amend section 1.07 by republishing the first two 
     sentences of paragraph (c) and revising the third sentence of 
     paragraph (c). The revisions read as follows:
     Sec. 1.07 Designation of Representative.

                           *   *   *   *   *

       (c) Revocation of a Designation of Representative. A 
     revocation of a designation of representative, whether made 
     by the party or by the representative with notice to the 
     party, must be made in writing and filed with the Office. The 
     revocation will be deemed effective the date of receipt by 
     the Office. Consistent with any applicable statutory time 
     limit, at the discretion of the Executive Director, General 
     Counsel, mediator, hearing officer, or Board, additional time 
     may be provided to allow the party to designate a new 
     representative as consistent with the Act.
       8. Amend section 1.08 by:
       (a) Revising paragraphs (a) through (e); and
       (b) Republishing paragraph (f).
       The revisions read as follows:
     Sec. 1.08 Confidentiality.
       (a) Policy. Except as provided in sections 302(d) and 
     416(c), (d), and (e) of the Act, the Office shall maintain 
     confidentiality in the confidential advising process, 
     mediation, and the proceedings and deliberations of hearing 
     officers and the Board in accordance with sections 
     302(d)(2)(B) and 416(a)-(b) of the Act.
       (b) Participant. For the purposes of this rule, 
     ``participant'' means an individual or entity who takes part 
     as either a party, witness, or designated representative in 
     confidential advising under section 302(d) of the Act, 
     mediation under section 404, the claim and hearing process 
     under section 405, or an appeal to the Board under section 
     406 of the Act, or any related proceeding which is expressly 
     or by necessity deemed confidential under the Act or these 
     rules.
       (c) Prohibition. Unless specifically authorized by the 
     provisions of the Act or by these rules, no participant in 
     the confidential advising process, mediation, or other 
     proceedings made confidential under section 416 of the Act 
     may disclose a written or an oral communication that is 
     prepared for the purpose of or that occurs during the 
     confidential advising process, mediation, and the proceedings 
     and deliberations of Hearing Officers and the Board.
       (d) Exceptions. Nothing in these rules prohibits a party or 
     its representative from disclosing information obtained in 
     mediation or hearings when reasonably necessary to 
     investigate claims, ensure compliance with the Act, or 
     prepare its prosecution or defense. However, the party making 
     the disclosure shall take all reasonably appropriate steps to 
     ensure that persons to whom the information is disclosed 
     maintain the confidentiality of such information. These rules 
     do not preclude a mediator from consulting with the Office, 
     except that when the covered employee is an employee of the 
     Office, a mediator shall not consult with any individual 
     within the Office who is or who might be a party or witness. 
     These rules do not preclude the Office from reporting 
     information to the Senate and House of Representatives as 
     required by the Act.
       (e) Contents or Records of Mediation or Hearings. For the 
     purpose of this rule, the contents or records of the 
     confidential advising process, mediation or other proceeding 
     includes the information disclosed by participants to the 
     proceedings, and records disclosed by the opposing party, 
     witnesses, or the Office. A participant is free to disclose 
     facts and other information obtained from any source outside 
     of the mediation or hearing. For example, an employing office 
     or its representatives may disclose information about its 
     employment practices and personnel actions, provided that the 
     information was not obtained in a confidential proceeding. 
     However, a claimant who obtains that information in mediation 
     or other confidential proceeding may not disclose such 
     information. Similarly, information forming the basis for the 
     allegation of a claimant may be disclosed by that claimant, 
     provided that the information contained in those allegations 
     was not obtained in a confidential proceeding. However, the 
     employing office or its representatives may not disclose that 
     information if it was obtained in a confidential proceeding.
       (f) Sanctions. The Executive Director will advise all 
     participants in the mediation and hearing at the time they 
     became participants of the confidentiality requirements of 
     section 416 of the Act and that sanctions may be imposed by a 
     Hearing Officer for a violation of those requirements. No 
     sanctions may be imposed except for good cause and the 
     particulars of which must be stated in the sanction order.

                          SUBPART B--[AMENDED]

       [Table of contents omitted]
       Amend subpart B by:
       (1) Removing sections 2.01 through 2.07; and
       (2) Reserving subpart B for rules concerning ``Compliance, 
     Investigation, and Enforcement under Section 210 of the Act 
     (ADA Public Services)--Inspections and Complaints''

                 SUBPART C--[REDESIGNATED AND AMENDED]

       [Table of contents omitted]
        1. Amend subpart C by:
       (a) Redesignating subpart D as subpart C, and amending the 
     references as indicated in the table below:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Old Section                          New Section
------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.01......................................................         3.01
4.02......................................................         3.02
4.03......................................................         3.03
4.04......................................................         3.04
4.05......................................................         3.05
4.06......................................................         3.06
4.07......................................................         3.07
4.08......................................................         3.08
4.09......................................................         3.09
4.10......................................................         3.10
4.11......................................................         3.11
4.12......................................................         3.12
4.13......................................................         3.13
4.14......................................................         3.14
4.15......................................................         3.15
4.20......................................................         3.20
4.21......................................................         3.21
4.22......................................................         3.22
4.23......................................................         3.23
4.24......................................................         3.24
4.25......................................................         3.25
4.26......................................................         3.26
4.27......................................................         3.27
4.28......................................................         3.28
4.29......................................................         3.29
4.30......................................................         3.30
4.31......................................................         3.31
------------------------------------------------------------------------

       (b) In subpart C, when referencing sections 4.01 through 
     4.15 or 4.20 through 4.31, writing the corresponding new 
     section number as indicated in the table above.
        2. Amend redesignated section 3.07 by revising the last 
     sentence of paragraph (g)(1) as follows:
     
                                *   *   *   *   *


[[Page S2339]]


  

     Sec. 3.07 Conduct of Inspections.

                           *   *   *   *   *

       (g) Trade Secrets.
       (1) * * * In any such proceeding the Merits Hearing Officer 
     or the Board shall issue such orders as may be appropriate to 
     protect the confidentiality of trade secrets.
        4. Amend redesignated section 3.14 by revising the second 
     sentence of paragraph (b) as follows:
     Sec. 3.14 Failure to Correct a Violation for Which a Citation 
         Has Been Issued; Notice of Failure to Correct Violation; 
         Complaint.

                           *   *   *   *   *

       (b) * * * The complaint shall be submitted to a Merits 
     Hearing Officer for decision pursuant to subsections (b) 
     through (h) of section 405 of the Act, subject to review by 
     the Board pursuant to section 406. * * *
        3. Amend redesignated section 3.22 by revising the second 
     sentence as follows:
     Sec. 3.22 Effect of Variances.
       * * * In its discretion, the Board may decline to entertain 
     an application for a variance on a subject or issue 
     concerning which a citation has been issued to the employing 
     office involved and a proceeding on the citation or a related 
     issue concerning a proposed period of abatement is pending 
     before the General Counsel, a Merits Hearing Officer, or the 
     Board until the completion of such proceeding.
        4. Amend redesignated section 3.25 by:
       (a) Revising the second sentence of paragraph (a); and
       (b) Revising the second sentence of paragraph (c)(1).
       The revisions read as follows:
     Sec. 3.25 Applications for Temporary Variances and Other 
         Relief.
       (a) Application for Variance. * * * Pursuant to section 
     215(c)(4) of the Act, the Board shall refer any matter 
     appropriate for hearing to a Merits Hearing Officer under 
     subsections (b) through (h) of section 405, subject to review 
     by the Board pursuant to section 406. * * *

                           *   *   *   *   *

       (c) Interim Order.
       (1) Application. * * * The Merits Hearing Officer to whom 
     the Board has referred the application may rule ex parte upon 
     the application.

                           *   *   *   *   *

        5. Amend redesignated section 3.26 by:
       (a) Revising the second sentence of paragraph (a); and
       (b) Revising the second sentence of paragraph (c)(1).
       The revisions read as follows:
     Sec. 3.26 Applications for Permanent Variances and Other 
         Relief.
       (a) Application for Variance. * * * Pursuant to section 
     215(c)(4) of the Act, the Board shall refer any matter 
     appropriate for hearing to a Merits Hearing Officer under 
     subsections (b) through (h) of section 405, subject to review 
     by the Board pursuant to section 406.

                           *   *   *   *   *

       (c) Interim Order.
       (1) Application. * * * The Merits Hearing Officer to whom 
     the Board has referred the application may rule ex parte upon 
     the application.

                           *   *   *   *   *

        6. Amend redesignated section 3.28 by revising paragraph 
     (a)(1) as follows:
     Sec. 3.28 Action on Applications.
       (a) Defective Applications.
       (1) If an application filed pursuant to sections 3.25(a), 
     3.26(a), or 3.27 of these Rules does not conform to the 
     applicable section, the Merits Hearing Officer or the Board, 
     as applicable, may deny the application.

                           *   *   *   *   *

        7. Amend redesignated section 3.29 by revising it as 
     follows:
     Sec. 3.29 Consolidation of Proceedings.
       On the motion of the Merits Hearing Officer or the Board or 
     that of any party, the Merits Hearing Officer or the Board 
     may consolidate or contemporaneously consider two or more 
     proceedings which involve the same or closely related issues.
        8. Amend redesignated section 3.30 by
       (1) Revising the second sentence of paragraph (a)(1);
       (2) Revising paragraph (b)(3);
       (3) Revising paragraph (c); and
       (4) Revising paragraph (d).
       The revisions read as follows:
     Sec. 3.30 Consent Findings and Rules or Orders.
       (a) General. * * * The allowance of such opportunity and 
     the duration thereof shall be in the discretion of the Merits 
     Hearing Officer, after consideration of the nature of the 
     proceeding, the requirements of the public interest, the 
     representations of the parties, and the probability of an 
     agreement which will result in a just disposition of the 
     issues involved.
       (b) Contents. Any agreement containing consent findings and 
     rule or order disposing of a proceeding shall also provide:

                           *   *   *   *   *

       (3) a waiver of any further procedural steps before the 
     Merits Hearing Officer and the Board; and

                           *   *   *   *   *

       (c) Submission. On or before the expiration of the time 
     granted for negotiations, the parties or their counsel may:
       (1) submit the proposed agreement to the Merits Hearing 
     Officer for his or her consideration; or
       (2) inform the Merits Hearing Officer that agreement cannot 
     be reached.
       (d) Disposition. In the event an agreement containing 
     consent findings and rule or order is submitted within the 
     time allowed therefor, the Merits Hearing Officer may accept 
     such agreement by issuing his or her decision based upon the 
     agreed findings.
        9. Amend redesignated section 3.31 by revising paragraph 
     (a) as follows:
     Sec. 3.31 Order of Proceedings and Burden of Proof.
       (a) Order of Proceeding. Except as may be ordered otherwise 
     by the Merits Hearing Officer, the party applicant for relief 
     shall proceed first at a hearing.

                           *   *   *   *   *


                          SUBPART D--[AMENDED]

       Add a new subpart D as follows:

  SUBPART D--CLAIMS PROCEDURES APPLICABLE TO CONSIDERATION OF ALLEGED 
     VIOLATIONS OF SECTIONS 102(c) AND 201-07 OF THE CONGRESSIONAL 
 ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 1995, AS AMENDED BY THE CAA REFORM ACT OF 2018.

