Updated USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

Broadcast Email-
Regulatory Update

January 9, 2014

The Deputy Undersecretary for Rural Development (RD) recently sent to the State Directors, a Notice informing field staff of the updated Non-Discrimination Statement for the Department of Agriculture.  This updated statement must be posted in all recipient offices and included, in full, on all materials regarding such recipient's programs that are produced by the recipient for public information, public education, and public distribution.  This includes all printed and non-printed materials: including memoranda, correspondence, all forms of public information, such as pamphlets, brochures, newsletters, letterheads, internet, news releases, advertisements, and outreach letters.

The following is the revised statement that should be posted in all offices and included in full on all materials:

"This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer."

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at https://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov."

IMPORTANT:  If the material is too small to permit the full statement to be included, the material, at a minimum, must include the statement in print size no smaller than the text that "This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer."

Since issuance of this notice by the Deputy Undersecretary's office, CARH has been in contact with RD's civil rights division due to concern that stakeholders and their companies may incur substantial expense in printing and distributing the language RD had been requiring, i.e. leases and other materials distributed to the public. In response, RD provided the following statement:

"We understand the costs associated with the change and we are flexible in allowing our recipients to use any existing supply that they currently have on hand, so long as there is a plan in place that states when the existing supply is exhausted that the new statement will be inserted.  The statement should be posted in all offices and the change made where there is no cost associated, such as electronic documents and websites."

Should you have questions regarding this email or procedures, you may contact the Civil Rights Staff at rd.civilrights@wdc.usda.gov.

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