42 U.S. Code § 2000e–16 - Employment by Federal Government
(a) Discriminatory practices prohibited; employees or applicants for employment subject to coverage
All personnel actions affecting employees or applicants for employment (except with regard to aliens employed outside the limits of the United States) in military departments as defined in section 102 of title 5, in executive agencies as defined in section 105 of title 5 (including employees and applicants for employment who are paid from nonappropriated funds), in the United States Postal Service and the Postal Regulatory Commission, in those units of the Government of the District of Columbia having positions in the competitive service, and in those units of the judicial branch of the Federal Government having positions in the competitive service, in the Smithsonian Institution, and in the Government Printing Office, the Government Accountability Office, and the Library of Congress shall be made free from any discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
(b) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; enforcement powers; issuance of rules, regulations, etc.; annual review and approval of national and regional equal employment opportunity plans; review and evaluation of equal employment opportunity programs and publication of progress reports; consultations with interested parties; compliance with rules, regulations, etc.; contents of national and regional equal employment opportunity plans; authority of Librarian of Congress
Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shall have authority to enforce the provisions of subsection (a) of this section through appropriate remedies, including reinstatement or hiring of employees with or without back pay, as will effectuate the policies of this section, and shall issue such rules, regulations, orders and instructions as it deems necessary and appropriate to carry out its responsibilities under this section. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shall—
(1) be responsible for the annual review and approval of a national and regional equal employment opportunity plan which each department and agency and each appropriate unit referred to in subsection (a) of this section shall submit in order to maintain an affirmative program of equal employment opportunity for all such employees and applicants for employment;
(2) be responsible for the review and evaluation of the operation of all agency equal employment opportunity programs, periodically obtaining and publishing (on at least a semiannual basis) progress reports from each such department, agency, or unit; and
(3) consult with and solicit the recommendations of interested individuals, groups, and organizations relating to equal employment opportunity.
The head of each such department, agency, or unit shall comply with such rules, regulations, orders, and instructions which shall include a provision that an employee or applicant for employment shall be notified of any final action taken on any complaint of discrimination filed by him thereunder. The plan submitted by each department, agency, and unit shall include, but not be limited to—
(1) provision for the establishment of training and education programs designed to provide a maximum opportunity for employees to advance so as to perform at their highest potential; and
(2) a description of the qualifications in terms of training and experience relating to equal employment opportunity for the principal and operating officials of each such department, agency, or unit responsible for carrying out the equal employment opportunity program and of the allocation of personnel and resources proposed by such department, agency, or unit to carry out its equal employment opportunity program.
With respect to employment in the Library of Congress, authorities granted in this subsection to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shall be exercised by the Librarian of Congress.
(c) Civil action by employee or applicant for employment for redress of grievances; time for bringing of action; head of department, agency, or unit as defendant
Within 90 days of receipt of notice of final action taken by a department, agency, or unit referred to in subsection (a) of this section, or by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission upon an appeal from a decision or order of such department, agency, or unit on a complaint of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin, brought pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, Executive Order 11478 or any succeeding Executive orders, or after one hundred and eighty days from the filing of the initial charge with the department, agency, or unit or with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on appeal from a decision or order of such department, agency, or unit until such time as final action may be taken by a department, agency, or unit, an employee or applicant for employment, if aggrieved by the final disposition of his complaint, or by the failure to take final action on his complaint, may file a civil action as provided in section 2000e–5 of this title, in which civil action the head of the department, agency, or unit, as appropriate, shall be the defendant.
(d) Section 2000e–5(f) through (k) of this title applicable to civil actions
(e) Government agency or official not relieved of responsibility to assure nondiscrimination in employment or equal employment opportunity
Nothing contained in this Act shall relieve any Government agency or official of its or his primary responsibility to assure nondiscrimination in employment as required by the Constitution and statutes or of its or his responsibilities under Executive Order 11478 relating to equal employment opportunity in the Federal Government.
(f) Section 2000e–5(e)(3) of this title applicable to compensation discrimination
 So in original.
Source(Pub. L. 88–352, title VII, § 717, as added Pub. L. 92–261, § 11,Mar. 24, 1972, 86 Stat. 111; amended 1978 Reorg. Plan No. 1, § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1979, 43 F.R. 19807, 92 Stat. 3781; Pub. L. 96–191, § 8(g),Feb. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 34; Pub. L. 102–166, title I, § 114,Nov. 21, 1991, 105 Stat. 1079; Pub. L. 104–1, title II, § 201(c)(1),Jan. 23, 1995, 109 Stat. 8; Pub. L. 105–220, title III, § 341(a),Aug. 7, 1998, 112 Stat. 1092; Pub. L. 108–271, § 8(b),July 7, 2004, 118 Stat. 814; Pub. L. 109–435, title VI, § 604(f),Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3242; Pub. L. 111–2, § 5(c)(2),Jan. 29, 2009, 123 Stat. 7.)
References in Text
This Act, referred to in subsec. (e), means Pub. L. 88–352, July 2, 1964, 78 Stat. 241, known as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which is classified principally to subchapters II to IX of this chapter (§ 2000a et seq.). For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 2000a of this title and Tables.