       [Table of Contents omitted]
     Sec. 4.01 Matters Covered by this Subpart.
       (a) These rules govern the processing of any allegation 
     that sections 102(c) or 201 through 206 of the Act have been 
     violated and any allegation of intimidation or reprisal 
     prohibited under section 207 of the Act. Sections 102(c) and 
     201-06 of the Act apply to covered employees and employing 
     offices certain rights and protections of the following laws:
       (1) the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
       (2) title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
       (3) title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
       (4) the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
       (5) the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
       (6) the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988
       (7) the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act
       (8) the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
       (9) chapter 43 (relating to veterans' employment and re-
     employment) of title 38, United States Code
       (10) chapter 35 (relating to veterans' preference) of title 
     5, United States Code
       (11) the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008
       (b) This subpart applies to the covered employees and 
     employing offices as defined in subparagraphs 1.02(m) and (s) 
     of these Rules and any activities within the coverage of 
     sections 102(c) and 201-07 of the Act and referenced above in 
     subparagraph 4.01(a) of these Rules.
     Sec. 4.02 Requests for Advice and Information.
       At any time, an employee or an employing office may seek 
     from the Office informal advice and information on the 
     procedures of the Office and under the Act and information on 
     the protections, rights and responsibilities under the Act 
     and procedures available under the Act. The Office will 
     maintain the confidentiality of requests for such advice or 
     information.
     Sec. 4.03 Confidential Advising Services.
       (a) Appointment or Designation of Confidential Advisors. 
     The Executive Director shall appoint or designate one or more 
     Confidential Advisors to carry out the duties set forth in 
     section 302(d)(2) of the Act.
       (1) Qualifications. A Confidential Advisor appointed or 
     designated by the Executive Director must be a lawyer who is 
     admitted to practice before, and is in good standing with, 
     the bar of a State or territory of the United States or the 
     District of Columbia, and who has experience representing 
     clients in cases involving the laws incorporated by section 
     102 of the Act. A Confidential Advisor may be an employee of 
     the Office. A Confidential Advisor cannot serve as a mediator 
     in any mediation conducted pursuant to section 404 of the 
     Act.
       (2) Restrictions. A Confidential Advisor may not act as the 
     designated representative for any covered employee in 
     connection with the covered employee's participation in any 
     proceeding, including any proceeding under the Act, any 
     judicial proceeding, or any proceeding before any committee 
     of Congress. A Confidential Advisor may not offer or provide 
     any of the services in section 302(d)(2) of the Act if the 
     covered employee has designated an attorney representative in 
     connection with the employee's participation in any 
     proceeding under the Act, except that the Confidential 
     Advisor may provide general assistance and information to the 
     attorney representative regarding the Act and the role of the 
     Office, as the Confidential Advisor deems appropriate.
       (3) Continuity of Service. Once a covered employee has 
     accepted and received any services offered under section 
     302(d)(2) of the Act from a Confidential Advisor, any other 
     services requested under section 302(d)(2) by the covered 
     employee shall be provided, to the extent practicable, by the 
     same Confidential Advisor.
       (b) Who May Obtain the Services of a Confidential Advisor. 
     The services provided by a Confidential Advisor are available 
     to any covered employee, including any unpaid staff and 
     any former covered employee, except that a former covered 
     employee may only request such services if the alleged 
     violation occurred during the employment or service of the 
     employee; and a covered employee

[[Page S2340]]

     may only request such services before the end of the 180-
     day period described in section 402(d) of the Act.
       (c) Services Provided by a Confidential Advisor. A 
     Confidential Advisor shall offer to provide the following 
     services to covered employees, on a privileged and 
     confidential basis, which may be accepted or declined:
       (1) informing, on a privileged and confidential basis, a 
     covered employee who has been subject to a practice that may 
     be a violation of sections 102(c) or 201-07 of the Act about 
     the employee's rights under the Act;
       (2) consulting, on a privileged and confidential basis, 
     with a covered employee who has been subject to a practice 
     that may be a violation of sections 102(c) or 201-07 of the 
     Act regarding--
       (A) the roles, responsibilities, and authority of the 
     Office; and
       (B) the relative merits of securing private counsel, 
     designating a nonattorney representative, or proceeding 
     without representation for proceedings before the Office;
       (3) advising and consulting, on a privileged and 
     confidential basis, with a covered employee who has been 
     subject to a practice that may be a violation of sections 
     102(c) or 201-07 of the Act regarding any claims the covered 
     employee may have under title IV of the Act, the factual 
     allegations that support each such claim, and the relative 
     merits of the procedural options available to the employee 
     for each such claim;
       (4) assisting, on a privileged and confidential basis, a 
     covered employee who seeks consideration under title IV of an 
     allegation of a violation of sections 102(c) or 201-07 of the 
     Act in understanding the procedures, and the significance of 
     the procedures, described in title IV, including--
       (A) assisting or consulting with the covered employee 
     regarding the drafting of a claim form to be filed under 
     section 402(a) of the Act; and
       (B) consulting with the covered employee regarding the 
     procedural options available to the covered employee after a 
     claim form is filed, and the relative merits of each option; 
     and
       (5) informing, on a privileged and confidential basis, a 
     covered employee who has been subject to a practice that may 
     be a violation of sections 102(c) or 201-07 of the Act about 
     the option of pursuing, in appropriate circumstances, a 
     complaint with the Committee on Ethics of the House of 
     Representatives or the Select Committee on Ethics of the 
     Senate.
       (d) Privilege and Confidentiality. Although the 
     Confidential Advisor is not the employee's representative, 
     the services provided under subparagraph (c) of this section, 
     and any related communications between the Confidential 
     Advisor and the employee before or after the filing of a 
     claim, shall be strictly confidential and shall be privileged 
     from discovery. All of the records maintained by a 
     Confidential Advisor regarding communications between the 
     employee and the Confidential Advisor are the property of the 
     Confidential Advisor and not the Office, are not records of 
     the Office within the meaning of section 301(m) of the Act, 
     shall be maintained by the Confidential Advisor in a secure 
     and confidential manner, and may be destroyed under 
     appropriate circumstances. Upon request from the Office, the 
     Confidential Advisor may provide the Office with statistical 
     information about the number of contacts from covered 
     employees and the general subject matter of the contacts from 
     covered employees.
     Sec. 4.04 Claims.
       (a) Who May File. A covered employee alleging any violation 
     of sections 102(c) or 201-07 of the Act may commence a 
     proceeding by filing a timely claim pursuant to section 402 
     of the Act.
       (b) When to File.
       (1) A covered employee may not file a claim under this 
     section alleging a violation of law after the expiration of 
     the 180-day period that begins on the date of the alleged 
     violation.
       (2) Special Rule for Library of Congress Claimants. A claim 
     filed by a Library claimant shall be deemed timely filed 
     under section 402 of the Act:
       (A) if the Library claimant files the claim within the time 
     period specified in subparagraph (1); or
       (B) the Library claimant:
       (i) initially filed a claim under the Library of Congress's 
     procedures set forth in the applicable direct provision under 
     section 401(d)(1)(B) of the Act;
       (ii) met any initial deadline under the Library of 
     Congress's procedures for filing the claim; and
       (iii) subsequently elected to file a claim with the Office 
     under section 402 of the Act prior to requesting a hearing 
     under the Library of Congress's procedures.
       (c) Form and Contents. All claims shall be on the form 
     provided by the Office either on paper or electronically, 
     signed manually or electronically under oath or affirmation 
     by the claimant or the claimant's representative, and contain 
     the following information, if known:
       (1) the name, mailing and e-mail addresses, and telephone 
     number(s) of the claimant;
       (2) the name of the employing office against which the 
     claim is brought;
       (3) the name(s) and title(s) of the individual(s) involved 
     in the conduct that the employee alleges is a violation of 
     the Act;
       (4) a description of the conduct being challenged, 
     including the date(s) of the conduct;
       (5) a description of why the claimant believes the 
     challenged conduct is a violation of the Act;
       (6) a statement of the specific relief or remedy sought; 
     and
       (7) the name, mailing and e-mail addresses, and telephone 
     number of the representative, if any, who will act on behalf 
     of the claimant.
       (d) Election of Remedies for Library of Congress Employees. 
     A Library claimant who initially files a claim for an alleged 
     violation as provided in section 402 of the Act may, at any 
     time within 10 days after a Preliminary Hearing Officer 
     submits the report on the preliminary review of the claim 
     pursuant to section 403, elect instead to bring the claim 
     before the Library of Congress under the corresponding direct 
     provision.
     Sec. 4.05 Right to File a Civil Action.
       (a) A covered employee may file a civil action in Federal 
     district court pursuant to section 401(b) of the Act if the 
     covered employee:
       (1) has timely filed a claim as provided in section 402 of 
     the Act; and
       (2) has not submitted a request for an administrative 
     hearing on the claim pursuant to section 405(a) of the Act.
       (b) Period for Filing a Civil Action. A civil action 
     pursuant to section 401(b) of the Act must be filed within a 
     70-day period beginning on the date the claim form was filed.
       (c) Effect of Filing a Civil Action. If a claimant files a 
     civil action concerning a claim during a preliminary review 
     of that claim pursuant to section 403 of the Act, the review 
     terminates immediately upon the filing of the civil action, 
     and the Preliminary Hearing Officer has no further 
     involvement.
       (d) Notification of Filing a Civil Action. A claimant 
     filing a civil action in Federal district court pursuant to 
     section 401(b) of the Act shall notify the Office within 10 
     days of the filing.
     Sec. 4.06 Initial Processing and Transmission of Claim; 
         Notification Requirements.
       (a) After receiving a claim form, the Office shall record 
     the pleading, transmit immediately a copy of the claim form 
     to the head of the employing office and the designated 
     representative of that office, and provide the parties with 
     all relevant information regarding their rights under the 
     Act. An employee filing an amended claim form pursuant to 
     Sec. 4.04 of these Rules shall serve a copy of the amended 
     claim form upon all other parties in the manner provided by 
     Sec. 1.04(b). A copy of these Rules also may be provided to 
     the parties upon request. The Office shall include a service 
     list containing the names and addresses of the parties and 
     their designated representatives.
       (b) Notification of Availability of Mediation.
       (1) Upon receipt of a claim form, the Office shall notify 
     the covered employee who filed the claim form about the 
     mediation process under section 4.07 of these Rules below and 
     the deadlines applicable to mediation.
       (2) Upon transmission to the employing office of the claim, 
     the Office shall notify the employing office about the 
     mediation process under the Act and the deadlines applicable 
     to mediation.
       (c) Special Notification Requirements for Claims Based on 
     Acts by Members of Congress. When a claim alleges a violation 
     described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 402(b)(2) 
     of the Act that consists of a violation described in section 
     415(d)(1)(A) by a Member of Congress, the Office shall notify 
     immediately such Member of the claim, the possibility that 
     the Member may be required to reimburse the account described 
     in section 415(a) of the Act for the reimbursable portion of 
     any award or settlement in connection with the claim, and the 
     right of the Member under section 415(d)(8) to intervene in 
     any mediation, hearing, or civil action under the Act as to 
     the claim.
       (d) Special Rule for Architect of the Capitol, Capitol 
     Police and Library of Congress Employees. The Executive 
     Director, after receiving a claim filed under section 402 of 
     the Act, may recommend that a claimant use, for a specific 
     period of time, the grievance procedures referenced in any 
     Memorandum of Understanding between the Office and the 
     Architect of the Capitol, the Capitol Police, or the Library 
     of Congress. Any pending deadline in the Act relating to a 
     claim for which the claimant uses such grievance procedures 
     shall be stayed during that specific period of time.
     Sec. 4.07 Mediation.
       (a) Overview. Mediation is a process in which employees, 
     including unpaid staff for purposes of section 201 of the 
     Act, employing offices, and their representatives, if any, 
     meet with a mediator trained to assist them in resolving 
     disputes. As participants in the mediation, employees, 
     employing offices, and their representatives discuss 
     alternatives to continuing their dispute, including the 
     possibility of reaching a voluntary, mutually satisfactory 
     resolution. The mediator cannot impose a specific resolution, 
     and all information discussed or disclosed in the course of 
     any mediation shall be strictly confidential, pursuant to 
     section 416 of the Act. Notwithstanding the foregoing, 
     section 416 expressly provides that a covered employee may 
     disclose the ``factual allegations underlying the covered 
     employee's claim'' and an employing office may disclose ``the 
     factual allegations underlying the employing office's defense 
     to the claim[.]''
       (b) Availability of Optional Mediation. Upon receipt of a 
     claim filed pursuant to section 402 of the Act, the Office 
     shall notify the covered employee and the employing office 
     about the process for mediation and applicable deadlines. If 
     the claim alleges a Member

