[Federal Register: May 29, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 103)]


[Page 32289-32305]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]


[[Page 32289]]


Part IV

Department of Labor


Civil Rights Center; Enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 

1964; Policy Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients 

Regarding the Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin 

Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons; Notice

[[Page 32290]]



Office of the Secretary


Civil Rights Center; Enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights 

Act of 1964; Policy Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients 

Regarding the Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin 

Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, Labor.

ACTION: Notice of policy guidance with request for comment.


SUMMARY: The Department of Labor (DOL) publishes Revised Guidance to 

Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding the Title VI 

Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited 

English Proficient Persons (Revised DOL Recipient LEP Guidance). This 

Revised DOL Recipient LEP Guidance is issued pursuant to Executive 

Order 13166.

DATES: This Guidance is effective immediately. Comments must be 

submitted on or before June 30, 2003. DOL will review all comments and 

will determine what modifications to the Guidance, if any, are 

necessary. This Guidance supplants existing guidance on the same 

subject originally published at 66 FR 4596 (January 17, 2001).

ADDRESSES: Interested persons should submit written comments to Ms. 

Annabelle T. Lockhart, Director, Civil Rights Center, U.S. Department 

of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., Room N-4123, Washington, DC 

20210. Commenters wishing acknowledgment of their comments must submit 

them by certified mail, return receipt requested. Please be advised 

that mail delivery to federal buildings in the Washington, DC 

metropolitan area may experience delays due to concerns about anthrax 

contamination. Comments may also be transmitted by facsimile to (202) 

693-6505 or by e-mail to civilrightscenter@dol.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Annabelle Lockhart or Naomi Barry-

Perez at the Civil Rights Center, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 

Constitution Ave., NW., Room N-4123, Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: 

202-693-6500; TTY: 202-693-6515. Arrangements to receive the Guidance 

in an alternative format may be made by contacting the named 


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under DOL regulations implementing Title VI 

of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d, et seq. (Title VI), 

recipients of federal financial assistance have the responsibility to 

ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities by persons 

with limited English proficiency (LEP). See 29 CFR part 31. Executive 

Order 13166, reprinted at 65 FR 50121 (August 16, 2000), directs each 

federal agency that extends assistance subject to the requirements of 

Title VI to publish guidance for its respective recipients clarifying 

that obligation. Executive Order 13166 further directs that all such 

guidance documents be consistent with the compliance standards and 

framework detailed in the Department of Justice (DOJ) Policy Guidance 

entitled ``Enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964--

National Origin Discrimination Against Persons with Limited English 

Proficiency.'' See 65 FR 50123 (August 16, 2000).

    On January 17, 2001, DOL published Guidance on how Title VI of the 

Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000d, et seq., and its 

implementing regulations apply to recipients of DOL financial 

assistance in their contact with persons who are limited English 

proficient (``LEP Guidance''). See 66 FR 4596. The LEP Guidance also 

addressed the responsibilities of recipients under Section 188 of the 

Workforce Investment Act, Public Law 105-220, 29 U.S.C. 2938, and its 

implementing regulations, which adopt the same prohibition against 

national origin discrimination that is found in Title VI. DOL received 

extensive comments following the January 17, 2001 publication of the 

LEP Guidance.

    On March 14, 2002, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued 

a Report to Congress titled ``Assessment of the Total Benefits and 

Costs of Implementing Executive Order No. 13166: Improving Access to 

Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency.'' Among other 

things, the Report recommended the adoption of uniform guidance across 

all Federal agencies, with flexibility to permit tailoring to each 

agency's specific recipients. Consistent with this OMB recommendation, 

DOJ published LEP Guidance for DOJ recipients, which was drafted and 

organized to also function as a model for similar guidance documents by 

other Federal grant agencies. See 67 FR 41455 (June 18, 2002).

    This revised DOL Guidance reflects consideration of comments 

received and the additional guidance of DOJ. Following DOJ's direction, 

we will again accept public comment and will revise and republish, as 

appropriate. Because DOJ has indicated that this Guidance must adhere 

to the federal-wide compliance standards and framework detailed in the 

model DOJ LEP Guidance issued on June 18, 2002, DOL specifically 

solicits comments on the nature, scope and appropriateness of the DOL-

specific examples set out in this guidance explaining and/or 

highlighting how those consistent federal-wide compliance standards are 

applicable to recipients of federal financial assistance through DOL.

    The model DOJ LEP guidance includes a section regarding ``safe 

harbors'' for written translations of vital material. That section 


    ``Safe Harbor. Many recipients would like to ensure with greater 

certainty that they comply with their obligations to provide written 

translations in languages other than English. Paragraphs (a) and (b) 

outline the circumstances that can provide a ``safe harbor'' for 

recipients regarding the requirements for translation of written 

materials. A ``safe harbor'' means that if a recipient provides written 

translations under these circumstances, such action will be considered 

strong evidence of compliance with the recipient's written-translation 


    The failure to provide written translations under the circumstances 

outlined in paragraphs (a) and (b) does not mean there is non-

compliance. Rather, they provide a common starting point for recipients 

to consider whether and at what point the importance of the service, 

benefit, or activity involved; the nature of the information sought; 

and the number or proportion of LEP persons served call for written 

translations of commonly-used forms into frequently-encountered 

languages other than English. Thus, these paragraphs merely provide a 

guide for recipients that would like greater certainty of compliance 

than can be provided by a fact-intensive, four-factor analysis.

    Example: Even if the safe harbors are not used, if written 

translation of a certain document(s) would be so burdensome as to 

defeat the legitimate objectives of its program, the translation of 

the written materials is not necessary. Other ways of providing 

meaningful access, such as effective oral interpretation of certain 

vital documents, might be acceptable under such circumstances.

    Safe Harbor. The following actions will be considered strong 

evidence of compliance with the recipient's written-translation 


    (a) The DOJ recipient provides written translations of vital 

documents for each eligible LEP language group that constitutes five 

percent or 1,000, whichever is less, of the population of persons 

eligible to be served or likely to be affected or encountered. 


[[Page 32291]]

of other documents, if needed, can be provided orally; or

    (b) If there are fewer than 50 persons in a language group that 

reaches the five percent trigger in (a), the recipient does not 

translate vital written materials but provides written notice in the 

primary language of the LEP language group of the right to receive 

competent oral interpretation of those written materials, free of cost.

    These safe harbor provisions apply to the translation of written 

documents only. They do not affect the requirement to provide 

meaningful access to LEP individuals through competent oral 

interpreters where oral language services are needed and are 


    DOL has not included a similar safe harbor provision for 

translations in this revised Guidance. The absence of such language is 

not intended to detract from or otherwise minimize the underlying 

obligation to ensure that LEP persons can access all vital documents. 

DOL encourages comments which focus on the applicability of the above 

safe harbor to DOL recipients, suggestions of thresholds that may 

better reflect DOL's universe of program customers and recipients' 

responsibilities, the possible advantages or disadvantages of including 

language similar to the model DOJ Guidance, as well as any suggestions 

that would ensure the consistency that OMB has recommended while at the 

same time ensuring that the Guidance is appropriate for the types of 

recipients funded by DOL.

    It has been determined that this revised Guidance does not 

constitute a regulation subject to the rulemaking requirements of the 

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553, and is not subject to 

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Review and Planning, September 30, 


    Signed at Washington, DC this 19th of May 2003.

Elaine L. Chao,

Secretary of Labor.

I. Introduction

    Most individuals living in the United States read, write, speak and 

understand English. There are many individuals, however, for whom 

English is not their primary language. For instance, according to the 

2000 census, over 26 million individuals speak Spanish and almost seven 

million individuals speak an Asian or Pacific Island language at home. 

If these individuals have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or 

understand English, they are limited English proficient, or ``LEP.'' 

While detailed data has not yet been released, the 2000 census 

estimates that over 6.6 million Spanish speakers (representing 3.28 

percent of U.S. residents over the age of 18) do not speak English 

``well or at all.'' Over 1.2 million people (over the age of 18) who 

speak other ``Indo-European'' languages cannot speak English ``well or 

at all.'' Over 1.4 million Asian or Pacific Islanders (over the age of 

18) speak English ``not well'' or ``not at all.'' In total, more than 

10.5 million people claim to speak little or no English, demonstrating 

an increase of approximately four million since 1990.

    Language for LEP individuals can be a barrier to accessing 

important benefits or services, understanding and exercising important 

rights, complying with applicable responsibilities, or understanding 

other information provided by federally assisted programs and 

activities. The federal government provides financial assistance to an 

array of services that can be made accessible to otherwise eligible LEP 

persons. The federal government is committed to improving the 

accessibility of these programs and activities to eligible LEP persons, 

a goal that reinforces its equally important commitment to promoting 

programs and activities designed to help individuals learn English. 

