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Congressional Accountability Act of 1995

The Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (CAA), is one of the first pieces of legislation passed by the 104th United States Congress.  The Act requires Congress and the Legislative Branch entities to follow many of the employment and work -place safety laws applied to private businesses and the rest of the Federal government.

The various civil rights, labor, and workplace safety laws applied by the CAA include the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970; the Federal Labor Relations Act ; Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964 ; the Americans with Disabilities Act; the Rehabilitation Act of 1970; the Family and Medical Leave Act; the Fair Labor Standards Act ; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act; the Employee Polygraph Protection Act ; and the Veterans’ Employment  and Reemployment Rights at Chapter 43 of Title 38 of the U.S. Code.

The CAA protects a number of employees of the Legislative Branch, including employees of the House of Representatives and the Senate; the Architect of the Capitol; the U.S. Capitol Police; the Capitol Guide Service; the Congressional Budget Office; the Office of the Attending Physician; and the Office of Compliance.  Apart from these offices, certain provisions of the CAA also apply to the Government Accountability Office and to the Library of Congress.

The CAA established the Office of Compliance as an independent agency to administer and enforce the CAA.  The Office operates an administrative dispute resolution system to resolve disputes and complaints arising under the Act; carries out an education and training program for the regulated community on the rights and responsibilities under the Act; and advises the Congress on the changes needed and amendments required to the Act.  The General Counsel of the Office of Compliance also has independent investigatory and enforcement discretion for certain violations of the Act.

Inside Congressional Accountability Act of 1995