[[Page S2341]]

     committed an act made unlawful under sections 201(a), 206(a) 
     or 207 of the Act which consists of a violation of section 
     415(d)(1)(A), the Office shall permit the Member to intervene 
     in the mediation. The request for mediation shall contain the 
     claim number, the requesting party's name, office or personal 
     address, e-mail address, telephone number, and the opposing 
     party's name. Failure to request mediation does not adversely 
     impact future proceedings.
       (c) Timing. The covered employee or the employing office 
     may file a written request for mediation beginning on the 
     date that the covered employee or employing office, 
     respectively, receives notice from the Office about the 
     mediation process. The time to request mediation under these 
     rules ends on the date on which a Merits Hearing Officer 
     issues a written decision on the claim, or the covered 
     employee files a civil action,
       (d) Notice of Commencement of the Mediation. The Office 
     shall promptly notify the opposing party or its designated 
     representative of the request for mediation and the deadlines 
     applicable to such mediation. When a claim alleges a 
     violation described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 
     402(b)(2) of the Act that consists of a violation described 
     in section 415(d)(1)(A) by a Member of Congress, the Office 
     shall notify immediately such Member of the right to 
     intervene in any mediation concerning the claim.
       (e) Selection of Mediators; Disqualification. Upon receipt 
     of the second party's agreement to mediate, the Executive 
     Director shall assign one or more mediators from a master 
     list developed and maintained pursuant to section 404 of the 
     Act, to commence the mediation process. Should the mediator 
     consider himself or herself unable to perform in a neutral 
     role in a given situation, he or she shall withdraw from the 
     matter and immediately shall notify the Office of the 
     withdrawal. Any party may ask the Office to disqualify a 
     mediator by filing a written request, including the reasons 
     for such request, with the Executive Director. This request 
     shall be filed as soon as the party has reason to believe 
     there is a basis for disqualification. The Executive 
     Director's decision on this request shall be final and 
     unreviewable.
       (f) Duration and Extension.
       (1) The mediation period shall be 30 days beginning on the 
     first day after the second party agrees to mediate the 
     matter.
       (2) The Executive Director shall extend the mediation 
     period an additional 30 days upon the joint written request 
     of the parties, or of the appointed mediator on behalf of the 
     parties. The request shall be written and filed with the 
     Executive Director no later than the last day of the 
     mediation period.
       (g) Effect of Mediation on Proceedings.
       Upon the parties' agreement to mediate a claim, any 
     deadline relating to the processing of that claim that has 
     not already passed by the first day of the mediation period, 
     shall be stayed during the mediation period.
       (h) Procedures.
       (1) The Mediator's Role. After assignment of the case, the 
     mediator will contact the parties. The mediator has the 
     responsibility to conduct the mediation, including deciding 
     how many meetings are necessary and who may participate in 
     each meeting. The mediator may accept and may ask the parties 
     to provide written submissions.
       (2) The Agreement to Mediate. At the commencement of the 
     mediation, the mediator will ask the participants and/or 
     their representatives to sign an agreement prepared by the 
     Office (``the Agreement to Mediate''). The Agreement to 
     Mediate will define what is to be kept confidential during 
     mediation and set out the conditions under which mediation 
     will occur, including the requirement that the participants 
     adhere to the confidentiality of the process and a notice 
     that a breach of the mediation agreement could result in 
     sanctions later in the proceedings.
       (i) The parties, including an intervenor Member, may elect 
     to participate in mediation proceedings through a designated 
     representative, provided that the representative has actual 
     authority to agree to a settlement agreement, or has 
     immediate access to someone with actual settlement authority, 
     and provided further that, should the mediator deem it 
     appropriate at any time, the physical presence in mediation 
     of any party may be required. The Office may participate in 
     the mediation process through a representative and/or 
     observer. The mediator may determine, as best serves the 
     interests of mediation, whether the participants may meet 
     jointly or separately with the mediator. At the request of 
     any of the parties, the parties shall be separated during 
     medation.
       (j) Informal Resolutions and Settlement Agreements. At any 
     time during mediation the parties may resolve or settle a 
     dispute in accordance with subparagraph 9.03 of these Rules.
       (k) Conclusion of the Mediation Period and Notice. If, at 
     the end of the mediation period, the parties have not 
     resolved the matter that forms the basis of the request for 
     mediation, the Office shall provide the employee, Member, and 
     the employing office, and their representatives, with written 
     notice that the mediation period has concluded. The written 
     notice will be e-filed, emailed, sent by first-class 
     mail, faxed, or personally delivered.
       (l) Independence of the Mediation Process and the Mediator. 
     The Office will maintain the independence of the mediation 
     process and the mediator. No individual appointed by the 
     Executive Director to mediate may conduct or aid in a hearing 
     conducted under section 405 of the Act with respect to the 
     same matter or shall be subject to subpoena or any other 
     compulsory process with respect to the same matter.
       (m) Violation of Confidentiality in Mediation. An alleged 
     violation of the confidentiality provisions may be made by a 
     party in mediation to the mediator during the mediation 
     period and, if not resolved by agreement in mediation, to a 
     Merits Hearing Officer during proceedings brought under 
     section 405 of the Act.
       (n) Exceptions to Confidentiality in Mediation. It shall 
     not be a violation of confidentiality to provide the 
     information required by sections 301(l) and 416(d) of the 
     Act.
     Sec. 4.08 Preliminary Review of Claims.
       (a) Appointment of Preliminary Hearing Officer. Not later 
     than 7 days after transmission to the employing office of a 
     claim or claims, the Executive Director shall appoint a 
     hearing officer to conduct a preliminary review of the claim 
     or claims filed by the claimant. The appointment of the 
     Preliminary Hearing Officer shall be in accordance with the 
     requirements of section 405(c) of the Act.
       (b) Disqualifying a Preliminary Hearing Officer.
       (1) In the event that a Preliminary Hearing Officer 
     considers himself or herself disqualified, either because of 
     personal bias or of an interest in the case or for some other 
     disqualifying reason, he or she shall withdraw from the case, 
     stating in writing or on the record the reasons for his or 
     her withdrawal, and shall immediately notify the Office of 
     the withdrawal.
       (2) Any party may file a motion requesting that a 
     Preliminary Hearing Officer withdraw on the basis of personal 
     bias or of an interest in the case or for some other 
     disqualifying reason. This motion shall specifically set 
     forth the reasons supporting the request and be filed as soon 
     as the party has reason to believe that there is a basis for 
     disqualification.
       (3) The Preliminary Hearing Officer shall promptly rule on 
     the withdrawal motion. If the motion is granted, the 
     Executive Director will appoint another Preliminary Hearing 
     Officer within 3 days. Any objection to the Preliminary 
     Hearing Officer's ruling on the withdrawal motion shall not 
     be deemed waived by a party's further participation in the 
     preliminary review process. Such objection will not stay the 
     conduct of the preliminary review process.
       (c) Assessments Required. In conducting a preliminary 
     review of a claim or claims under this section, the 
     Preliminary Hearing Officer shall assess each of the 
     following:
       (1) whether the claimant is a covered employee authorized 
     to obtain relief relating to the claim(s) under the Act;
       (2) whether the office which is the subject of the claim(s) 
     is an employing office under the Act;
       (3) whether the individual filing the claim(s) has met the 
     applicable deadlines for filing the claim(s) under the Act;
       (4) the identification of factual and legal issues in the 
     claim(s);
       (5) the specific relief sought by the claimant;
       (6) whether, on the basis of the assessments made under 
     paragraphs (1) through (5), the claimant is a covered 
     employee who has stated a claim for which, if the allegations 
     contained in the claim are true, relief may be granted under 
     the Act; and
       (7) the potential for the settlement of the claim(s) 
     without a formal hearing as provided under section 405 of the 
     Act or a civil action as provided under section 408 of the 
     Act.
       (d) Amendments to Claims. Amendments to the claim(s) may be 
     permitted in the Preliminary Hearing Officer's discretion, 
     taking the following factors into consideration:
       (1) whether the amendments relate to the cause of action 
     set forth in the claim(s); and
       (2) whether such amendments will unduly prejudice the 
     rights of the employing office, or of other parties, unduly 
     delay the preliminary review, or otherwise interfere with or 
     impede the proceedings.
       (e) Report on Preliminary Review.
       (1) Except as provided in subparagraph (2), not later than 
     30 days after a claim form is filed, the Preliminary Hearing 
     Officer shall submit to the claimant and the respondent(s) a 
     report on the preliminary review. The report shall include a 
     determination whether the claimant is a covered employee who 
     has stated a claim for which, if the allegations contained in 
     the claim are true, relief may be granted under the Act. 
     Submitting the report concludes the preliminary review.
       (2) In determining whether a claimant has stated a claim 
     for which relief may be granted under the Act, the 
     Preliminary Hearing Officer shall:
       (A) be guided by judicial and Board decisions under the 
     laws made applicable by section 102 of the Act; and
       (B) consider whether the legal contentions the claimant 
     advocates are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous 
     argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law 
     or for establishing new law.
       (3) Extension of Deadline. The Preliminary Hearing Officer 
     may, upon notice to the individual filing the claim(s) and 
     the respondent(s), use an additional period of not to exceed 
     30 days to conclude the preliminary review.
       (f) Effect of Determination of Failure to State a Claim for 
     which Relief may be Granted.
       (1) If the Preliminary Hearing Officer's report under 
     subparagraph (e) includes the determination that the claimant 
     is not a covered employee or has not stated a claim for which 
     relief may be granted under the Act:

[[Page S2342]]