Recipients should not overlook the long-term positive impacts of 

incorporating or offering English as a Second Language (ESL) programs 

in parallel with language assistance services. ESL courses can serve as 

an important adjunct to a proper LEP plan. However, the fact that ESL 

classes are made available does not obviate the statutory and 

regulatory requirement to provide meaningful access for those who are 

not yet English proficient. Recipients of federal financial assistance 

have an obligation to reduce language barriers that can preclude 

meaningful access by LEP persons to important government services.\1\


    \1\ DOL recognizes that many recipients had language assistance 

services in place to provide LEP individuals meaningful access to 

programs and activities prior to the issuance of Executive Order 

13166. This Guidance provides a uniform framework for recipients to 

integrate, formalize, and assess the continued vitality of existing 

and possibly additional reasonable efforts based on the nature of 

the programs or activities, the current needs of the LEP populations 

encountered, and prior experience in providing language services in 

the communities served.


    In certain circumstances, failure to ensure that LEP persons can 

effectively participate in or benefit from federally assisted programs 

and activities may violate the prohibition under Title VI of the Civil 

Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d, Title VI regulations, and Section 

188 of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) against national origin 

discrimination. The purpose of this Guidance is to assist recipients in 

fulfilling their responsibilities to provide meaningful access to LEP 

persons under existing law. This Guidance clarifies existing legal 

requirements for LEP persons by providing a description of the factors 

recipients should consider in fulfilling their responsibilities to LEP 

persons.\2\ These are the same criteria DOL will use in evaluating 

whether recipients are in compliance with Title VI and its implementing 

regulations and Section 188 of WIA.


    \2\ This Guidance is not a regulation but rather a guide. 

Accordingly, the examples provided are illustrative and should not 

be construed as requirements. Title VI and its implementing 

regulations and Section 188 of WIA require that recipients take 

reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access by LEP persons. This 

Guidance provides an analytical framework that recipients may use to 

determine how best to comply with statutory and regulatory 

obligations to provide meaningful access to the benefits, services, 

information, and other important portions of their programs and 

activities for individuals who are limited English proficient.


    The Department of Justice (DOJ) has a unique role under Executive 

Order 13166. The Order charges DOJ with responsibility for providing 

guidance to other federal agencies on how to serve LEP individuals and 

for ensuring consistency among the agency-specific guidance documents. 

Consistency among departments of the federal government is particularly 

important. Inconsistency or contradictory guidance could confuse 

recipients of federal funds and needlessly increase costs without 

rendering the meaningful access for LEP persons that this Guidance and 

other federal agency guidance documents are designed to address. As 

with most government initiatives, this requires balancing several 

principles. While this Guidance discusses that balance in some detail, 

it is important to note the basic principles behind that balance. 

First, we must ensure that federally assisted programs aimed at the 

American public do not leave some behind simply because they face 

challenges communicating in English. This is of particular importance 

because, in many cases, LEP individuals form a substantial portion of 

those encountered in federally assisted programs. Second, we must 

achieve this goal while finding constructive methods to reduce the 

costs of LEP requirements on small businesses, small local governments, 

or small non-profits that receive federal financial assistance.

    There are many productive steps that the Federal government, either 

collectively or as individual grant agencies, can take to help 


[[Page 32292]]

reduce the costs of language services without sacrificing meaningful 

access for LEP persons. Without these steps, certain smaller grantees 

may well choose not to participate in federally assisted programs, 

threatening the critical functions that the programs strive to provide. 

To that end, DOL will continue to provide assistance and guidance in 

this important area and will work with recipients of DOL financial 

assistance, including state and local workforce agencies, advocacy 

groups, and LEP persons, to identify and share model plans, examples of 

best practices, and cost-saving approaches. Moreover, DOL intends to 

explore how language assistance measures, resources and cost-

containment approaches developed with respect to its own federally 

conducted programs and activities can be effectively shared or 

otherwise made available to recipients, particularly small businesses, 

small local governments, and small non-profits. An interagency working 

group on LEP has developed a website, http://www.lep.gov, to assist in 

disseminating this information to recipients, federal agencies, and the 

communities being served.

    Some have interpreted the case of Alexander v. Sandoval, 532 U.S. 

275 (2001), as impliedly striking down the regulations promulgated 

under Title VI that form the basis for the part of Executive Order 

13166 that applies to federally assisted programs and activities. DOJ 

has taken the position that this is not the case. Accordingly, DOL will 

strive to ensure that federally assisted programs and activities work 

in a way that is effective for all eligible beneficiaries, including 

those with limited English proficiency.

II. Legal Authority

    Section 601 of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 

2000d, provides that no person shall ``on the ground of race, color, or 

national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the 

benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or 

activity receiving federal financial assistance.'' Section 602 

authorizes and directs Federal agencies that are empowered to extend 

Federal financial assistance to any program or activity ``to effectuate 

the provisions of [section 601] * * * by issuing rules, regulations, or 

orders of general applicability.'' 42 U.S.C. 2000d-1.

    Department of Labor regulations promulgated pursuant to section 602 

forbid recipients from ``utiliz[ing] criteria or methods of 

administration which have the effect of subjecting individuals to 

discrimination because of their race, color, or national origin, or 

have the effect of defeating or substantially impairing accomplishment 

of the objectives of the program as respects individuals of a 

particular race, color, or national origin.'' 29 CFR 31.3(b)(2).

    The Supreme Court, in Lau v. Nichols, 414 U.S. 563 (1974), 

interpreted regulations promulgated by the former Department of Health, 

Education, and Welfare, including a regulation similar to that of DOL, 

45 CFR 80.3(b)(2), to hold that Title VI prohibits conduct that has a 

disproportionate effect on LEP persons because such conduct constitutes 

national origin discrimination. In Lau, a San Francisco school district 

that had a significant number of non-English speaking students of 

Chinese origin was required to take reasonable steps to provide the LEP 

students with a meaningful opportunity to participate in federally 

funded educational programs.

    In the DOL context, Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act 

(WIA) provides that no individual shall be excluded from participation 

in, denied the benefits of, be subjected to discrimination under, or 

denied employment in the administration of or in connection with, any 

such program or activity because of race, color, religion, sex (except 

as otherwise permitted under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 

1972), national origin, age, political affiliation or belief, status as 

a qualified individual with disabilities or specified noncitizenship 

statuses (e.g., lawfully admitted resident aliens).

    The regulations implementing the nondiscrimination and equal 

opportunity provisions of Section 188 specifically address national 

origin discrimination and language access. Where ``a significant number 

or proportion of the population eligible to be served, or likely to be 

directly affected, by a WIA Title I-assisted program or activity may 

need services or information in a language other than English in order 

to be effectively informed about, or able to participate in, the 

program or activity,'' the Section 188 regulations require recipients 

``to take reasonable steps to provide services and information in 

appropriate languages.'' 29 CFR 37.35(a). Even where there is not a 

``significant'' number or proportion of LEP persons in the community 

serviced by the recipient, recipients nonetheless are required to 

``make reasonable efforts to meet the particularized language needs of 

limited-English speaking individuals who seek services or information 

from the recipient.'' 29 CFR 37.35(b). This means that, for instance, 

when the LEP population in the community serviced by a recipient does 

not comprise a ``significant'' number or proportion, recipients should 

still balance the four factors described herein to determine what steps 

are reasonable to meet the particularized language needs of those 

seeking services or information.

    The regulations implementing Section 188 require the Governor of 

every state recipient of WIA-Title I financial assistance to establish 

and adhere to a Methods of Administration (``MOA''). Further, the 

regulations require that MOAs include a description of how the state 

programs and recipients have satisfied the specified requirements of 

the Section 188 implementing regulations, including the obligation to 

provide services and information in appropriate languages under the 

circumstances outlined in 29 CFR 37.35. Although the regulatory 

language differs, the obligations of recipients to provide 

accessibility by LEP persons to DOL financially assisted programs and 

activities are the same under Title VI and Section 188.

