View all text of Subchapter I [§ 3901 - § 3905]

§ 3905. Personnel actions
(a) Merit principles; “personnel action” defined
(1) All personnel actions with respect to career members and career candidates in the Service (including applicants for career candidate appointments) shall be made in accordance with merit principles.
(2) For purposes of paragraph (1), the term “personnel action” means—
(A) any appointment, promotion, assignment (including assignment to any position or salary class), award of performance pay or special differential, within-class salary increase, separation, or performance evaluation, and
(B) any decision, recommendation, examination, or ranking provided for under this chapter which relates to any action referred to in subparagraph (A).
(b) Rules and regulations; discrimination; reprisals for disclosure of information; submission of reports, evaluations, or recommendations; freedom from prohibited personnel practicesThe Secretary shall administer the provisions of this chapter and shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to ensure that members of the Service, as well as applicants for appointments in the Service—
(1) are free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicapping condition, marital status, geographic or educational affiliation within the United States, or political affiliation, as prohibited under section 2302(b)(1) of title 5;
(2) are free from reprisal for—
(A) a disclosure of information by a member or applicant which the member or applicant reasonably believes evidences—
(i) a violation of any law, rule, or regulation, or
(ii) mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety,
if such disclosure is not specifically prohibited by law and if such information is not specifically required by Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or the conduct of foreign affairs; or
(B) a disclosure to the Special Counsel of the Merit Systems Protection Board, or to the Inspector General of an agency (including the Inspector General of the Department of State and the Foreign Service) or another employee designated by the head of the agency to receive such disclosures, of information which the member or applicant reasonably believes evidences—
(i) a violation of any law, rule, or regulation, or
(ii) mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety;
(3) are free to submit to officials of the Service and the Department any report, evaluation, or recommendation, including the right to submit such report, evaluation, or recommendation through a separate dissent channel, whether or not the views expressed therein are in accord with approved policy, unless the report, evaluation, or recommendation was submitted with the knowledge that it was false or with willful disregard for its truth or falsity; and
(4) are free from any personnel practice prohibited by section 2302 of title 5.
(c) Withholding or disclosure of information to Congress

This section shall not be construed as authorizing the withholding of information from the Congress or the taking of any action against a member of the Service who discloses information to the Congress.

(d) Minority recruitment program
(1) The Secretary shall establish a minority recruitment program for the Service consistent with section 7201 of title 5.
(2) Omitted.
(e) Applicability to other judicial or statutory rights or remediesThis section shall not be construed to extinguish or lessen any effort to achieve equal employment opportunity through affirmative action or any right or remedy available to any employee or applicant for employment in the civil service under—
(1) section 2000e–16 of title 42, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;
(2) sections 631 and 633a of title 29, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of age;
(3) section 206(d) of title 29, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex;
(4) sections 791 and 794a of title 29, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of handicapping condition; or
(5) any provision of law, rule, or regulation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of marital status or political affiliation.
(Pub. L. 96–465, title I, § 105, Oct. 17, 1980, 94 Stat. 2077; Pub. L. 100–204, title I, § 185(a), Dec. 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 1365; Pub. L. 101–246, title I, § 153(d), Feb. 16, 1990, 104 Stat. 43.)