Executive Order 11478, as amended, referred to in subsecs. (c) and (e), is set out as a note under section 2000e of this title.
2009—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 111–2added subsec. (f).
2006—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 109–435substituted “Postal Regulatory Commission” for “Postal Rate Commission”.
2004—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 108–271substituted “Government Accountability Office” for “General Accounting Office”.
1998—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105–220inserted “in the Smithsonian Institution,” before “and in the Government Printing Office,”.
1995—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–1substituted “units of the judicial branch” for “units of the legislative and judicial branches” and inserted “Government Printing Office, the General Accounting Office, and the” before “Library of Congress”.
1991—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 102–166, § 114(1), substituted “90 days” for “thirty days”.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 102–166, § 114(2), inserted before the period “, and the same interest to compensate for delay in payment shall be available as in cases involving nonpublic parties.”
1980—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 96–191struck out “(other than the General Accounting Office)” after “in executive agencies”.
Effective Date of 2009 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 111–2effective as if enacted May 28, 2007, and applicable to certain claims of discrimination in compensation pending on or after that date, see section 6 ofPub. L. 111–2, set out as a note under section 2000e–5 of this title.
Effective Date of 1998 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 105–220effective Aug. 7, 1998, and applicable to and may be raised in any administrative or judicial claim or action brought before Aug. 7, 1998, but pending on such date, and any administrative or judicial claim or action brought after such date regardless of whether the claim or action arose prior to such date, if the claim or action was brought within the applicable statute of limitations, see section 341(d) ofPub. L. 105–220, set out as a note under section 633a of Title 29, Labor.
Effective Date of 1995 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 104–1effective 1 year after Jan. 23, 1995, see section 1311 (d) of Title 2, The Congress.
Effective Date of 1991 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 102–166effective Nov. 21, 1991, except as otherwise provided, see section 402 ofPub. L. 102–166, set out as a note under section 1981 of this title.
Effective Date of 1980 Amendment
Transfer of Functions
“Equal Employment Opportunity Commission” substituted for “Civil Service Commission” in subsecs. (b) and (c) pursuant to Reorg. Plan No. 1 of 1978, § 3,43 F.R. 19807, 92 Stat. 3781, set out as a note under section 2000e–4 of this title, which transferred all equal opportunity in Federal employment enforcement and related functions vested in Civil Service Commission by subsecs. (b) and (c) of this section to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, with certain authority delegable to Director of Office of Personnel Management, effective Jan. 1, 1979, as provided by section 1–101 of Ex. Ord. No. 12106, Dec. 28, 1978, 44 F.R. 1053, set out as a note under section 2000e–4 of this title.
Ex. Ord. No. 13145. To Prohibit Discrimination in Federal Employment Based on Genetic Information
By the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is ordered as follows:
Section 1. Nondiscrimination in Federal Employment on the Basis of Protected Genetic Information.
1–101. It is the policy of the Government of the United States to provide equal employment opportunity in Federal employment for all qualified persons and to prohibit discrimination against employees based on protected genetic information, or information about a request for or the receipt of genetic services. This policy of equal opportunity applies to every aspect of Federal employment.
1–102. The head of each Executive department and agency shall extend the policy set forth in section 1101 to all its employees covered by section 717 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2000e–16).
1–103. Executive departments and agencies shall carry out the provisions of this order to the extent permitted by law and consistent with their statutory and regulatory authorities, and their enforcement mechanisms. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shall be responsible for coordinating the policy of the Government of the United States to prohibit discrimination against employees in Federal employment based on protected genetic information, or information about a request for or the receipt of genetic services.
Sec. 2. Requirements Applicable to Employing Departments and Agencies.
(a) The term “employee” shall include an employee, applicant for employment, or former employee covered by section 717 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2000e–16).
(b) Genetic monitoring means the periodic examination of employees to evaluate acquired modifications to their genetic material, such as chromosomal damage or evidence of increased occurrence of mutations, that may have developed in the course of employment due to exposure to toxic substances in the workplace, in order to identify, evaluate, respond to the effects of, or control adverse environmental exposures in the workplace.
(c) Genetic services means health services, including genetic tests, provided to obtain, assess, or interpret genetic information for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes, or for genetic education or counseling.
(d) Genetic test means the analysis of human DNA, RNA, chromosomes, proteins, or certain metabolites in order to detect disease-related genotypes or mutations. Tests for metabolites fall within the definition of “genetic tests” when an excess or deficiency of the metabolites indicates the presence of a mutation or mutations. The conducting of metabolic tests by a department or agency that are not intended to reveal the presence of a mutation shall not be considered a violation of this order, regardless of the results of the tests. Test results revealing a mutation shall, however, be subject to the provisions of this order.
(e) Protected genetic information.
(1) In general, protected genetic information means:
(A) information about an individual’s genetic tests;
(B) information about the genetic tests of an individual’s family members; or
(C) information about the occurrence of a disease, or medical condition or disorder in family members of the individual.