    On August 11, 2000, Executive Order 13166 was issued. ``Improving 

Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency,'' 65 

FR 50121 (August 16, 2000). Under that Order, every federal agency that 

provides financial assistance to non-federal entities must publish 

guidance on how their recipients can provide meaningful access to LEP 

persons and thus comply with the Title VI regulations forbidding 

funding recipients from ``restrict[ing] an individual in any way in the 

enjoyment of any advantage or privilege enjoyed by others receiving any 

service, financial aid, or other benefit under the program'' or from 

``utiliz[ing] criteria or methods of administration which have the 

effect of subjecting individuals to discrimination because of their 

race, color, or national origin, or have the effect of defeating or 

substantially impairing accomplishment of the objectives of the program 

as respects individuals of a particular race, color, or national 


    On that same day, DOJ issued a general guidance document addressed 

to ``Executive Agency Civil Rights Officers'' setting forth broad 

principles for agencies to apply in developing guidance documents for 

recipients pursuant to the Executive Order. ``Enforcement of Title VI 

of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 National Origin Discrimination Against 

Persons With Limited English Proficiency,'' 65 FR 50123 (August 16, 

2000) (``DOJ LEP Guidance'').

[[Page 32293]]

    Subsequently, federal agencies raised questions regarding the 

requirements of the Executive Order, especially in light of the Supreme 

Court's decision in Alexander v. Sandoval, 532 U.S. 275 (2001). On 

October 26, 2001, Ralph F. Boyd, Jr., Assistant Attorney General for 

DOJ's Civil Rights Division, issued a memorandum for ``Heads of 

Departments and Agencies, General Counsels and Civil Rights 

Directors,'' which clarified and reaffirmed the DOJ LEP Guidance in 

light of Sandoval.\3\ The Assistant Attorney General stated that 

because Sandoval did not invalidate any Title VI regulations that 

proscribe conduct that has a disparate impact on covered groups--the 

type of regulations that form the legal basis for the part of Executive 

Order 13166 that applies to federally assisted programs and 

activities--the Executive Order remains in force.


    \3\ The DOJ memorandum noted that some commentators have 

interpreted Sandoval as impliedly striking down the disparate-impact 

regulations promulgated under Title VI that form the basis for the 

part of Executive Order 13166 that applies to federally assisted 

programs and activities. See, e.g., Sandoval, 532 U.S. at 286, 286 

n.6 (``[W]e assume for purposes of this decision that section 602 

confers the authority to promulgate disparate-impact regulations; * 

* * We cannot help observing, however, how strange it is to say that 

disparate-impact regulations are `inspired by, at the service of, 

and inseparably intertwined with' Sec. 601* * * when Sec. 601 

permits the very behavior that the regulations forbid.''). The 

memorandum, however, made clear that DOJ disagreed with the 

commentators' interpretation. Sandoval holds principally that there 

is no private right of action to enforce Title VI disparate-impact 

regulations. It did not address the validity of those regulations or 

Executive Order 13166 or otherwise limit the authority and 

responsibility of federal grant agencies to enforce their own 

implementing regulations.


    Pursuant to Executive Order 13166, DOL developed its own guidance 

document for recipients, which was initially issued on January 17, 

2001. ``Guidance on Improving Access to Services for Persons with 

Limited English Proficiency,'' 66 FR 4596 (January 17, 2001) (DOL LEP 

Guidance). This Proposed Revised Guidance is thus published pursuant to 

Executive Order 13166 in light of the Assistant Attorney General Boyd's 

October 26, 2001 clarifying memorandum.

III. Who Is Covered?

    Department of Labor regulations, 29 CFR part 31, require all 

recipients of federal financial assistance from DOL to provide 

meaningful access to LEP persons.\4\ Federal financial assistance 

includes grants, training, use of equipment, donations of surplus 

property, and other assistance. Recipients of DOL assistance include, 

for example:


    \4\ Pursuant to Executive Order 13166, the meaningful access 

requirement of the Title VI regulations and the four-factor analysis 

set forth in the DOJ LEP Guidance are to additionally apply to the 

programs and activities of federal agencies, including the 

Department of Labor.


    [sbull] State-level agencies that administer, or are financed in 

whole or in part with, WIA Title I funds;

    [sbull] State Workforce Agencies;

    [sbull] State and local Workforce Investment Boards;

    [sbull] Local workforce investment areas (``local areas'') grant 


    [sbull] One-Stop Career Center operators;

    [sbull] Service providers, including eligible training providers 

and youth service providers;

    [sbull] On-the-Job Training (OJT) employers;

    [sbull] Job Corps contractors and center operators;

    [sbull] Job Corps national training contractors;

    [sbull] Outreach and admissions agencies, including Job Corps 

contractors that perform these functions; and

    [sbull] Other national program recipients.

    Subrecipients likewise are covered when federal funds are passed 

through from one recipient to a subrecipient. This Guidance does not 

create any new requirements for community colleges and other 

educational institutions that receive federal financial assistance 

under the Higher Education Act as these institutions must already 

comply with Title VI requirements.

    Pursuant to the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 (CRRA), 

coverage extends to a recipient's entire program or activity, i.e., to 

all parts of a recipient's operations. This is true even if only one 

part of the recipient receives the federal assistance.\5\

    \5\ However, if a federal agency were to decide to terminate 

federal funds based on noncompliance with Title VI or its 

regulations, only funds directed to the particular program or 

activity that is out of compliance would be terminated. 42 U.S.C. 


    Example: DOL provides assistance to a state department of labor 

to support the development of the state's One-Stop Career System. 

While the funds may be administered by one agency within the state 

department, Title VI applies to all of the operations of the entire 

state department of labor--not just the One-Stop Career delivery 



    \6\ The nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of 

WIA and its implementing regulations apply to programs and 

activities that are part of the One-Stop Career System and that are 

operated by the One-Stop Career System partners listed in section 

121(b) of WIA (29 U.S.C. 2841(b)), to the extent that the programs 

and activities are being conducted as part of the One-Stop Career 

System. When a One-Stop Career System partner receives federal 

financial assistance from an Executive agency other than DOL, such 

as the Department of Education, Health and Human Services, 

Agriculture or Housing and Urban Development, the grant-making 

agency enforces the recipient's Title VI obligation. Therefore, when 

a One-Stop Career System partner receives federal financial 

assistance from an agency other than DOL, the partner should follow 

the LEP guidance issued by that agency, to the extent that such 

guidance exists. If LEP guidance has not been issued by the grant-

making agency, or if that guidance does not address the activities 

of the One-Stop Career partner, the One-Stop Career partner should 

follow this Guidance until such time as the grant-making agency 

issues LEP guidance.


    Finally, some recipients operate in localities in which English has 

been declared the official language. Nonetheless, these recipients 

continue to be subject to federal non-discrimination requirements, 

including those applicable to the provision of federally assisted 

services to persons with limited English proficiency.

IV. Who Is a Limited English Proficient Individual?

    Individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and 

who have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English 

can be limited English proficient, or ``LEP,'' and entitled to language 

assistance with respect to a particular type of service, benefit, or 


    Examples of populations likely to include LEP persons who are 

encountered and/or served by DOL recipients and should be considered 

when planning language services include, but are not limited to:

    [sbull] Unemployed and/or dislocated individuals seeking 

unemployment insurance (UI), job search and/or job training services.

    [sbull] Workers, such as those doing construction or working in 

mines, who receive training from Occupational Safety and Health or Mine 

Safety and Health training providers.

    [sbull] Youth looking for summer employment, academic and career 

exploration or vocational training and employment opportunities, such 

as participation in Job Corps, and their parents or family members.

    [sbull] Migrant and seasonal agricultural workers seeking placement 

and/or information on protections afforded to them in this work.

    [sbull] Workers seeking information or enforcement from a recipient 

regarding wage and hour and safety and health laws.

V. How Does a Recipient Determine the Extent of Its Obligation To 

Provide LEP Services?

    Recipients are required to take reasonable steps to ensure 

meaningful access to their programs and activities by LEP persons. 

While designed to be a flexible and fact-dependent standard, the 

starting point is an individualized

[[Page 32294]]

assessment that balances the following four factors: (1) The number or 

proportion of LEP persons served or encountered in the eligible service 

population; (2) the frequency with which LEP individuals come in 

contact with the program; (3) the nature and importance of the program, 

activity, or service provided by the recipient; and (4) the resources 

available to the recipient and costs. As indicated above, the intent of 

this Guidance is to suggest a balance that ensures meaningful access by 

LEP persons to critical services while not imposing undue burdens on 

small businesses, small local governments, or small non-profits.

