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Congress avoids its own laws
February 14, 2012 - Jim Smith
I always find it interesting that Congress can pass laws that it doesn't have to follow.
Many businesses have to deal with rules, regulations and laws every day that Congress makes sure it is exempt from having to follow.
Recently Congress, in seemingly a first for it during all the infighting between the political parties, adopted legislation banning insider financial trading by members of Congress, even though the Securities and Exchange Commission contended members of Congress already were subject to the same prohibitions as other investors.
But the list of laws Congress is exempt from having to obey include:
* The Freedom of Information Act.
* Investigatory subpoenas to obtain information for safety and health probes.
* Protections against retaliation for whistleblowers.
* Having to post notices of worker rights in offices.
* Prosecution for retaliating against employees who report safety and health hazards.
* Having to train employees about workplace rights and legal remedies.
* Record-keeping requirements for workplace injuries and illnesses.
In 1995, Congress did pass the Congressional Accountability Act, which applied these provisions to Congress:
* The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.
* The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
* Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
* The Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988.
* The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
* The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
* The Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute that allows collective bargaining by some federal workers.
* Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
* The Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
* Veterans' Employment and Re-employment Rights Act of 1994
* The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1989, which requires employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs.
* Provisions of the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act, which gives veterans a preference for federal jobs.
The real questions remains, however, why don't all laws passed by Congress apply to Congress? What's the old saying: "What's good for the goose is good for the gander?"
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