       (A) the claimant (including a Library claimant) may not 
     obtain an administrative hearing as provided under section 
     405 of the Act as to the claim; and
       (B) the Preliminary Hearing Officer shall provide the 
     claimant and the Executive Director with written notice that 
     the claimant may file a civil action as to the claim in 
     accordance with section 408 of the Act.
       (2) The claimant must file the civil action not later than 
     90 days after receiving the written notice referred to in 
     subparagraph (1)(B).
       (g) Transmission of Report on Preliminary Review of Certain 
     Claims to Congressional Ethics Committees. When a Preliminary 
     Hearing Officer issues a report on the preliminary review of 
     a claim alleging a violation described in section 
     415(d)(1)(A) of the Act, the Preliminary Hearing Officer 
     shall transmit the report to--
       (1) the Committee on Ethics of the House of 
     Representatives, in the case of such an alleged act by a 
     Member of the House of Representatives (including a Delegate 
     or Resident Commissioner to the Congress); or
       (2) the Select Committee on Ethics of the Senate, in the 
     case of such an alleged act by a Senator.
     Sec. 4.09 Request for Administrative Hearing.
       (a) Except as provided in subparagraph (b), a claimant may 
     submit to the Executive Director a written request for an 
     administrative hearing under section 405 of the Act not later 
     than 10 days after the Preliminary Hearing Officer submits 
     the report on the preliminary review of a claim under section 
     403(c).
       (b) Subparagraph (a) does not apply to the claim if--
       (1) the preliminary review report of the claim under 
     section 403(c) of the Act includes the determination that the 
     individual filing the claim is not a covered employee who has 
     stated a claim for which relief may be granted, as described 
     in section 403(d) of the Act; or
       (2) the covered employee files a civil action as to the 
     claim as provided in section 408 of the Act.
       (c) Appointment of the Merits Hearing Officer.
       (1) Upon the filing of a request for an administrative 
     hearing under subparagraph (a) of this section, the Executive 
     Director shall appoint an independent Merits Hearing Officer 
     to consider the claim(s) and render a decision, who shall 
     have the authority specified in sections 4.10 and 7.01 of 
     these Rules below.
       (2) The Preliminary Hearing Officer shall not serve as the 
     Merits Hearing Officer in the same case.
       (d) Answer.
       (1) Within 10 days after the filing of a request for an 
     administrative hearing under subparagraph (a), the 
     respondent(s) shall file an answer with the Office and serve 
     one copy on the claimant. Filing a motion to dismiss a claim 
     does not stay the time period for filing the answer.
       (2) In answering a claim form, the respondent(s) must state 
     in short and plain terms its defenses to each claim asserted 
     against it and admit or deny the allegations asserted against 
     it.
       (3) Failure to deny an allegation, other than one relating 
     to the amount of damages, or to raise a defense as to any 
     allegation(s) shall constitute an admission of such 
     allegation(s). Affirmative defenses not raised in an answer 
     that could have reasonably been anticipated based on the 
     facts alleged in the claim form shall be deemed waived.
       (4) A respondent's motion for leave to amend an answer to 
     interpose a denial or affirmative defense will ordinarily be 
     granted unless to do so would unduly prejudice the rights of 
     the other party or unduly delay or otherwise interfere with 
     or impede the proceedings.
     Sec. 4.10 Summary Judgment and Withdrawal of Claims.
       (a) If a claimant fails to proceed with a claim, the Merits 
     Hearing Officer may dismiss the claim with prejudice.
       (b) Summary Judgment. A Merits Hearing Officer may, after 
     notice and an opportunity for the parties to address the 
     question of summary judgment, issue summary judgment on the 
     claim. A motion before the Merits Hearing Officer asserting 
     that the covered employee has failed to state a claim upon 
     which relief can be granted shall be construed as a motion 
     for summary judgment on the ground that the moving party is 
     entitled to judgment as to that claim as a matter of law.
       (c) Appeal. A final decision by the Merits Hearing Officer 
     made under section 4.10 or 7.16 of these Rules may be subject 
     to appeal before the Board if the aggrieved party files a 
     timely petition for review under section 8.01 of these Rules. 
     A final decision under subparagraphs 4.10(a)-(d) of these 
     Rules that does not resolve all of the issues in the case(s) 
     before the Merits Hearing Officer may not be appealed to the 
     Board in advance of a final decision entered under section 
     7.16 of these Rules, except as authorized pursuant to section 
     7.13.
       (d) Withdrawal of Claim. At any time, a claimant may 
     withdraw his or her own claim(s) by filing a notice with the 
     Office for transmittal to the Preliminary or Merits Hearing 
     Officer and by serving a copy on the respondent(s). Any such 
     withdrawal must be approved by the relevant Hearing Officer 
     and may be with or without prejudice to refile at that 
     Hearing Officer's discretion.
       (e) Withdrawal from a Case by a Representative. A 
     representative must provide sufficient notice to the Hearing 
     Officer and the parties of record of his or her withdrawal 
     from a case. Until the party designates another 
     representative in writing, the party will be regarded as 
     appearing pro se.
     Sec. 4.11 Confidentiality.
       (a) Pursuant to section 416 of the Act, except as provided 
     in subsections 416(c), (d) and (e), all proceedings and 
     deliberations of Hearing Officers and the Board, including 
     any related records, shall be confidential. A violation of 
     the confidentiality requirements of the Act and these rules 
     may result in the imposition of procedural or evidentiary 
     sanctions. See also sections 1.08, 1.09 and 7.12 of these 
     Rules.
       (b) The fact that a request for an administrative hearing 
     has been filed with the Office by a covered employee shall be 
     kept confidential by the Office, except as allowed by these 
     Rules.
     Sec. 4.12 Automatic Referral to Congressional Ethics 
         Committees.
       Pursuant to section 416(d) of the Act, upon the final 
     disposition of a claim alleging a violation described in 
     section 415(d)(1)(C) committed personally by a Member of the 
     House of Representatives (including a Delegate or Resident 
     Commissioner to the Congress) or a Senator, or by a senior 
     staff of the House of Representatives or Senate, the 
     Executive Director shall refer the claim to--
       (a) the Committee on Ethics of the House of 
     Representatives, in the case of a Member or senior staff of 
     the House; or
       (b) the Select Committee on Ethics of the Senate, in the 
     case of a Senator or senior staff of the Senate.

                          SUBPART E--[AMENDED]

       [Table of contents omitted]
       Revise subpart E to read as follows:
       Subpart E--General Counsel Complaints
       [Table of contents omitted]
     Sec. 5.01 Complaints.
       (a) Who May File.
        The General Counsel may timely file a complaint alleging a 
     violation of sections 210, 215 or 220 of the Act.
       (b) When to File.
       A complaint may be filed by the General Counsel:
       (1) after the investigation of a charge filed under section 
     210 or 220 of the Act, or
       (2) after the issuance of a citation or notification under 
     section 215 of the Act.
       (c) Form and Contents.
       A complaint filed by the General Counsel shall be in 
     writing, signed by the General Counsel, or his designee, and 
     shall contain the following information:
       (1) the name, mail and e-mail addresses, if available, and 
     telephone number of the employing office, as applicable:
       (A) each entity responsible for correction of an alleged 
     violation of section 210(b) of the Act;
       (B) each employing office alleged to have violated section 
     215 of the Act; or
       (C) each employing office and/or labor organization alleged 
     to have violated section 220, against which the complaint is 
     brought;
       (2) notice of the charge filed alleging a violation of 
     section 210 or 220 of the Act and/or issuance of a citation 
     or notification under section 215;
       (3) a description of the acts and conduct that are alleged 
     to be violations of the Act, including all relevant dates and 
     places, and the names and titles of the responsible 
     individuals; and
       (4) a statement of the relief or remedy sought.
       (d) Amendments. Amendments to the complaint may be 
     permitted by the Office or, after assignment, by a Hearing 
     Officer, on the following conditions: that all parties to the 
     proceeding have adequate notice to prepare to meet the new 
     allegations; that the amendments, as appropriate, relate to 
     the charge(s) investigated and/or the citation or 
     notification issued by the General Counsel; and that 
     permitting such amendments will not unduly prejudice the 
     rights of the employing office, the labor organization, or 
     other parties, unduly delay the completion of the hearing, or 
     otherwise interfere with or impede the proceedings.
       (e) Service of Complaint. Upon receipt of a complaint or an 
     amended complaint, the Office shall serve the respondent, or 
     its designated representative, by hand delivery or first-
     class mail, e-mail, or facsimile with a copy of the complaint 
     or amended complaint and written notice of the availability 
     of these Rules at www.ocwr.gov. A copy of these Rules may 
     also be provided if requested by either party. The Office 
     shall include a service list containing the names and 
     addresses of the parties and their designated 
     representatives.
       (f) Answer.
       (1) Within 10 days after receipt of a copy of a complaint 
     or an amended complaint, the respondent shall file an answer 
     with the Office and serve one copy on the General Counsel. 
     Filing a motion to dismiss a claim does not stay the time 
     period for filing the answer.
       (2) In answering a complaint, a respondent must state in 
     short and plain terms its defenses to each claim asserted 
     against it and admit or deny the allegations asserted against 
     it by an opposing party.
       (3) Failure to deny an allegation, other than one relating 
     to the amount of damages, or to raise a claim or defense as 
     to any allegation(s) shall constitute an admission of such 
     allegation(s). Affirmative defenses not

[[Page S2343]]

     raised in an answer that could have reasonably been 
     anticipated based on the facts alleged in the complaint shall 
     be deemed waived.
       (4) A respondent's motion for leave to amend an answer to 
     interpose a denial or affirmative defense will ordinarily be 
     granted unless to do so would unduly prejudice the rights of 
     the other party or unduly delay or otherwise interfere with 
     or impede the proceedings.
       (g) Motion to Dismiss. In addition to an answer, a 
     respondent may file a motion to dismiss, or other responsive 
     pleading with the Office and serve one copy on the 
     complainant. Responses to any motions shall comply with 
     subparagraph 1.04(c) of these Rules. A motion asserting that 
     the General Counsel has failed to state a claim upon which 
     relief can be granted may, in the Merits Hearing Officer's 
     discretion, be construed as a motion for summary judgment 
     pursuant to subparagraph 5.03(d) of these Rules on the ground 
     that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of 
     law.
     Sec. 5.02 Appointment of the Merits Hearing Officer.
       Upon the filing of a complaint, the Executive Director will 
     appoint an independent Merits Hearing Officer, who shall have 
     the authority specified in subparagraphs 5.03 and 7.01(b) of 
     the Rules below.
     Sec. 5.03 Dismissal, Summary Judgment and Withdrawal of 
         Complaints.
       (a) A Merits Hearing Officer may, after notice and an 
     opportunity to respond, dismiss any claim that the Merits 
     Hearing Officer finds to be frivolous or that fails to state 
     a claim upon which relief may be granted.
       (b) A Merits Hearing Officer may, after notice and an 
     opportunity to respond, dismiss a complaint because it fails 
     to comply with the applicable time limits or other 
     requirements under the Act or these Rules.
       (c) If the General Counsel fails to proceed with an action, 
     the Merits Hearing Officer may dismiss the complaint with 
     prejudice.
       (d) Summary Judgment. A Merits Hearing Officer may, after 
     notice and an opportunity for the parties to address the 
     question of summary judgment, issue summary judgment on some 
     or all of the complaint.
       (e) Appeal. A final decision by the Merits Hearing Officer 
     made under sections 5.03(a)-(d) or 7.16 of these Rules may be 
     subject to appeal before the Board if the aggrieved party 
     files a timely petition for review under section 8.01. A 
     final decision under old subparagraph 5.03(a)-(d) that does 
     not resolve all of the claims or issues in the case(s) before 
     the Merits Hearing Officer may not be appealed to the Board 
     in advance of a final decision entered under section 7.16 of 
     these Rules, except as authorized pursuant to section 7.13.
       (f) Withdrawal of Complaint by the General Counsel. At any 
     time prior to the opening of the hearing, the General Counsel 
     may withdraw his complaint by filing a notice with the Office 
     for transmittal to the Merits Hearing Officer and by serving 
     a copy on the respondent. After opening of the hearing, any 
     such withdrawal must be approved by the Merits Hearing 
     Officer and may be with or without prejudice to refile at the 
     Merits Hearing Officer's discretion.
       (g) Withdrawal from a Case by a Representative. A 
     representative must provide sufficient notice to the Merits 
     Hearing Officer and the parties of record of his or her 
     withdrawal from a case. Until the party designates another 
     representative in writing, the party will be regarded as 
     appearing pro se.
     Sec. 5.04 Confidentiality.
       Pursuant to section 416(b) of the Act, except as provided 
     in subsections 416(c) and (f), all proceedings and 
     deliberations of Merits Hearing Officers and the Board, 
     including any related records, shall be confidential. Section 
     416(b) does not apply to proceedings under section 215 of the 
     Act, but does apply to the deliberations of Merits Hearing 
     Officers and the Board under section 215. A violation of the 
     confidentiality requirements of the Act and these rules may 
     result in the imposition of procedural or evidentiary 
     sanctions. See also sections 1.08 and 7.12 of these Rules.