    After applying the above four-factor analysis, a recipient may 

conclude that different language assistance measures are sufficient for 

the different types of programs or activities in which it engages. For 

instance, some of a recipient's activities will be more important than 

others and/or have greater impact on or contact with LEP persons, and 

thus may require more in the way of language assistance. The 

flexibility that recipients have in addressing the needs of the LEP 

populations they serve does not diminish, and should not be used to 

minimize, the obligation that those needs be addressed. DOL recipients 

should apply the four factors to the various kinds of contacts that 

they have with the public to assess language needs and decide what 

reasonable steps should be taken to ensure meaningful access for LEP 


(1) The Number or Proportion of LEP Persons Served or Encountered in 

the Eligible Service Population

    One factor in determining what language services recipients should 

provide is the number or proportion of LEP persons from a particular 

language group served or encountered in the eligible service 

population. The greater the number or proportion of these LEP persons, 

the more likely language services are needed. Ordinarily, persons 

``eligible to be served, or likely to be directly affected, by'' a 

recipient's program or activity, 29 CFR 37.35(a), are those who are 

served or encountered in the eligible service population. This 

population will be program-specific, and includes persons who are in 

the geographic area that has been approved by a federal grant agency as 

the recipient's service area. However, where, for instance, a recipient 

serves a large LEP population, the appropriate service area is most 

likely determined by considering local service areas and not the entire 

population served by the recipient. This, for example, could occur in a 

local workforce investment area (local area) that manages more than a 

single One-Stop Career Center. Instead of being guided by a population 

survey for the local area, each One-Stop Career Center may wish to 

assess its local service population.

    We suggest that states operating statewide programs, such as the 

Unemployment Insurance program or Workforce Investment Act programs, 

assess statewide language groups to identify potentially significant 

LEP populations, and ensure that local offices conduct similar surveys 

of their local service populations. Small entities, such as Vermont, 

Delaware, and the District of Columbia, that operate only a single 

local workforce investment area, should assess their overall 

populations with an awareness of any ``pockets'' of LEP persons that 

may exist in certain areas (e.g., the Chinatown or Adams Morgan 

(largely Spanish-speaking) areas of Washington, DC). Where no service 

area has previously been approved, the relevant service area may be 

that which is approved by state or local authorities or designated by 

the recipient itself, provided that these designations do not 

themselves discriminatorily exclude certain populations. For most 

workforce investment services, the target audience is defined in 

geographic rather than programmatic terms. However, some services may 

be targeted to reach a particular audience (e.g., out-of-school youth 

or migrant/seasonal farmworkers). The attached Appendix provides 

examples to assist in determining the eligible service population. When 

considering the number or proportion of LEP individuals in a service 

area, recipients should consider LEP parent(s) when their English-

proficient or LEP minor children and dependents encounter the workforce 

system, including youth employment and training programs and Job Corps.

    In assessing the number or proportion of LEP persons eligible to be 

served or likely to be encountered, recipients should first examine 

their prior experiences with LEP encounters and determine the breadth 

and scope of language services that have been needed. In conducting 

this analysis, it is important to include language minority populations 

that are eligible for programs or activities but may have been 

underserved because of existing language barriers. Other data should be 

consulted to refine or validate a recipient's prior experience, 

including the latest census data for the area served, data from school 

systems and from community organizations, and data from state and local 

governments.\7\ Community agencies, school systems, faith-based 

organizations, legal aid entities, and others can often assist in 

identifying populations for whom outreach is needed and who would 

benefit from recipients' programs and activities where language 

services are provided.


    \7\ The focus of the analysis is on lack of English proficiency, 

not the ability to speak more than one language. Note that 

demographic data may indicate the most frequently spoken languages 

other than English as well as the percentage of people who speak 

other languages and who speak or understand English less than well. 

Some of the most commonly spoken languages other than English may be 

spoken by people who are also overwhelmingly proficient in English. 

Thus, they may not be the languages spoken most frequently by 

limited English proficient individuals. When using demographic data, 

it is important to focus on the languages spoken by those who are 

not proficient in English.


(2) The Frequency With Which LEP Individuals Come in Contact With the 


    Recipients should assess, as accurately as possible, the frequency 

with which they have or should have contact with LEP individuals from 

potential language groups seeking assistance. The more frequent the 

contact with a particular language group, the more likely that enhanced 

language services in that language are needed. The steps that are 

reasonable for a recipient that serves a LEP person on a one-time basis 

will be very different than those expected from a recipient that serves 

LEP persons daily. It is also advisable to consider the frequency of 

different types of language contacts. For example, frequent contacts 

with Spanish-speaking people who are LEP may require certain assistance 

in Spanish. Less frequent contact with different language groups may 

suggest a different and less intensified solution. If a LEP individual 

accesses a program or service on a daily basis, a recipient has greater 

duties than if the same individual's program or activity contact is 

unpredictable or infrequent. But even recipients that serve LEP persons 

on an unpredictable or infrequent basis should use this balancing 

analysis to determine what to do if a LEP individual seeks services 

under the program in question. This plan need not be intricate. It may 

be as simple as being prepared to use one of the commercially-available 

telephonic interpretation services to obtain immediate interpreter 

services. In applying this standard, recipients should take care to 

consider whether appropriate outreach to LEP persons could increase the 

frequency of contact with LEP language groups and therefore

[[Page 32295]]

also increase the demand for language assistance from these LEP 


(3) The Nature and Importance of the Program, Activity, or Service 

Provided by the Recipient

    The more important the activity, information, service, or program, 

or the greater the possible consequences of the contact to LEP 

individuals, the more likely language services are needed. For example, 

the requirements for filing a claim for Unemployment Insurance or Trade 

Adjustment Assistance or safety and health information in the context 

of Occupational Safety and Health or Mine Safety and Health training 

programs must be effectively communicated. A recipient needs to 

determine whether denial or delay of access to services or information 

could have serious or even life-threatening implications for a LEP 

individual. Decisions by a federal, state, or local entity to make an 

activity compulsory, such as job training and/or job search 

certification in the Unemployment Insurance program, can also serve as 

strong evidence of the program's importance.

    Title VI does not require recipients to remove language barriers 

when English is an essential aspect of the program (such as providing 

civil service examinations in English when the job requires a person to 

communicate in English, see Frontera v. Sindell, 522 F.2d 1215 (6th 

Cir. 1975)), or when there is another non-pretextual ``substantial 

legitimate justification for the challenged practice'' and there is no 

comparably effective alternative practice with less discriminatory 

affects. Elston v. Talladega County Bd. of Educ., 997 F.2d 1394, 1407 

(11th Cir. 1993); New York City Environmental Alliance v. Giuliani, 214 

F.3d 65, 72 (2nd Cir. 2000) (plaintiffs failed to show less 

discriminatory options available to accomplish defendant city's 

legitimate goal of building new housing and fostering urban renewal). 

However, DOL recipients are providing a service to assist individuals 

in employment, and should consider that LEP individuals can be learning 

English and another skill at the same time.\8\ For example, a recipient 

may not need to make accessible certain health care practitioner 

courses to LEP persons if the ability to be fully proficient in English 

is a legitimate requirement of such training and the recipient has made 

a legitimate determination that a LEP person would not be eligible to 

work in the field in the local job market and at the level for which 

the training is targeted. However, in order for such determinations to 

be legitimate, recipients should conduct an objective analysis and not 

rely on stereotypes or anecdotal evidence regarding level of English 

proficiency required for such employment, and should consider the 

impact that participation in English-as-a-Second-Language courses may 

have on the ability of the LEP person to utilize the training.


    \8\ Consistent with footnote 2, supra, a consideration of this 

factor should not be construed as requiring DOL recipients to create 

new programs under this Guidance.


(4) The Resources Available to the Recipient and Costs

    A recipient's level of resources and the costs that would be 

imposed on it may have an impact on the nature of the steps it should 

take in providing language services. Smaller recipients with more 

limited budgets are not expected to provide the same level of language 

services as are larger recipients with larger budgets. In addition, 

``reasonable steps'' may cease to be reasonable when the costs imposed 

substantially exceed the benefits. DOL has determined that costs 

associated with providing meaningful access to LEP persons are 

considered allowable program costs. This is consistent with the 

discussion of administrative and program costs under Title I of WIA 

found in 20 CFR 667.220.

    Resource and cost issues, however, can often be reduced by 

technological advances; the sharing of language assistance materials 

and services among and between recipients, advocacy groups, and federal 

grant agencies; and reasonable business practices. Where appropriate, 

training bilingual staff to act as interpreters and translators, 

information sharing through industry groups, telephonic and video 

conferencing interpretation services, pooling resources and 

standardizing documents to reduce translation needs, using qualified 

translators and interpreters to ensure that documents need not be 

``fixed'' later and that inaccurate interpretations do not cause delay 

or other costs, centralizing interpreter and translator services to 

achieve economies of scale; or, the formalized use of qualified 

community volunteers, for example, may help reduce costs.\9\ Recipients 

should carefully explore the most cost-effective means of delivering 

competent and accurate language services before limiting services due 

to resource concerns. Large entities and those entities serving a 

significant number or proportion of LEP persons should ensure that 

their resource limitations are well-substantiated before using this 

factor as a reason to limit language assistance. Such recipients may 

find it useful to be able to articulate, through documentation or in 

some other reasonable manner, the process used for determining that 

language services would be limited based on resources or costs.