(2) Information about an individual’s current health status (including information about sex, age, physical exams, and chemical, blood, or urine analyses) is not protected genetic information unless it is described in subparagraph (1).
1–202. In discharging their responsibilities under this order, departments and agencies shall implement the following nondiscrimination requirements.
(a) The employing department or agency shall not discharge, fail or refuse to hire, or otherwise discriminate against any employee with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment of that employee, because of protected genetic information with respect to the employee, or because of information about a request for or the receipt of genetic services by such employee.
(b) The employing department or agency shall not limit, segregate, or classify employees in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive any employee of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect that employee’s status, because of protected genetic information with respect to the employee or because of information about a request for or the receipt of genetic services by such employee.
(c) The employing department or agency shall not request, require, collect, or purchase protected genetic information with respect to an employee, or information about a request for or the receipt of genetic services by such employee.
(d) The employing department or agency shall not disclose protected genetic information with respect to an employee, or information about a request for or the receipt of genetic services by an employee except:
(1) to the employee who is the subject of the information, at his or her request;
(2) to an occupational or other health researcher, if the research conducted complies with the regulations and protections provided for under part 46 of title 45, of the Code of Federal Regulations;
(3) if required by a Federal statute, congressional subpoena, or an order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, except that if the subpoena or court order was secured without the knowledge of the individual to whom the information refers, the employer shall provide the individual with adequate notice to challenge the subpoena or court order, unless the subpoena or court order also imposes confidentiality requirements; or
(4) to executive branch officials investigating compliance with this order, if the information is relevant to the investigation.
(e) The employing department or agency shall not maintain protected genetic information or information about a request for or the receipt of genetic services in general personnel files; such information shall be treated as confidential medical records and kept separate from personnel files.
Sec. 3. Exceptions.
1–301. The following exceptions shall apply to the nondiscrimination requirements set forth in section 1202.
(a) The employing department or agency may request or require information defined in section 1–201 (e)(1)(C) with respect to an applicant who has been given a conditional offer of employment or to an employee if:
(1) the request or requirement is consistent with the Rehabilitation Act [of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 701 et seq.] and other applicable law;
(2) the information obtained is to be used exclusively to assess whether further medical evaluation is needed to diagnose a current disease, or medical condition or disorder, or under the terms of section 1–301(b) of this order;
(3) such current disease, or medical condition or disorder could prevent the applicant or employee from performing the essential functions of the position held or desired; and
(4) the information defined in section 1–201(e)(1)(C) of this order will not be disclosed to persons other than medical personnel involved in or responsible for assessing whether further medical evaluation is needed to diagnose a current disease, or medical condition or disorder, or under the terms of section 1–301(b) of this order.
(b) The employing department or agency may request, collect, or purchase protected genetic information with respect to an employee, or any information about a request for or receipt of genetic services by such employee if:
(1) the employee uses genetic or health care services provided by the employer (other than use pursuant to section 1–301(a) of this order);
(2) the employee who uses the genetic or health care services has provided prior knowing, voluntary, and written authorization to the employer to collect protected genetic information;
(3) the person who performs the genetic or health care services does not disclose protected genetic information to anyone except to the employee who uses the services for treatment of the individual; pursuant to section 1–202(d) of this order; for program evaluation or assessment; for compiling and analyzing information in anticipation of or for use in a civil or criminal legal proceeding; or, for payment or accounting purposes, to verify that the service was performed (but in such cases the genetic information itself cannot be disclosed);
(4) such information is not used in violation of sections 1–202(a) or 1–202(b) of this order.
(c) The employing department or agency may collect protected genetic information with respect to an employee if the requirements of part 46 of title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations are met.
(d) Genetic monitoring of biological effects of toxic substances in the workplace shall be permitted if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) the employee has provided prior, knowing, voluntary, and written authorization;
(2) the employee is notified when the results of the monitoring are available and, at that time, the employer makes any protected genetic information that may have been acquired during the monitoring available to the employee and informs the employee how to obtain such information;
(3) the monitoring conforms to any genetic monitoring regulations that may be promulgated by the Secretary of Labor; and
(4) the employer, excluding any licensed health care professionals that are involved in the genetic monitoring program, receives results of the monitoring only in aggregate terms that do not disclose the identity of specific employees.
(e) This order does not limit the statutory authority of a Federal department or agency to:
(1) promulgate or enforce workplace safety and health laws and regulations;
(2) conduct or sponsor occupational or other health research that is conducted in compliance with regulations at part 46 of title 45, of the Code of Federal Regulations; or
(3) collect protected genetic information as a part of a lawful program, the primary purpose of which is to carry out identification purposes.
Sec. 4. Miscellaneous.
1–401. The head of each department and agency shall take appropriate action to disseminate this policy and, to this end, shall designate a high level official responsible for carrying out its responsibilities under this order.
1–402. Nothing in this order shall be construed to:
(a) limit the rights or protections of an individual under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 701, et seq.), the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), or other applicable law; or
(b) require specific benefits for an employee or dependent under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program or similar program.
1–403. This order clarifies and makes uniform Administration policy and does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the United States, its officers or employees, or any other person.William J. Clinton.