                          SUBPART F--[AMENDED]

       [Table of Contents Omitted]
        Revise subpart F to read as follows:
     Sec. 6.01 Discovery.
       (a) Description. Discovery is the process by which a party 
     may obtain from another person, including a party, 
     information that is not privileged and that is reasonably 
     calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, 
     to assist that party in developing, preparing and presenting 
     its case at the hearing. No discovery, whether oral or 
     written, by any party shall be taken of or from an employee 
     of the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights (including 
     but not limited to a Board member, the Executive Director, 
     the General Counsel, a Confidential Advisor, a mediator, a 
     hearing officer, or unpaid staff), including files, records, 
     or notes produced during the confidential advising, 
     mediation, and hearing phases of a case and maintained by the 
     Office, the Confidential Advisor, the mediator, or the 
     hearing officer.
       (b) Initial Disclosure. Within 14 days after the prehearing 
     conference in cases commenced by the filing of a claim 
     pursuant to section 402(a) of the Act, and except as 
     otherwise stipulated or ordered by the Merits Hearing Officer 
     (the hearing officer appointed by the Executive Director to 
     conduct the administrative hearing), a party must, without 
     awaiting a discovery request, provide to the other parties: 
     the name and, if known, mail and e-mail addresses, and 
     telephone number of each individual likely to have 
     discoverable information that the disclosing party may use to 
     support its causes of action or defenses; and a copy or a 
     description by category and location of all documents, 
     electronically stored information, and tangible things that 
     the disclosing party has in its possession, custody, or 
     control and may use to support its claims or defenses.
       (c) Discovery Availability. Pursuant to section 405(e) of 
     the Act, reasonable prehearing discovery may be permitted at 
     the Merits Hearing Officer's discretion.
       (1) The parties may take discovery by one or more of the 
     following methods: depositions upon oral examination or 
     written questions; written interrogatories; production of 
     documents or things or permission to enter upon land or other 
     property for inspection or other purposes; physical and 
     mental examinations; and requests for admissions. Nothing in 
     section 415(d) of the Act--dealing with reimbursements by 
     Members of Congress of amounts paid as settlements and 
     awards--may be construed to require the claimant to be 
     deposed by counsel for the intervening member in a deposition 
     that is separate from any other deposition taken from the 
     claimant in connection with the hearing or civil action.
       (2) The Merits Hearing Officer may adopt standing orders or 
     make any order setting forth the forms and extent of 
     discovery, including orders limiting the number of 
     depositions, interrogatories, and requests for production of 
     documents, and also may limit the length of depositions.
       (3) The Merits Hearing Officer may issue any other order to 
     prevent discovery or disclosure of confidential or privileged 
     materials or information, as well as hearing or trial 
     preparation materials and any other information deemed not 
     discoverable, or to protect a party or person from annoyance, 
     embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense.
       (d) Claims of Privilege.
       (1) Information Withheld. Whenever a party withholds 
     information otherwise discoverable under these Rules by 
     claiming that it is privileged or confidential or subject to 
     protection as hearing or trial preparation materials, the 
     party shall make the claim of privilege expressly in writing 
     and shall describe the nature of the documents, 
     communications or things not produced or disclosed in a 
     manner that, without revealing whether the information itself 
     is privileged or protected, will enable other parties to 
     assess the applicability of the privilege or protection. A 
     party must make a claim for privilege no later than the due 
     date to produce the information.
       (2) Information Produced as Inadvertent Disclosure; Sealing 
     All or Part of the Record. If information produced in 
     discovery is subject to a claim of privilege or of protection 
     as hearing preparation material, the party making the claim 
     of privilege may notify any party that received the 
     information of the claim of privilege and the basis for it. 
     After being notified, a party must promptly return, 
     sequester, or destroy the specified information and any 
     copies it has; must not use or disclose the information until 
     the claim of privilege is resolved; must take reasonable 
     steps to retrieve the information if the party disclosed it 
     before being notified; and may promptly present the 
     information to the Merits Hearing Officer or the Board under 
     seal for a determination of the claim of privilege. The 
     producing party must preserve the information until the claim 
     of privilege is resolved.
     Sec. 6.02 Request for Subpoena.
       (a) Authority to Issue Subpoenas. At the request of a 
     party, the Merits Hearing Officer may issue subpoenas for the 
     attendance and testimony of witnesses and for the production 
     of correspondence, books, papers, documents, or other 
     records. The attendance of witnesses and the production of 
     records may be required from any place within the United 
     States. However, no subpoena shall be issued for the 
     attendance or testimony of an employee or agent of the Office 
     of Congressional Workplace Rights (including but not limited 
     to a Board member, the Executive Director, the General 
     Counsel, a Confidential Advisor, a mediator, a hearing 
     officer, or unpaid staff), or for the production of files, 
     records, or notes produced during the confidential advising 
     process, in mediation, or at the hearing. Employing offices 
     shall make their employees available for discovery and 
     hearing without requiring a subpoena.

                           *   *   *   *   *

       (b) Request. A request to issue a subpoena requiring the 
     attendance and testimony of witnesses or the production of 
     documents or other evidence under paragraph (a) above shall 
     be submitted to the Merits Hearing Officer at least 15 days 
     before the scheduled hearing date. If the subpoena is sought 
     as part of the discovery process, the request shall be 
     submitted to the Merits Hearing Officer at least 10 days 
     before the date that a witness must attend a deposition or 
     the date for the production of documents. The Merits Hearing 
     Officer may waive the time limits stated above for good 
     cause.
       (c) Forms and Showing. Requests for subpoenas shall be 
     submitted in writing to the Merits Hearing Officer and shall 
     specify with particularity the witness, correspondence, 
     books, papers, documents, or other records desired and shall 
     be supported by a showing of general relevance and reasonable 
     scope.
       (d) Rulings. The Merits Hearing Officer shall promptly rule 
     on subpoena requests.

[[Page S2344]]

  

     Sec. 6.03 Service.
       Subpoenas shall be served in the manner provided under Rule 
     45(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Service of a 
     subpoena may be made by any person who is over 18 years of 
     age and is not a party to the proceeding.
     Sec. 6.04 Proof of Service.
       When service of a subpoena is effected, the person serving 
     the subpoena shall certify the date and the manner of 
     service. The party on whose behalf the subpoena was issued 
     shall file the server's certification with the Merits Hearing 
     Officer.
     Sec. 6.05 Motion to Quash or Limit.
       Any person against whom a subpoena is directed may file a 
     motion to quash or limit the subpoena setting forth the 
     reasons why the subpoena should not be complied with or why 
     it should be limited in scope. This motion shall be filed 
     with the Merits Hearing Officer before the time specified in 
     the subpoena for compliance and not later than 10 days after 
     service of the subpoena. The Merits Hearing Officer should 
     promptly rule on a motion to quash or limit and ensure that 
     the person receiving the subpoena is made aware of the 
     ruling.
     Sec. 6.06 Enforcement.
       (a) Objections and Requests for Enforcement. If a person 
     has been served with a subpoena pursuant to section 6.03 of 
     the Rules, but fails or refuses to comply with its terms or 
     otherwise objects to it, the party or person objecting or the 
     party seeking compliance may seek a ruling from the Merits 
     Hearing Officer. The request for a ruling shall be submitted 
     in writing to the Merits Hearing Officer. However, it may be 
     made orally on the record at the hearing at the discretion of 
     the Merits Hearing Officer. The party seeking compliance 
     shall present the proof of service and, except when the 
     witness was required to appear before the Merits Hearing 
     Officer, shall submit evidence, by affidavit or declaration, 
     of the failure or refusal to obey the subpoena.
       (b) Ruling by the Merits Hearing Officer.
       (1) The Merits Hearing Officer shall promptly rule on the 
     request for enforcement and/or the objection(s).
       (2) On request of the objecting witness or any party, the 
     Merits Hearing Officer shall--or on the Hearing Officer's own 
     initiative, the Hearing Officer may--refer the ruling to the 
     Board for review.
       (c) Review by the Board. The Board may overrule, modify, 
     remand, or affirm the Merits Hearing Officer's ruling and, in 
     its discretion, may direct the General Counsel to apply in 
     the name of the Office for an order from a United States 
     district court to enforce the subpoena.
       (d) Application to an Appropriate Court; Civil Contempt. If 
     a person fails to comply with a subpoena, the Board may 
     direct the General Counsel to apply, in the name of the 
     Office, to an appropriate United States district court for an 
     order requiring that person to appear before the Merits 
     Hearing Officer to give testimony or produce records. Any 
     failure to obey a lawful order of the district court may be 
     held by such court to be a civil contempt thereof.
     Sec. 6.07 Requirements for Sworn Statements.
       Any time that the Office and/or a Hearing Officer requires 
     an affidavit or sworn statement from a party or a witness, he 
     or she should refer the party or witness to a sample 
     declaration under 28 U.S.C. Sec.  1746, which substantially 
     requires:
       (a) If executed within the United States, its territories, 
     possessions, or commonwealths: ``I declare (or certify, 
     verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing 
     is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature).''
       (b) If executed outside the United States: ``I declare (or 
     certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury under the 
     laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is 
     true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature).''

                          SUBPART G--[AMENDED]