    \9\ Small recipients with limited resources may find that 

entering into a bulk telephonic interpretation service contract will 

prove cost effective.


    This four-factor analysis necessarily implicates the ``mix'' of LEP 

services required. Recipients have two main ways to provide language 

services: Oral interpretation either in person or via a telephone 

interpretation service (hereinafter ``interpretation'') and written 

translation (hereinafter ``translation''). Oral interpretation can 

range from on-site interpreters for critical services provided to a 

high volume of LEP persons to access through commercially-available 

telephonic interpretation services. Written translation, likewise, can 

range from translation of an entire document to translation of a short 

description of the document. In some cases, language services should be 

made available on an expedited basis while in others the LEP individual 

may be referred to another office of the recipient for language 


    The correct mix should be based on what is both necessary and 

reasonable in light of the four-factor analysis. For instance, a One-

Stop Career Center in a largely Hispanic neighborhood may need 

immediate oral interpreters available and should give serious 

consideration to hiring some bilingual staff. (Of course, many 

recipients have already made such arrangements.) There may be 

circumstances where the importance and nature of the activity and 

number or proportion and frequency of contact with LEP persons may be 

low and the costs and resources needed to provide language services may 

be high.

VI. Selecting Language Assistance Services

    Regardless of the type of language service provided, for both oral 

and written language services, quality and accuracy of the language 

service is critical in order to avoid serious consequences to the LEP 

person and to the recipient.

A. Oral Language Services (Interpretation)

    Interpretation is the act of listening to something in one language 

(source language) and orally translating it into another language 

(target language).

[[Page 32296]]

Where interpretation is needed and is reasonable, recipients should 

consider some or all of the options discussed below for providing 

competent interpreters in a timely manner.

    Competence of Interpreters. When providing oral assistance, 

recipients should ensure competency of the language service providers, 

no matter which of the following strategies are used. Competency 

requires more than self-identification as bilingual. Some bilingual 

staff and community volunteers, for instance, may be able to 

communicate effectively in a language other than English when 

communicating information directly in that language, but may not be 

competent to interpret in and out of English. Likewise, they may not be 

able to do written translations.

    Competency to interpret, however, does not necessarily mean formal 

certification as an interpreter, although certification is helpful. 

When using interpreters, recipients should ensure that interpreters:

    [sbull] Demonstrate proficiency and ability to communicate 

information accurately in both English and in the other language and be 

able to identify and employ the appropriate mode of interpreting (e.g., 

consecutive, simultaneous, summarization, or sight translation); \10\


    \10\ Consecutive interpretation is interpretation of sentences/

phrases immediately after they are spoken, where the original 

speaker interrupts the presentation to permit the interpretation. 

Simultaneous interpretation (sometimes referred to as UN-type 

translations) involves interpretation occurring at the same time as 

the original spoken text, where the original speaker does not stop 

or interrupt their presentation to permit the interpretation. 

Summarization involves an interpreter listening to the original 

speaker in another language and then summarizing the essence of what 

was said, not what was actually said. Summary interpretations are 

generally disfavored by professional interpreters or translators. 

Sight translation involves the translation of written text/documents 

into spoken text based on a visual review of the original form.


    [sbull] Have knowledge in both languages of any specialized terms 

or concepts peculiar to the recipient's program or activity and of any 

particularized vocabulary and phraseology used by the LEP person; \11\


    \11\ Many languages have ``regionalisms,'' or differences in 

usage. For instance, a word that may be understood to mean something 

in Spanish for someone from Cuba may not be so understood by someone 

from Mexico. In addition, because there may be languages that do not 

have an appropriate direct interpretation of some programmatic or 

legal terms, the interpreter should be so aware and be able to 

provide the most effective interpretation. The interpreter should 

likely make the recipient aware of such an issue so that the 

interpreter and the recipient can then develop a consistent and 

appropriate set of descriptions of these terms in the target 

language that can be used in future encounters.


    [sbull] Understand and follow confidentiality and impartiality 

rules to the same extent the recipient employee for whom they are 

interpreting and/or to the extent their position requires; and

    [sbull] Understand and adhere to their role as interpreters without 

deviating into a role as counselor, legal advisor, or other roles 

(particularly in administrative hearings, such as UI appeals hearings).

    Some recipients, such as those that conduct administrative 

hearings, may have additional self-imposed requirements for 

interpreters. Where individual rights depend on precise, complete, and 

accurate interpretation or translations, particularly in the context of 

administrative hearings, the use of certified interpreters is strongly 

encouraged.\12\ Where such proceedings are lengthy, the interpreter 

will likely need breaks and team interpreting may be appropriate to 

ensure accuracy and to prevent errors caused by mental fatigue of 



    \12\ For those languages in which no formal accreditation or 

certification currently exists, recipients should consider a formal 

process for establishing the credentials of the interpreter.


    The quality and accuracy of language services is part of the 

appropriate analysis of LEP services required. For example, the quality 

and accuracy of language services in a UI appeals hearing or safety and 

health training, for example, must be extraordinarily high, while the 

quality and accuracy of language services in providing optional career 

planning tools, such as ``tests'' that evaluate the type or style of 

work for which a person might be suited, need to be accurately 

translated, but may not need to meet the same exacting standards.

    Finally, when interpretation is needed and is reasonable, it should 

be provided in a timely manner. To be meaningfully effective, language 

assistance should be timely. While there is no single definition for 

``timely'' that is applicable to all types of interactions at all times 

by all recipients, one clear guide is that the language assistance 

should be provided at a time and place that avoids the effective denial 

or the imposition of an undue burden on or delay in important rights, 

benefits, or services to the LEP person. For example, when the 

timeliness of services is important, such as with certain activities of 

DOL recipients providing income security, health, and safety services, 

and when important programmatic rights, such as eligibility for UI 

benefits, are at issue, a recipient would likely not be providing 

meaningful access if it had one bilingual staff person available one 

day a week to provide the service. Such conduct would likely result in 

delays for LEP persons that would be significantly greater than those 

for English proficient persons. Conversely, where access to or exercise 

of a service, benefit, or right is not effectively precluded by a 

reasonable delay, language assistance can likely be delayed for a 

reasonable period.

    Hiring Bilingual Staff. When particular languages are encountered 

often, hiring bilingual staff offers one of the best, and often most 

economical, options. Recipients can, for example, fill public contact 

positions, such as One-Stop Career Center receptionists or UI claims 

examiners, with staff who are bilingual and competent to communicate 

directly with LEP persons in the appropriate language. If bilingual 

staff is also used to interpret between English speakers and LEP 

persons, or to orally interpret written documents from English into 

another language, they should be competent in the skill of 

interpreting. Being bilingual does not necessarily mean that a person 

has the ability to interpret. In addition, there may be times when the 

role of the bilingual employee may conflict with the role of an 

interpreter (for instance, a bilingual hearings examiner would probably 

not be able to perform effectively the role of an administrative 

hearing interpreter and hearings examiner at the same time, even if the 

hearings examiner were a qualified interpreter). Effective management 

strategies, including any appropriate adjustments in assignments and 

protocols for using bilingual staff, can ensure that bilingual staff is 

fully and appropriately utilized. When an analysis of the four factors 

leads to a conclusion that the provision of services through bilingual 

staff is not a reasonable step, the recipient still should consider 

other options for providing meaningful access to LEP persons.

    Hiring Staff Interpreters. Hiring interpreters may be most helpful 

where there is a frequent need for interpreting services in one or more 

languages. Depending on the facts, sometimes it may be necessary and 

reasonable to provide on-site interpreters to communicate effectively 

with LEP persons.

    Contracting for Interpreters. Contract interpreters may be a cost-

effective option when there is no regular need for a particular 

language skill. In addition to commercial and other private providers, 

many community-based organizations provide interpretation services for 

particular languages. Contracting with and providing training regarding 

the recipient's programs and

[[Page 32297]]

processes to these organizations can be a cost-effective option for 

providing language services to LEP persons from those language groups.

