The Senate is opening debate on legislation to ban insider financial trading by members of Congress, though the Securities and Exchange Commission says lawmakers already are subject to the same prohibitions as other investors. Congress, however, is exempt from provisions of several other federal laws. In 1995, the House and Senate passed the Congressional Accountability Act, which did apply many civil rights, labor and workplace safety statutes to the legislative branch.
Congress is still exempt from:
_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.
The Congressional Accountability Act applied the following provisions to the legislative branch:
_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.
_The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
_The Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
_The 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.