       [Table of Contents Omitted]
       Revise subpart G to read as follows:
     Sec. 7.01 The Merits Hearing Officer.
       This subpart concerns the duties and responsibilities of 
     Merits Hearing Officers, who are appointed by the Executive 
     Director to preside over the administrative hearings under 
     the Act. The duties and responsibilities of Preliminary 
     Hearing Officers are contained in section 5.08 of these 
     Rules.
       (a) Exercise of Authority. The Merits Hearing Officer may 
     exercise authority as provided in subparagraph (b) of this 
     section upon his or her own initiative or upon a party's 
     motion, as appropriate.
       (b) Authority. Merits Hearing Officers shall conduct fair 
     and impartial hearings and take all necessary action to avoid 
     undue delay in disposing of all proceedings. They shall have 
     all powers necessary to that end unless otherwise limited by 
     law, including, but not limited to, the authority to:
       (1) administer oaths and affirmations;
       (2) rule on motions to disqualify designated 
     representatives;
       (3) issue subpoenas in accordance with section 6.02 of 
     these Rules;
       (4) rule upon offers of proof and receive relevant 
     evidence;
       (5) rule upon discovery issues as appropriate under 
     sections 6.01 to 6.06 of these Rules;
       (6) hold prehearing conferences for simplifying issues and 
     settlement;
       (7) convene a hearing, as appropriate, regulate the course 
     of the hearing, and maintain decorum at and exclude from the 
     hearing any person who disrupts, or threatens to disrupt, 
     that decorum;
       (8) exclude from the hearing any person, except any 
     claimant, any party, the attorney or representative of any 
     claimant or party, or any witness while testifying;
       (9) rule on all motions, witness and exhibit lists, and 
     proposed findings, including motions for summary judgment;
       (10) require the filing of briefs, memoranda of law, and 
     the presentation of oral argument as to any question of fact 
     or law;
       (11) order the production of evidence and the appearance of 
     witnesses;
       (12) impose sanctions as provided under section 7.02 of 
     these Rules;
       (13) file decisions on the issues presented at the hearing;
       (14) dismiss any claim that is found to be frivolous or 
     that fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted;
       (15) maintain and enforce the confidentiality of 
     proceedings; and
       (16) waive or modify any procedural requirements of 
     subparts F and G of these Rules so long as permitted by the 
     Act.
     Sec. 7.02 Sanctions.
       (a) When necessary to regulate the course of the 
     proceedings (including the hearing), the Merits Hearing 
     Officer may impose an appropriate sanction, which may 
     include, but is not limited to, the sanctions specified in 
     this section, on the parties and/or their representatives.
       (b) The Merits Hearing Officer may impose sanctions upon 
     the parties and/or their representatives based on, but not 
     limited to, the circumstances set forth in this section.
       (1) Failure to Comply with an Order. When a party fails to 
     comply with an order (including an order to submit to a 
     deposition, to produce evidence within the party's control, 
     or to produce witnesses), the Merits Hearing Officer may:
       (A) draw an inference in favor of the requesting party on 
     the issue related to the information sought;
       (B) stay further proceedings until the order is obeyed;
       (C) prohibit the party failing to comply with such order 
     from introducing evidence concerning, or otherwise relying 
     upon, evidence relating to the information sought;
       (D) permit the requesting party to introduce secondary 
     evidence concerning the information sought;
       (E) strike, in whole or in part, the claim, briefs, answer, 
     or other submissions of the party failing to comply with the 
     order, as appropriate; or
       (F) direct judgment against the non-complying party in 
     whole or in part.
       (2) Failure to Prosecute or Defend. If a party fails to 
     prosecute or defend a position, the Merits Hearing Officer 
     may dismiss the action with prejudice or decide the matter, 
     when appropriate.
       (3) Failure to Make Timely Filing. The Merits Hearing 
     Officer may refuse to consider any request, motion or other 
     action that is not filed in a timely fashion in compliance 
     with this subpart.
       (4) Frivolous Claims, Defenses, and Arguments. If a party 
     or a representative files a claim that fails to meet the 
     requirements of section 401(f) of the Act, the Merits Hearing 
     Officer may dismiss the claim, in whole or in part, with 
     prejudice or decide the matter for the opposing party. If a 
     party or a representative presents a pleading, written 
     motion, or other paper containing claims, defenses, and other 
     legal contentions for any improper purpose, such as to 
     harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the 
     cost of resolution of the matter, the Merits Hearing Officer 
     may reject the claims, defenses or legal contentions, in 
     whole or in part. A claim, defense, or legal contention shall 
     not be subject to sanctions if it constitutes a nonfrivolous 
     argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law 
     or for establishing new law.
       (5) Failure to Maintain Confidentiality. An allegation 
     regarding a violation of the confidentiality provisions may 
     be made to a Merits Hearing Officer in proceedings under 
     section 405 of the Act. If, after notice and hearing, the 
     Merits Hearing Officer determines that a party has violated 
     the confidentiality provisions, the Merits Hearing Officer 
     may:
       (A) direct that the matters related to the breach of 
     confidentiality or other designated facts be taken as 
     established for purposes of the action, as the prevailing 
     party contends;
       (B) prohibit the party breaching confidentiality from 
     supporting or opposing designated claims or defenses, or from 
     introducing designated matters in evidence;
       (C) strike the pleadings in whole or in part;
       (D) stay further proceedings until the breach of 
     confidentiality is resolved to the extent possible;
       (E) dismiss the action or proceeding in whole or in part; 
     or
       (F) render a default judgment against the party breaching 
     confidentiality.
       (c) No sanctions may be imposed under this section except 
     for good cause and the particulars of which must be stated in 
     the sanction order.
     Sec. 7.03 Disqualifying a Merits Hearing Officer.
       (a) In the event that a Merits Hearing Officer considers 
     himself or herself disqualified, either because of personal 
     bias or of an interest in the case or for some other 
     disqualifying reason, he or she shall withdraw from

[[Page S2345]]

     the case, stating in writing or on the record the reasons for 
     his or her withdrawal, and shall immediately notify the 
     Office of the withdrawal.
       (b) Any party may file a motion requesting that a Merits 
     Hearing Officer withdraw on the basis of personal bias or of 
     an interest in the case or for some other disqualifying 
     reason. This motion shall specifically set forth the reasons 
     supporting the request and be filed as soon as the party has 
     reason to believe that there is a basis for disqualification.
       (c) The Merits Hearing Officer shall promptly rule on the 
     withdrawal motion. If the motion is granted, the Executive 
     Director will appoint another Merits Hearing Officer within 5 
     days. Any objection to the Merits Hearing Officer's ruling on 
     the withdrawal motion shall not be deemed waived by a party's 
     further participation in the hearing and may be the basis for 
     an appeal to the Board from the Merits Hearing Officer's 
     decision under section 8.01 of these Rules. Such objection 
     will not stay the conduct of the hearing.
     Sec. 7.04 Motions and Prehearing Conference.
       (a) Motions. Motions shall be filed with the Merits Hearing 
     Officer and shall be in writing except for oral motions made 
     on the record during the hearing. All written motions and any 
     responses to them shall include a proposed order, when 
     applicable. Only with the Merits Hearing Officer's advance 
     approval may either party file additional responses to the 
     motion or to the response to the motion. Motions for 
     extension of time will be granted only for good cause shown.
       (b) Scheduling the Prehearing Conference. Within 7 days 
     after a Merits Hearing Officer is assigned to adjudicate the 
     claim(s), the Merits Hearing Officer shall serve on the 
     parties and their designated representatives written notice 
     setting forth the time, date, and place of the prehearing 
     conference, except that the Executive Director may, for good 
     cause, extend up to an additional 7 days the time for serving 
     notice of the prehearing conference.
       (c) Prehearing Conference Memoranda. The Merits Hearing 
     Officer may order each party to prepare a prehearing 
     conference memorandum. The Merits Hearing Officer may direct 
     that a memorandum be filed after discovery has concluded. The 
     memorandum may include:
       (1) the major factual contentions and legal issues that the 
     party intends to raise at the hearing in short, successive, 
     and numbered paragraphs, along with any proposed stipulations 
     of fact or law;
       (2) an estimate of the time necessary for presenting the 
     party's case;
       (3) the specific relief, including, when known, a 
     calculation of any monetary relief or damages that is being 
     or will be requested;
       (4) the names of potential witnesses for the party's case, 
     except for potential impeachment or rebuttal witnesses, and 
     the purpose for which they will be called and a list of 
     documents that the party is seeking from the opposing party, 
     and, if discovery was permitted, the status of any pending 
     request for discovery. (It is not necessary to list each 
     document requested. Instead, the party may refer to the 
     request for discovery.); and
       (5) a brief description of any other unresolved issues.
       (d) At the prehearing conference, the Merits Hearing 
     Officer may discuss the subjects specified in paragraph (c) 
     above and the manner in which the hearing will be conducted. 
     In addition, the Merits Hearing Officer may explore 
     settlement possibilities and consider how the factual and 
     legal issues might be simplified and any other issues that 
     might expedite resolving the dispute. The Merits Hearing 
     Officer shall issue an order, which recites the actions taken 
     at the conference and the parties' agreements as to any 
     matters considered, and which limits the issues to those not 
     disposed of by the parties' admissions, stipulations, or 
     agreements. Such order, when entered, shall control the 
     course of the proceeding, subject to later modification by 
     the Merits Hearing Officer by his or her own motion or upon 
     proper request of a party for good cause shown.
     Sec. 7.05 Scheduling the Hearing.
       (a) Date, Time, and Place of Hearing. The Office shall 
     issue the notice of hearing, which shall fix the date, time, 
     and place of hearing. Absent a postponement granted by the 
     Office, a hearing must commence no later than 60 days after 
     the filing of the claim(s).
       (b) Motions for Postponement or a Continuance. Motions for 
     postponement or for a continuance by either party shall be 
     made in writing to the Merits Hearing Officer, shall set 
     forth the reasons for the request, and shall state whether or 
     not the opposing party consents to such postponement. A 
     Merits Hearing Officer may grant such a motion upon a showing 
     of good cause. In no event will a hearing commence later than 
     90 days after the filing of the claim form.
     Sec. 7.06 Consolidation and Joinder of Cases.
       (a) Explanation.
       (1) Consolidation is when two or more parties have cases 
     that might be treated as one because they contain identical 
     or similar issues or in such other appropriate circumstances.
       (2) Joinder is when one party has two or more cases pending 
     and they are united for consideration. For example, joinder 
     might be warranted when a single party has one case pending 
     challenging a 30-day suspension and another case pending 
     challenging a subsequent dismissal.
       (b) Authority. The Executive Director (before assigning a 
     Merits Hearing Officer to adjudicate a claim); a Merits 
     Hearing Officer (during the hearing); or the Board (during an 
     appeal) may consolidate or join cases on their own initiative 
     or on the motion of a party if to do so would expedite case 
     processing and not adversely affect the parties' interests, 
     taking into account the confidentiality requirements of 
     section 416 of the Act.
     Sec. 7.07 Conduct of Hearing; Disqualifying a Representative.
       (a) Pursuant to section 405(d)(1) of the Act, the Merits 
     Hearing Officer shall conduct the hearing in closed session 
     on the record. Only the Merits Hearing Officer, the parties 
     and their representatives, and witnesses during the time they 
     are testifying, shall be permitted to attend the hearing, 
     except that the Office may not be precluded from observing 
     the hearing. The Merits Hearing Officer, or a person 
     designated by the Merits Hearing Officer or the Executive 
     Director, shall record the proceedings.
       (b) The hearing shall be conducted as an administrative 
     proceeding. Witnesses shall testify under oath or 
     affirmation. Except as specified in the Act and in these 
     Rules, the Merits Hearing Officer shall conduct the hearing, 
     to the greatest extent practicable, consistent with the 
     principles and procedures in sections 554 through 557 of 
     title 5 of the United States Code (the Administrative 
     Procedure Act).
       (c) No later than the opening of the hearing, or as 
     otherwise ordered by the Merits Hearing Officer, each party 
     shall submit to the Merits Hearing Officer and to the 
     opposing party typed lists of the hearing exhibits and the 
     witnesses expected to be called to testify, excluding 
     impeachment or rebuttal witnesses.
       (d) At the commencement of the hearing, or as otherwise 
     ordered by the Merits Hearing Officer, the Merits Hearing 
     Officer may consider any stipulations of facts and law 
     pursuant to section 7.10 of the Rules, take official notice 
     of certain facts pursuant to section 7.11 of the Rules, rule 
     on the parties' objections and hear witness testimony. Each 
     party must present his or her case in a concise manner, 
     limiting the testimony of witnesses and submission of 
     documents to relevant matters.
       (e) Any evidentiary objection not timely made before a 
     Merits Hearing Officer shall, absent clear error, be deemed 
     waived on appeal to the Board.
       (f) Failure of either party to appear at the hearing, to 
     present witnesses, or to respond to an evidentiary order may 
     result in an adverse finding or ruling by the Merits Hearing 
     Officer. At the Merits Hearing Officer's discretion, the 
     hearing also may be held without the claimant if the 
     claimant's representative is present.
       (g) If the Merits Hearing Officer concludes that an 
     employee's representative, a witness, a charging party, a 
     labor organization, an employing office, or an entity alleged 
     to be responsible for correcting a violation has a conflict 
     of interest, the Merits Hearing Officer may, after giving the 
     representative an opportunity to respond, disqualify the 
     representative. In that event, within the time limits for 
     hearing and decision established by the Act, the affected 
     party shall be afforded reasonable time to retain other 
     representation.
     Sec. 7.08 Transcript.
       (a) Preparation. The Office shall keep an accurate 
     electronic or stenographic hearing record, which shall be the 
     sole official record of the proceeding. The Office shall be 
     responsible for the cost of transcribing the hearing. Upon 
     request, a copy of the hearing transcript shall be furnished 
     to each party, provided, however, that such party has first 
     agreed to maintain and respect the confidentiality of such 
     transcript in accordance with the applicable rules prescribed 
     by the Office or the Merits Hearing Officer to effectuate 
     section 416(b) of the Act. Additional copies of transcripts 
     shall be made available to a party at the party's expense. 
     The Office may grant exceptions to the payment requirement 
     for good cause shown. A motion for an exception shall be made 
     in writing, accompanied by an affidavit or a declaration 
     setting forth the reasons for the request, and submitted to 
     the Office. Requests for copies of transcripts also shall be 
     directed to the Office. The Office may, by agreement with the 
     person making the request, arrange with the official hearing 
     reporter for required services to be charged to the 
     requester.
       (b) Corrections. Corrections to the official transcript of 
     the hearing will be permitted. Motions for correction must be 
     submitted within 10 days of service of the transcript upon 
     the parties. Corrections to the official transcript will be 
     permitted only upon the approval of the Merits Hearing 
     Officer. The Merits Hearing Officer may make corrections at 
     any time with notice to the parties.
     Sec. 7.09 Admissibility of Evidence.
       The Merits Hearing Officer shall apply the Federal Rules of 
     Evidence to the greatest extent practicable. These Rules 
     provide, among other things, that the Merits Hearing Officer 
     may exclude evidence if, among other things, it constitutes 
     inadmissible hearsay or its probative value is substantially 
     outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, by confusion of 
     the issues, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of 
     time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence.