    Using Telephone Interpreter Lines. Telephone interpreter service 

lines often offer speedy interpreting assistance in many different 

languages. They may be particularly appropriate where the mode of 

communicating with an English proficient person would also occur over 

the phone. Although telephonic interpretation services are useful in 

many situations, it is important to ensure that, when using such 

services, the interpreters are competent to interpret any technical or 

legal terms specific to a particular program that may be important to 

the conversation. Nuances in language and non-verbal communication can 

often assist an interpreter and cannot be recognized over the phone. 

Video teleconferencing may sometimes help to resolve this issue. In 

addition, where documents are being discussed, it is important to give 

telephonic interpreters adequate opportunity to review the documents 

prior to the discussion. Any other logistical problems should also be 


    Using Community Volunteers. In addition to consideration of 

bilingual staff, staff interpreters, or contract interpreters (either 

in-person or by telephone) as options to ensure meaningful access by 

LEP persons, use of recipient-coordinated community volunteers, working 

with, for instance, community-based organizations may provide a cost-

effective supplemental language assistance strategy under appropriate 

circumstances. They may be particularly useful in providing language 

access for a recipient's less critical programs and activities. To the 

extent the recipient relies on community volunteers, it is often best 

to use volunteers who are trained in the information or services of the 

program and can communicate directly with LEP persons in their 

language. Just as with all interpreters, community volunteers used to 

interpret between English speakers and LEP persons, or to orally 

translate documents, should be competent in the skill of interpreting 

and knowledgeable about applicable confidentiality and impartiality 

rules. Recipients should consider formal arrangements with community-

based organizations that provide volunteers to address these concerns 

and to help ensure that services are available on a regular basis.

    Use of Family Members, Friends, or Other Community Members as 

Interpreters. Although recipients should not plan to rely on a LEP 

person's family members, friends, or other informal interpreters to 

provide language assistance services to important programs and 

activities, where LEP persons so desire, they should be permitted to 

use, at their own expense, interpreters of their own choosing (whether 

a professional interpreter, family member, friend, or other informal 

interpreter) in place of or as a supplement to the free language 

services expressly offered by the recipient. LEP persons may feel more 

comfortable when a trusted family member, friend, or other community 

member acts as an interpreter. In addition, in exigent circumstances 

that are not reasonably foreseeable, temporary use of interpreters not 

provided by the recipient may be necessary. However, with proper 

planning and implementation, recipients should be able to avoid most of 

these situations.

    Recipients, however, should take special care to ensure that 

family, friends, and other informal interpreters are appropriate in 

light of the circumstances and subject matter of the program, service 

or activity. The recipients' own interests in accurate interpretation 

should also be considered when deciding whether family, friends, and 

other informal interpreters are appropriate. In many circumstances, 

family members (especially children), friends, or other informal 

interpreters are not competent to provide quality and accurate 

interpretations. Issues of confidentiality, privacy, or conflict of 

interest may also arise. LEP individuals may feel uncomfortable 

revealing or describing sensitive, confidential, or potentially 

embarrassing family, employment history, or financial information to a 

family member, friend, or member of the local community. For these 

reasons, when oral language services are necessary, recipients should 

generally offer competent interpreter services free of cost to the LEP 

person. While issues of competency, confidentiality, and conflict of 

interest in the use of family members (especially children), friends, 

or other informal interpreters often make their use inappropriate, the 

use of these individuals as interpreters may be an appropriate option 

where proper application of the four factors would lead to a conclusion 

that recipient-provided services are not necessary. An example of this 

is an optional ``Dress for Success'' workshop offered by a One-Stop 

Career Center where there is such a small number and/or proportion of 

LEP persons eligible to be served and there is no available bilingual 

staff, volunteers, or interpreters available. There, the importance and 

nature of the activity may be relatively low and unlikely to implicate 

issues of confidentiality, conflict of interest, or the need for 

accuracy. In addition, the resources needed and costs of providing 

language services may be high. In such a setting, a LEP person's use of 

family, friends, or others may be appropriate.

    If a LEP person voluntarily chooses to provide his or her own 

interpreter, a recipient should consider whether a record of that 

choice and of the recipient's offer of assistance should be kept. Where 

precise, complete, and accurate interpretations or translations of 

information and/or testimony are critical for adjudicatory or legal 

reasons, or where the competency of the LEP person's interpreter is not 

established, a recipient might decide to provide its own, independent 

interpreter, even if a LEP person wants to use his or her own 

interpreter as well. Extra caution should be exercised when the LEP 

person chooses to use a minor as the interpreter. While the LEP 

person's decision should be respected, there may be additional issues 

of competency, confidentiality, or conflict of interest when the choice 

involves using children to interpret. The recipient should take care to 

ensure that the LEP person's choice is voluntary, that the LEP person 

is aware of the possible problems if the preferred interpreter is a 

minor child, and that the LEP person knows that a competent interpreter 

could be provided by the recipient at no cost.

B. Written Language Services (Translation)

    Translation is the replacement of a written text from one language 

(source language) into an equivalent written text in another language 

(target language).

    What Documents Should be Translated? After applying the four-factor 

analysis, a recipient may determine that an effective LEP plan for its 

particular program or activity includes the translation of vital 

written materials into the language of each frequently-encountered LEP 

group eligible to be served and/or likely to be affected by the 

recipient's program. Such written materials could include:

    [sbull] Applications to participate in a recipient's program or 

activity or to receive recipient benefits or services;

    [sbull] Written tests that do not assess English language 

competency, but test competency for a particular license, job,

[[Page 32298]]

or skill for which English language proficiency is not required; \13\


    \13\ Test translation raises technical testing issues and needs 

to be done in an appropriate manner if the test is to retain 

validity and reliability. Some tests are available in different 

languages. For example, the GED is available in Spanish and French, 

as well as English. So recipients may be able to check for the 

availability of tests in other languages from the test developer. 

Where no test is available in a language and translation is not 

immediately possible, it might be more appropriate to evaluate a LEP 

individual with another test or procedure that does not 

inappropriately implicate their limited English skills.


    [sbull] Consent and complaint forms;

    [sbull] List of partners at a One-Stop Career Center and services 


    [sbull] Letters containing important information regarding 

participation in a program or activity;

    [sbull] Notices pertaining to the reduction, denial or termination 

of services or benefits and of the right to appeal such actions;

    [sbull] Notices that require a response from beneficiaries;

    [sbull] Information on the right to file complaints of 


    [sbull] Information on the provision of services to individuals 

with disabilities;

    [sbull] State wage and hour and safety and health enforcement and 

information materials;

    [sbull] Notices advising LEP persons of the availability of free 

language assistance; and

    [sbull] Other outreach materials.

    Whether or not a document (or the information it provides and/or 

solicits) is ``vital'' may depend upon the importance of the program, 

information, encounter, or service involved, and the consequence to the 

LEP person if the information in question is not provided accurately or 

in a timely manner. For instance, a description of books contained in 

the resource room of a One-Stop Career Center would not generally be 

considered vital, whereas applications for Unemployment Insurance or 

information about safety and health requirements could be considered 

vital. Where appropriate, recipients are encouraged to create a plan 

for consistently determining, over time and across its various 

activities, what documents are ``vital'' to the meaningful access of 

the LEP populations they serve.

    Classifying a document as vital or non-vital is sometimes 

difficult, especially in the case of outreach materials like brochures 

or other information on rights and services. Awareness of rights or 

services is an important part of ``meaningful access.'' Lack of 

awareness that a particular program, right, or service exists may 

effectively deny LEP individuals meaningful access. Thus, where a 

recipient is engaged in community outreach activities in furtherance of 

its programs or services, it should regularly assess the needs of the 

populations frequently encountered or affected by the program or 

service to determine whether certain critical outreach materials should 

be translated. Community organizations may be helpful in determining 

what outreach materials may be most helpful to translate. In addition, 

the recipient should consider whether translations of outreach material 

may be made more effective when done in tandem with other outreach 

methods, including utilizing the ethnic media, schools, faith-based and 

other community organizations to spread the message.

    Sometimes a document includes both vital and non-vital information. 

This may be the case when the document is very large. It may also be 

the case when the title and a phone number for obtaining more 

information on the contents of the document in frequently-encountered 

languages other than English is critical, but the document is sent out 

to the general public and cannot reasonably be translated into many 

languages. Thus, vital information may include, for instance, the 

provision of information in appropriate languages other than English 

regarding where a LEP person might obtain an interpretation or 

translation of the document.

