USDA Nondiscrimination Statement — Usage

BROADCAST EMAIL—Regulatory Update

March 22, 2016

On November 30, 2015, USDA’s Director of Civil Rights sent a Notice to State Directors informing field staff of the revised guidance regarding the use of USDA’s Nondiscrimination Statement.

Specifically, the Notice states that the Nondiscrimination Statement must be provided to all recipients of Rural Development (RD) program assistance. Recipients are required to post the statement in all recipient offices and to include the statement on all print and non-print materials produced for public information, public education, and public distribution. This includes all printed and non-printed materials including memoranda, correspondence, and all forms of public information, such as pamphlets, brochures, newsletters, letterheads, website, news releases, advertisements, and outreach letters.

The Notice provides two versions of the Statement – the Full Nondiscrimination Statement (with Spanish Translation) (see page 2 of Attachment A) and the Short Nondiscrimination Statement (with Spanish Translation) (see page 3 of Attachment A).[1] Since the November letter was sent to the State Directors, there has been some confusion and conflicting guidance on when the short statement can be used. At CARH’s recent Board of Director’s meeting, board members requested clarification on this from representatives from RD’s national office.

According to the Notice and verified by RD national office, the Full Nondiscrimination Statement must be posted in all recipient offices such as an office bulletin board. However, what was clarified at the board meeting is that printed material such as stationary, the shorter statement can be used because the printed material is too small to permit the inclusion of the full statement. Therefore, the short statement can be used on letterhead, pamphlets and any other materials where there is limited space available and companies are incompliance with the requirements set forth in the November Nondiscrimination statement.  Please note, the short statement should be in the same print size as the other text in the material.

Finally, CARH members do not need to reprint current materials they may have in stock. You can use any existing supply you currently have on hand, so long as there is a plan in place that states when the existing supply is exhausted (or is otherwise changed) that the correct version of the nondiscrimination statement will be inserted as required. However, the Full Nondiscrimination Statement should currently be posted in all offices and printed and visible where there is no cost associated, such as electronic documents and websites.

Should you have questions regarding the use of either version of the Nondiscrimination Statement, contact the Office of Civil Rights at

[1] In accordance with Executive Order 13166. Limited English Proficiency (LEP), the Statement should be translated in the languages appropriate for the Census population for those who speak English less then well.

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