[[Page S2346]]

  

     Sec. 7.10 Stipulations.
       The parties may stipulate as to any matter of fact. Such a 
     stipulation will satisfy a party's burden of proving the fact 
     alleged.
     Sec. 7.11 Official Notice.
       (a) The Merits Hearing Officer on his or her own motion or 
     on motion of a party, may take official notice of a fact that 
     is not subject to reasonable dispute because it is either:
       (1) a matter of common knowledge; or
       (2) capable of accurate and ready determination by resort 
     to sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned. 
     Official notice taken of any fact satisfies a party's burden 
     of proving the fact noticed.
       (b) When a decision, or part thereof, rests on the official 
     notice of a material fact not appearing in the evidence in 
     the record, the fact of official notice shall be so stated in 
     the decision, and any party, upon timely request, shall be 
     afforded an opportunity to show the contrary.
     Sec. 7.12 Confidentiality.
       (a) Pursuant to section 416 of the Act and section 1.08 of 
     these Rules, all proceedings and deliberations of Merits 
     Hearing Officers and the Board, including the hearing 
     transcripts and any related records, shall be confidential, 
     except as specified in sections 416(c), (d), (e), and (f) of 
     the Act and subparagraph 1.08(d) of these Rules. All parties 
     to the proceeding and their representatives, and witnesses 
     who appear at the hearing, will be advised of the importance 
     of confidentiality in this process and of their obligations, 
     subject to sanctions, to maintain it. This provision shall 
     not apply to proceedings under section 215 of the Act, but 
     shall apply to the Merits Hearing Officers' and the Board's 
     deliberations under that section.
       (b) Violation of Confidentiality. A Merits Hearing Officer, 
     under section 405 of the Act, may resolve an alleged 
     violation of confidentiality that occurred during a hearing. 
     After providing notice and an opportunity to the parties to 
     be heard, the Merits Hearing Officer, under subparagraph 
     1.08(f) of these Rules, may find a violation of 
     confidentiality and impose appropriate procedural or 
     evidentiary sanctions, to include the sanctions listed in 
     section 7.02 of these Rules.
     Sec. 7.13 Immediate Board Review of a Hearing Officer's 
         Ruling.
       (a) Review Strongly Disfavored. Board review of a Merits 
     Hearing Officer's ruling is strongly disfavored while a 
     proceeding is ongoing (an ``interlocutory appeal''). In 
     general, the Board may consider a request for interlocutory 
     appeal only if the Merits Hearing Officer, on his or her own 
     motion or by motion of the parties, determines that the issue 
     presented is of such importance to the proceeding that it 
     requires the Board's immediate attention.
       (b) Time for Filing. A party must file a motion for 
     interlocutory appeal of a Merits Hearing Officer's ruling 
     with the Merits Hearing Officer within 5 days after service 
     of the ruling upon the parties. The motion shall include 
     arguments in support of both interlocutory appeal and the 
     requested determination to be made by the Board upon review. 
     Responses, if any, shall be filed with the Hearing Officer 
     within 3 days after service of the motion.
       (c) Standards for Review. In determining whether to certify 
     and forward a request for interlocutory appeal to the Board, 
     the Merits Hearing Officer shall consider the following:
       (1) whether the ruling involves a significant question of 
     law or policy about which there is substantial ground for 
     difference of opinion;
       (2) whether an immediate Board review of the Merits Hearing 
     Officer's ruling will materially advance completing the 
     proceeding; and
       (3) whether denial of immediate review will cause undue 
     harm to a party or the public.
       (d) Merits Hearing Officer Action. If all the conditions 
     set forth in paragraph (c) above are met, the Merits Hearing 
     Officer shall certify and forward a request for interlocutory 
     appeal to the Board for its immediate consideration. Any such 
     submission shall explain the basis on which the Merits 
     Hearing Officer concluded that the standards in paragraph (c) 
     have been met. The Merits Hearing Officer's decision to 
     forward or decline to forward a request for review is not 
     appealable.
       (e) Granting or Denying an Interlocutory Appeal is Within 
     the Board's Sole Discretion. The Board, in its sole 
     discretion, may grant or deny an interlocutory appeal, upon 
     the Merits Hearing Officer's certification and decision to 
     forward a request for review. The Board's decision to grant 
     or deny an interlocutory appeal is not appealable.
       (f) Stay Pending Interlocutory Appeal. Unless otherwise 
     directed by the Board, the stay of any proceedings during the 
     pendency of either a request for interlocutory appeal or the 
     appeal itself shall be within the Merits Hearing Officer's 
     discretion, provided that no stay shall serve to toll the 
     time limits set forth in section 405(d) of the Act. If the 
     Merits Hearing Officer does not stay the proceedings, the 
     Board may do so while an interlocutory appeal is pending with 
     it.
       (g) Procedures before the Board. Upon its decision to grant 
     interlocutory appeal, the Board shall issue an order setting 
     forth the procedures that will be followed in the conduct of 
     that review.
       (h) Appeal of a Final Decision. Denial of interlocutory 
     appeal will not affect a party's right to challenge rulings, 
     which are otherwise appealable, as part of an appeal to the 
     Board under section 8.01 of the Rules from the Merits Hearing 
     Officer's decision issued under section 7.16 of these Rules.
     Sec. 7.14 Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law; 
         Posthearing Briefs.
       May be Required. The Merits Hearing Officer may require the 
     parties to file proposed findings of fact and conclusions of 
     law and/or posthearing briefs on the factual and the legal 
     issues presented in the case.
     Sec. 7.15 Closing the Record.
       (a) Except as provided in section 7.14 of the Rules, the 
     record shall close when the hearing ends. However, the 
     Hearing Officer may hold the record open as necessary to 
     allow the parties to submit arguments, briefs, documents or 
     additional evidence previously identified for introduction.
       (b) Once the record is closed, no additional evidence or 
     argument shall be accepted into the hearing record except 
     upon a showing that new and material evidence has become 
     available that was not available despite due diligence before 
     the record closed or that the additional evidence or argument 
     is being provided in rebuttal to new evidence or argument 
     that the other party submitted just before the record closed. 
     The Merits Hearing Officer also shall make part of the record 
     an approved correction to the transcript.
     Sec. 7.16 Merits Hearing Officer Decisions; Entry in Office 
         Records; Corrections to the Record; Motions to Alter, 
         Amend, or Vacate the Decision.
       (a) The Merits Hearing Officer shall issue a written 
     decision no later than 90 days after the hearing ends, 
     pursuant to section 405(g) of the Act.
       (b) The Merits Hearing Officer's written decision shall:
       (1) state the issues raised in the claim(s), form, or 
     complaint;
       (2) describe the evidence in the record;
       (3) contain findings of fact and conclusions of law, and 
     the reasons or bases therefore, on all the material issues of 
     fact, law, or discretion presented on the record;
       (4) determine whether a violation has occurred; and
       (5) order such remedies as are appropriate under the Act.
       (c) If a final decision concerns a claim alleging a 
     violation or violations described in section 415(d)(1)(C) of 
     the Act, the written decision shall include the following 
     findings:
       (1) whether the alleged violation or violations occurred;
       (2) whether any violation or violations found to have 
     occurred were committed personally by an individual who, at 
     the time of committing the violation, was a Member of the 
     House of Representatives (including a Delegate or Resident 
     Commissioner to the Congress) or a Senator;
       (3) the amount of compensatory damages, if any, awarded 
     pursuant to section 415(d)(1)(B) of the Act; and
       (4) the amount, if any, of compensatory damages that is the 
     ``reimbursable portion'' as defined by section 415(d) of the 
     Act.
       (d) Upon issuance, the Merits Hearing Officer's decision 
     and order shall be entered into the Office's records.
       (e) The Office shall promptly provide a copy of the Merits 
     Hearing Officer's decision and order to the parties.
       (f) If there is no appeal of a Merits Hearing Officer's 
     decision and order, that decision becomes a final decision of 
     the Office, which is subject to enforcement under section 
     8.03 of these Rules.
       (g) Corrections to the Record. After a Merits Hearing 
     Officer's decision has been issued, but before an appeal is 
     made to the Board, or absent an appeal, before the decision 
     becomes final, the Merits Hearing Officer may issue an 
     erratum notice to correct simple errors or easily correctible 
     mistakes. The Merits Hearing Officer may do so on the 
     parties' motion or on his or her own motion with or without 
     advance notice.
       (h) After a Merits Hearing Officer's decision has been 
     issued, but before an appeal is made to the Board, or absent 
     an appeal, before the decision becomes final, a party to the 
     proceeding before the Merits Hearing Officer may move to 
     alter, amend, or vacate the decision. The moving party must 
     establish that relief from the decision is warranted because: 
     (1) of mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; 
     (2) there is newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable 
     diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for 
     a new hearing; (3) there has been fraud (misrepresentation, 
     or misconduct by an opposing party); (4) the decision is 
     void; or (5) the decision has been satisfied, released, or 
     discharged; it is based on an earlier decision that has been 
     reversed or vacated; or applying it prospectively is no 
     longer equitable. The motion shall be filed within 15 days 
     after service of the Merits Hearing Officer's decision. No 
     response shall be filed unless the Merits Hearing Officer so 
     orders. The filing and pendency of a motion under this 
     provision shall not relieve a party of the obligation to file 
     a timely appeal or operate to stay the Merits Hearing 
     Officer's action unless the Merits Hearing Officer so orders.