    Into What Languages Should Documents be Translated? The languages 

spoken by the LEP individuals with whom the recipient has contact 

determine the languages into which vital documents should be 

translated. A distinction should be made, however, between languages 

that are frequently encountered by a recipient and less commonly-

encountered languages. Many recipients serve communities in large 

cities or across the country or operate web-based, self-service systems 

as an adjunct to their in-person delivery systems that also have a 

regional or national reach. They regularly serve LEP persons who speak 

dozens and sometimes over 100 different languages. To translate all 

written materials into all of those languages is unrealistic. Although 

recent technological advances have made it easier for recipients to 

store and share translated documents, such an undertaking would incur 

substantial costs and require substantial resources. Nevertheless, 

well-substantiated claims of lack of resources to translate all vital 

documents into dozens of languages do not necessarily relieve a 

recipient of the obligation to translate those documents into at least 

several of the more frequently-encountered languages and to set 

benchmarks for continued translations into the remaining languages over 

time. As a result, the extent of a recipient's obligation to provide 

written translations of documents should be determined by the recipient 

on a case-by-case basis, looking at the totality of the circumstances 

in light of the four-factor analysis. Because translation is a one-time 

expense, consideration should be given to whether the upfront cost of 

translating a document (as opposed to oral interpretation) should be 

amortized over the likely lifespan of the document when applying this 

four-factor analysis. The length of a document's lifespan and the 

volume of new documents requiring translation may also be a factor in 

this determination. For example, in transaction-based self-service 

websites, such as labor exchange/job matching, the lifespan of a 

typical document such as a job order may only be 30 days and the volume 

of such documents may easily number 1,000 or more each day. In such 

circumstances, depending on the four factors, recipients might consider 

translating only certain portions of such documents and/or providing 

information in appropriate languages on how to obtain free language 

assistance, if the technology allows.

    Competence of Translators. As with oral interpreters, translators 

of written documents should be competent. Many of the same 

considerations apply. However, the skill of translating is very 

different from the skill of interpreting, and a person who is a 

competent interpreter may or may not be competent to translate.

    Particularly where vital documents are being translated, competence 

can often be achieved by use of certified translators. Certification or 

accreditation may not always be possible or necessary.\14\ Competence 

can often be ensured by having a second, independent translator 

``check'' the work of the primary translator. Alternatively, one 

translator can translate the document, and a second, independent 

translator could translate it back into English to check that the 

appropriate meaning has been conveyed. This is called ``back 



    \14\ For those languages in which no formal accreditation 

currently exists, a particular level of membership in a professional 

translation association can provide some indicator of 



    Translators should understand the expected reading level of the 

audience and, where appropriate, have

[[Page 32299]]

fundamental knowledge about the target language group's vocabulary and 

phraseology. Sometimes direct translation of materials results in a 

translation that is written at a much more difficult level than the 

English language version or has no relevant equivalent meaning.\15\ 

Community organizations may be able to help consider whether a document 

is written at a good level for the audience. Likewise, consistency in 

the words and phrases used to translate terms of art, legal, or other 

technical concepts helps avoid confusion by LEP individuals and may 

reduce costs. Creating or using already-created glossaries of commonly-

used terms may be useful for LEP persons and translators and cost 

effective for the recipient. Providing translators with examples of 

previous accurate translations of similar material by the recipient, 

other recipients, or federal agencies may be helpful.


    \15\ For instance, there may be languages that do not have an 

appropriate direct translation of some programmatic or legal terms 

and the translator should be able to provide an appropriate 

translation. The translator should likely also make the recipient 

aware of this. Recipients can then work with translators to develop 

a consistent and appropriate set of descriptions of these terms in 

the language that can be used again, when appropriate. Recipients 

will find it more effective and less costly if they try to maintain 

consistency in the words and phrases used to translate terms of art 

and legal or other technical concepts. Creating or using already-

created glossaries of commonly used terms may be useful for LEP 

persons and translators and cost-effective for the recipient. 

Providing translators with examples of previous translations of 

similar material by the recipient, other recipients, or federal 

agencies may be helpful.


    The quality and accuracy of language services is part of the 

appropriate analysis of LEP services required. For instance, documents 

that are simple and have no legal or other consequence for LEP persons 

who rely on them may use translators that are less skilled than 

important documents with legal or other information upon which reliance 

has important consequences (including, e.g., information or documents 

of DOL recipients regarding the provision of income security benefits, 

such as UI, and health and safety training). The permanent nature of 

written translations, however, imposes additional responsibility on the 

recipient to ensure that the quality and accuracy permit meaningful 

access by LEP persons.

VII. Elements of an Effective Plan on Language Assistance for LEP 


    After completing the four-factor analysis and deciding what 

language assistance services are appropriate, a recipient should 

develop an implementation plan to address the identified needs of the 

LEP populations they serve.\16\ Recipients have considerable 

flexibility in developing this plan. A written plan, while not a 

requirement, can be an important tool for a recipient. The development 

and maintenance of a periodically-updated written plan on language 

assistance for LEP persons (``LEP plan'') for use by recipient 

employees serving the public will likely be the most appropriate and 

cost-effective means of documenting compliance and providing a 

framework for the provision of timely and reasonable language 

assistance. Moreover, such written plans would likely provide 

additional benefits to a recipient's managers in the areas of training, 

administration, planning, and budgeting. These benefits should lead 

most recipients to document in a written LEP plan their language 

assistance services and how staff and LEP persons can access those 

services. Despite these benefits, certain DOL recipients, such as 

recipients serving very few LEP persons and recipients with very 

limited resources, may choose not to develop a written LEP plan. 

However, the absence of a written LEP plan does not obviate the 

underlying obligation to ensure meaningful access by LEP persons to a 

recipient's program or activities. Accordingly, in the event that a 

recipient elects not to develop a written plan, it should consider 

alternative ways to articulate in some other reasonable manner a plan 

for providing meaningful access. Entities having significant contact 

with LEP persons, such as schools, faith-based organizations, community 

groups, and groups working with new immigrants, can be very helpful in 

providing important input into this planning process from the 



    \16\ Certain recipients of DOL financial assistance are 

required, per 29 CFR 37.54, to establish and adhere to a Methods of 

Administration (MOA). Per the regulations, MOAs must be in writing, 

reviewed and updated every two years as required by Section 37.55, 

and, at a minimum, describe how the state programs and recipients 

have satisfied the requirements of regulations, including those 

found at Sections 37.35 and 37.42.


    The following five elements may be helpful in designing a LEP plan 

and are typically part of an effective implementation plan.

(1) Identifying LEP Individuals Who Need Language Assistance

    The first two factors in the four-factor analysis require an 

assessment of the number or proportion of LEP individuals eligible to 

be served or encountered and the frequency of encounters. This requires 

a recipient to identify LEP persons with whom it has contact.

    One way to determine the language of communication is to use 

language identification cards (or ``I speak cards''), which invite LEP 

persons to identify their language needs to staff. Such cards, for 

instance, might read ``I speak Spanish'' in both Spanish and English, 

``I speak Vietnamese'' in both English and Vietnamese, etc. To reduce 

costs of compliance, the federal government has made a set of these 

cards available on the Internet. The Census Bureau ``I speak cards'' 

can be found and downloaded at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/cor/13166.htm. 

When records are normally kept of past interactions with members of the 

public, the language of the LEP person can be included as part of the 

record. In addition to helping employees identify the language of LEP 

persons they encounter, this process will help in future applications 

of the first two factors of the four-factor analysis. In addition, 

posting notices in commonly encountered languages notifying LEP persons 

of the availability of language assistance will encourage them to self-


    Recipients should also consider circumstances in which, although 

the participant and/or beneficiary can communicate effectively in 

English, assistance may be needed when interacting with other pertinent 

individuals. For example, if a youth under the age of eighteen needs a 

parent's signature to participate in a summer employment program, 

language assistance may be necessary to provide information and obtain 

the necessary permission. Recipients should also be aware of external 

circumstances that may impact the number of persons (LEP or otherwise) 

seeking government assistance. For example, recipients may experience 

an ebb and flow of persons working in agricultural jobs depending on 

the season, the success of harvest, and other factors such as weather 

(droughts or floods). Changes in the economy may disproportionately 

force low-income individuals (as LEPs tend to be) to turn to government 

programs for assistance.

(2) Language Assistance Measures

    An effective LEP plan would likely include information about the 

ways in which language assistance will be provided. For instance, 

recipients may want to include information on at least the following:

    [sbull] Types of language services available;

    [sbull] How staff can obtain those services;

    [sbull] How to respond to LEP callers;

[[Page 32300]]

    [sbull] How to respond to written communications from LEP persons;

    [sbull] How to respond to LEP individuals who have in-person 

contact with recipient staff; and

    [sbull] How to ensure competency of interpreters and translation 


(3) Training Staff

    Staff should know their obligations to provide meaningful access to 

information and services for LEP persons. An effective LEP plan would 

likely include training to ensure that:

    [sbull] Staff know about LEP policies and procedures; and

    [sbull] Staff having contact with the public are trained to work 

effectively with in-person and telephone interpreters.