                          Subpart H--[AMENDED]

       [Table of Contents Omitted]
       Amend section 8.01 by:
       (a) Revising the second sentence of paragraph (a);
       (b) Adding a new paragraph (b) and redesignating paragraphs 
     (b) through (j) as paragraphs (c) through (k), respectively;
       (c) Revising redesignated paragraph (c)(2); and

[[Page S2347]]

       (d) Revising redesignated paragraphs (i) through (k).
       The revisions read as follows:
     Sec. 8.01 Appeal to the Board.
       (a) * * * The appeal must be served on all opposing parties 
     or their representatives.
       (b) A Report on Preliminary Review pursuant to section 
     402(c) of the Act is not appealable to the Board.
       (c)

                           *   *   *   *   *

       (2) Unless otherwise ordered by the Board, within 21 days 
     following the service of the appellant's brief, any opposing 
     party may file and serve a responsive brief. Unless otherwise 
     ordered by the Board, within 10 days following the service of 
     the responsive brief(s), the appellant may file and serve a 
     reply brief.

                           *   *   *   *   *

       (i) Record. The docket sheet, claim form or complaint and 
     any amendments, preliminary review report, request for 
     hearing, notice of hearing, answer and any amendments, 
     motions, rulings, orders, stipulations, exhibits, documentary 
     evidence, any portions of depositions admitted into evidence, 
     docketed Memoranda for the Record, or correspondence between 
     the Office and the parties, and the transcript of the hearing 
     (together with any electronic recording of the hearing if the 
     original reporting was performed electronically) together 
     with the Merits Hearing Officer's decision and the petition 
     for review, any response thereto, any reply to the response 
     and any other pleadings shall constitute the record in the 
     case.
       (j) The Board may invite amicus participation, in 
     appropriate circumstances, in a manner consistent with the 
     requirements of section 416 of the Act.
       (k) An appellant may move to withdraw a petition for review 
     at any time before the Board renders a decision. The motion 
     must be in writing and submitted to the Board. The Board, at 
     its discretion, may grant or deny such a motion and take 
     whatever action is required.

                           *   *   *   *   *


                          SUBPART I--[AMENDED]

       [Table of Contents Omitted]
       1. Amend section 9.01 by:
       (a) Revising paragraph (a); and
       (b) Adding a new paragraph (c).
       The revisions read as follows:
     Sec. 9.01 Attorney's Fees and Costs.
       (a) Request. No later than 30 days after the entry of a 
     final decision of the Office, the prevailing party may submit 
     to the Merits Hearing Officer who decided the case a motion 
     for the award of reasonable attorney's fees and costs, 
     following the form specified in paragraph (b) below. The 
     Merits Hearing Officer, after giving the respondent an 
     opportunity to reply, shall rule on the motion. Decisions 
     regarding attorney's fees and costs are collateral and do not 
     affect the finality or appealability of a final decision 
     issued by the Office.

                           *   *   *   *   *

       (c) Arbitration Awards. In arbitration proceedings, the 
     prevailing party must submit any request for attorney's fees 
     and costs to the arbitrator in accordance with the 
     established arbitration procedures.
       2. Amend section 9.02 by revising paragraph (b) as follows:
     Sec. 9.02 Ex Parte Communications.

                           *   *   *   *   *

       (b) Exception to Coverage. The Rules set forth in this 
     section do not apply during periods that the Board designates 
     as periods of negotiated rulemaking in accordance with the 
     procedures set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 
     U.S.C. Sec.  500 et seq.

                           *   *   *   *   *

       3. Revise section 9.03 as follows:
     Sec. 9.03 Informal Resolutions and Settlement Agreements.
       (a) Informal Resolution. At any time before a covered 
     employee files a claim form under section 402 of the Act, a 
     covered employee and the employing office, on their own, may 
     agree voluntarily and informally to resolve a dispute. Any 
     informal resolution shall be ineffective to the extent that 
     it purports to:
       (1) constitute a waiver of a covered employee's rights 
     under the Act; or
       (2) create an obligation that is payable from the account 
     established by section 415(a) of the Act (``Section 415(a) 
     Treasury Account'') or enforceable by the Office.
       (b) * * * * *
       (c) General Requirements for Formal Settlement Agreements. 
     A formal settlement agreement must contain the signatures of 
     all parties or their designated representatives on the 
     agreement document. A formal settlement agreement cannot be 
     approved by the Executive Director until the appropriate 
     revocation periods have expired and the employing office has 
     fully completed and submitted the Office's Section 415(a) 
     Account Requisition Form. A formal settlement agreement 
     cannot be rescinded after the signatures of all parties have 
     been affixed to the agreement, unless by written revocation 
     of the agreement voluntarily signed by all parties, or as 
     otherwise permitted by law. All formal settlement agreements 
     must also:
       (1) specify the amount of each payment to be made from the 
     Section 415(a) Treasury Account;
       (2) identify the portion of any payment that is subject to 
     the reimbursement provisions of section 415(e) of the Act 
     because it is being used to settle an alleged violation of 
     section 201(a) or 206(a) of the Act;
       (3) identify each payment that is back pay and indicate the 
     net amount that will be paid to the employee after tax 
     withholding and authorized deductions; and
       (4) certify that, except for funds to correct alleged 
     violations of sections 201(a)(3), 210, or 215 of the Act, 
     only funds from the Section 415(a) Treasury Account will be 
     used for the payment of any amount specified in the 
     settlement agreement.
       (d) Requirements for Formal Settlement Agreements Involving 
     Claims against Members of Congress. If a formal settlement 
     agreement concerns allegations against a Member of Congress 
     subject to the payment reimbursement provisions of section 
     415(d) of the Act, the settlement agreement must comply with 
     subparagraphs 9.03(c)(1), (3) and (4) of these Rules, and:
       (1) specify the amount, if any, that is the ``reimbursable 
     portion'' as defined by section 415(d) of the Act; and
       (2) contain the signature of any individual (or the 
     representative of any individual) who has exercised his or 
     her right to intervene pursuant to section 414(d)(8) of the 
     Act.
       (e) * * * * *
       3. Revise section 9.04 as follows:
     Sec. 9.04 Payments Required Pursuant to Decisions, Awards, or 
         Settlements under Section 415(a) of the Act.
       (a) In General. Whenever an award or settlement requires 
     the payment of funds pursuant to section 415(a) of the Act, 
     the award or settlement must be submitted to the Executive 
     Director together with a fully completed Section 415(a) 
     Account Requisition Form for processing by the Office.
       (b) Requesting Payments.
       (1) Only an employing office under section 101 of the Act 
     may submit a payment request from the Section 415(a) Treasury 
     Account.
       (2) Employing offices must submit requests for payments 
     from the Section 415(a) Treasury Account on the Office's 
     Section 415(a) Account Requisition Forms.
       (c) Duty to Cooperate. Each employment office has a duty to 
     cooperate with the Executive Director or his or her designee 
     by promptly responding to any requests for information and to 
     otherwise assist the Executive Director in providing prompt 
     payments from the Section 415(a) Treasury Account. Failure to 
     cooperate may be grounds for disapproval of the settlement 
     agreement.
       (d) Back Pay. When the award or settlement specifies a 
     payment as back pay, the gross amount of the back pay will be 
     paid to the employing office and the employing office will 
     then promptly issue amounts representing back pay (and 
     interest if authorized) to the employee and retain amounts 
     representing withholding and deductions.
       (e) Attorney's fees. When the award or settlement specifies 
     a payment as attorney's fees, the attorney's fees are paid 
     directly to the attorney from the Section 415(a) Treasury 
     Account.
       (f) Tax Reporting and Withholding Obligations. The Office 
     does not report Section 415(a) Treasury Account payments as 
     potential taxable income to the Internal Revenue Service 
     (IRS) and is not responsible for tax withholding or 
     reporting. To the extent that W-2 or 1099 forms need to be 
     issued, it is the responsibility of the employing office 
     submitting the payment request to do so. The employing office 
     should also consult IRS regulations for guidance in reporting 
     the amount of any back pay award as wages on a W-2 Form.
       (g) Method of Payment. Section 415(a) Treasury Account 
     payments are made by electronic funds transfer. The Office 
     will issue an electronic payment to the payee's account as 
     specified on the appropriate Section 415(a) Treasury Account 
     form.
       (h) Reimbursement of the Section 415(a) Treasury Account.
       (1) Members of Congress. Section 415(d) of the Act requires 
     Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate to 
     reimburse the ``compensatory damages'' portion of a decision, 
     award or settlement for a violation of section 201(a), 
     206(a), or 207 that the Member is found to have ``committed 
     personally.'' Reimbursement shall be in accordance with the 
     timetable and procedures established by the applicable 
     congressional committee for the withholding of amounts from 
     the compensation of an individual who is a Member of the 
     House of Representatives or a Senator.
       (2) Other Employing Offices. Section 415(e) of the Act 
     requires employing offices (other than an employing office of 
     the House or Senate) to reimburse awards and settlements paid 
     from the Section 415(a) Treasury Account in connection with 
     claims alleging violations of section 201(a) or 206(a) of the 
     Act.
       (A) As soon as practicable after the Executive Director is 
     made aware that a payment of an award or settlement under 
     this Act has been made from the Section 415(a) Treasury 
     Account in connection with a claim alleging a violation of 
     section 201(a) or 206(a) of the Act by an employing office 
     (other than an employing office of the House of 
     Representatives or an employing office of the Senate), the 
     Executive Director will notify the head of the employing 
     office that the payment has been made. The notice will 
     include a statement of the payment amount.
       (B) Reimbursement must be made within 180 days after 
     receipt of notice from the Executive Director, and is to be 
     transferred to the Section 415(a) Treasury Account out of 
     funds available for the employing office's operating 
     expenses.

[[Page S2348]]

       (C) The Office will notify employing offices of any 
     outstanding receivables on a quarterly basis. Employing 
     offices have 30 days from the date of the notification of an 
     outstanding receivable to respond to the Office regarding the 
     accuracy of the amounts in the notice.
       (D) Receivables outstanding for more than 30 days from the 
     date of the notification will be noted as such on the 
     Office's public website and in the Office's annual report to 
     Congress on awards and settlements requiring payments from 
     the Section 415(a) Treasury Account.
       (3) [reserved]
       4. Amend section 9.05 by revising paragraph (b) as follows:
     Sec. 9.05 Revocation, Amendment or Waiver of Rules.

                           *   *   *   *   *

       (b) The Board or a Hearing Officer may waive a procedural 
     rule in an individual case for good cause shown if 
     application of the rule is not required by law.
       5. Add a new section 9.06 as follows:
     Sec. 9.06 Notices.
       (a) All employing offices are required to post and keep 
     posted the notice provided by the Office that:
       (1) describes the rights, protections, and procedures 
     applicable to covered employees of the employing office under 
     this Act, concerning violations described in 2 U.S.C. Sec.  
     1362(b); and
       (2) includes contact information for the Office.
       (b) The notice must be displayed in all premises of the 
     covered employer in conspicuous places where notices to 
     applicants and employees are customarily posted.
       6. Add a new section 9.07 as follows:
     Sec. 9.07 Training and Education Programs.
       (a) Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment 
     of the Reform Act, June 19, 2019, and not later than 45 days 
     after the beginning of each Congress (beginning with the 
     117th Congress), each employing office shall submit a report 
     both to the Committee on House Administration of the House of 
     Representatives and the Committee on Rules and Administration 
     of the Senate on the implementation of the training and 
     education program required under section 438(a) of the Act.
       (b) Exception for Offices of Congress.--This section does 
     not apply to any employing office of the House of 
     Representatives or any employing office of the Senate.

                          ____________________