    Recipients may want to include this training as part of the 

orientation for new employees. It is important to ensure that all 

employees in public contact positions are properly trained. Recipients 

have flexibility in deciding the manner in which the training is 

provided. The more frequent the contact with LEP persons, the greater 

the need will be for in-depth training. Staff with little or no contact 

with LEP persons may only have to be aware of the LEP plan. However, 

management staff, even if they do not interact regularly with LEP 

persons, should be fully aware of and understand the plan so they can 

reinforce its importance and ensure its implementation by staff.

(4) Providing Notice to LEP Persons

    Once a recipient has decided, based on the four factors, that it 

will provide certain language services, it is important for the 

recipient to let LEP persons know that those services are available and 

that they will be offered free of charge. Recipients should provide 

notice of the availability of language assistance services in 

language(s) that LEP persons will understand. Examples of notification 

that recipients should consider include:

    [sbull] Posting signs in intake areas and other entry points. When 

language assistance is needed to ensure meaningful access to 

information and services, it is important to provide notice in 

appropriate languages in intake areas or initial points of contact so 

that LEP persons can learn how to access those language services. This 

is particularly true in areas with high volumes of LEP persons seeking 

access to certain workforce and income security programs, services or 

activities run by DOL recipients. For instance, signs in One-Stop 

Career Centers could state that free language assistance is available. 

The signs should be translated into the most common languages 

encountered. They should explain how to obtain the language help.\17\


    \17\ The Social Security Administration has made such signs 

available at: http://www.ssa.gov/multilanguage/langlist1.htm. These 

signs could be modified for recipient use.


    [sbull] Stating in outreach documents that language services are 

available from the recipient. Announcements could be in, for instance, 

brochures, booklets, and in other outreach and recruitment information. 

These statements should be translated into the most common languages 

and could be ``tagged'' onto the front of common documents.

    [sbull] Working with community-based organizations and other 

stakeholders to inform LEP individuals of the recipients' programs and 

activities, including the availability of language assistance services.

    [sbull] Using a telephone voice mail menu. The menu could be in the 

most common languages encountered. It should provide information about 

available language assistance services and how to access them.

    [sbull] Including notices in local newspapers in languages other 

than English.

    [sbull] Airing notices on non-English language radio and television 

stations about the availability of language assistance and how to 

access it.

    [sbull] Making presentations and/or posting notices at schools, 

faith-based and other community organizations.

(5) Monitoring and Updating the LEP Plan

    Recipients should, where appropriate, have a process for 

determining, on an ongoing basis, whether new documents, programs, 

services, and activities need to be made accessible for LEP 

individuals, and they may want to provide notice of any changes in 

services to the LEP public and to employees. In addition, recipients 

should consider whether changes in demographics, types of services, or 

other factors require annual reevaluation of LEP plans. Less frequent 

reevaluation may be more appropriate where demographics, services, and 

needs are more static. One good way to evaluate the LEP plan is to seek 

feedback from the community. In their reviews, recipients may want to 

consider assessing changes in:

    [sbull] Current LEP populations in service area or population 

affected or encountered;

    [sbull] Frequency of encounters with LEP language groups;

    [sbull] Nature and importance of activities to LEP persons;

    [sbull] Availability of resources, including technological advances 

and sources of additional resources, and the costs imposed;

    [sbull] Whether existing assistance is meeting the needs of LEP 


    [sbull] Whether staff knows and understands the LEP plan and how to 

implement it;

    [sbull] Legislation or program requirements governing the 

recipient's program or activity; and

    [sbull] Whether identified sources for assistance are still 

available and viable.

    In addition to these five elements, effective plans set clear 

goals, management accountability, and opportunities for community input 

and planning throughout the process.

VIII. Voluntary Compliance Efforts

    The goal for Title VI and Title VI regulatory enforcement is to 

achieve voluntary compliance. The requirement to provide meaningful 

access to LEP persons is enforced and implemented by DOL through the 

procedures identified in the Title VI and Section 188 regulations. 

These procedures include complaint investigations, compliance reviews, 

efforts to secure voluntary compliance, and technical assistance.

    DOL's Civil Rights Center (CRC) enforces Title VI and Section 188 

through the procedures identified in the regulations in 29 CFR parts 31 

and 37. The regulations state that CRC will investigate any complaint, 

report or other information that alleges or indicates possible 

noncompliance with Title VI and Section 188. If the investigation 

results in a finding of compliance, CRC will inform the recipient in 

writing of this determination, including the basis for the 

determination. If the investigation results in a finding of 

noncompliance, CRC will inform the recipient of the noncompliance in a 

Letter of Findings that sets out the areas of noncompliance and the 

steps that must be taken to correct the noncompliance. At this stage, 

CRC will attempt to secure voluntary compliance through informal means. 

If the matter cannot be resolved informally, compliance may be 

effectuated through (a) the termination of federal assistance after the 

recipient has been given an opportunity for an administrative hearing; 

(b) referral to DOJ for injunctive relief or other enforcement 

proceedings; or (c) any other means authorized by law. CRC has a legal 

obligation to seek voluntary compliance in resolving cases and cannot 

seek the termination of funds until it has engaged in voluntary 

compliance efforts and has determined that compliance cannot be secured 


[[Page 32301]]

    CRC engages in voluntary compliance efforts and provides technical 

assistance to recipients at all stages. During efforts to secure 

voluntary compliance, CRC will propose reasonable timetables for 

achieving compliance and will consult with and assist recipients in 

exploring cost effective ways of coming into compliance by increasing 

awareness of emerging technologies and by sharing information on how 

other recipients have addressed the language needs of diverse 

populations. In determining a recipient's compliance with Title VI and 

Section 188, CRC's primary concern is to ensure that the recipient's 

policies and procedures overcome barriers resulting from language 

differences that would deny LEP persons meaningful opportunities to 

participate in and access programs, services and benefits. A 

recipient's appropriate consideration of the methods and options 

discussed in this Guidance will be viewed by CRC as evidence of a 

recipient's willingness to comply with its Title VI and Section 188 


    While all recipients must work toward building systems that will 

ensure access for LEP individuals, DOL acknowledges that the 

implementation of a comprehensive system to serve LEP individuals is a 

process and that a system will evolve over time as it is implemented 

and periodically reevaluated. As recipients take reasonable steps to 

provide meaningful access to federally assisted programs and activities 

for LEP persons, DOL will look favorably on intermediate steps 

recipients take that are consistent with this Guidance, and that, as 

part of a broader implementation plan or schedule, move their service 

delivery systems toward providing full access to LEP persons. This does 

not excuse noncompliance but instead recognizes that full compliance in 

all areas of a recipient's activities and for all potential language 

minority groups may reasonably require a series of implementing actions 

over a period of time. However, in developing any phased implementation 

schedule, DOL recipients should ensure that the provision of 

appropriate assistance for significant LEP populations or with respect 

to activities having a significant impact on the health, safety, legal 

rights, or livelihood of beneficiaries is addressed first. Recipients 

are encouraged to document their efforts to provide LEP persons with 

meaningful access to federally assisted programs and activities.

Appendix--Application to Specific Types of Recipients

    This Appendix provides examples of how the meaningful access 

requirement of the Title VI and Section 188 of WIA regulations 

applies to state workforce agencies and other recipients of DOL 

financial assistance. These examples highlight best practices and 

ideal approaches to serving LEP individuals in a variety of 

situations. It is important to note that not all recipients may find 

these approaches useful or necessary once they apply the four-factor 

analysis to their individual situation. This Appendix also suggests 

ways that DOL recipients can apply the four-factor analysis to a 

range of encounters with the public as the responsibility for 

providing language services differs depending on the program or 

activity. The four factors are:

    [sbull] The number or proportion of LEP persons served or 

encountered in the eligible service population;

    [sbull] The frequency with which LEP individuals come in contact 

with the program;

    [sbull] The nature and importance of the program, activity, or 

service provided by the program; and

    [sbull] The resources available to the recipient and costs.

    This Appendix is also designed to help DOL recipients identify 

the population to be considered when assessing the types of language 

services to provide. It then offers guidance and examples on how to 

apply the four-factor analysis to specific requirements of DOL-

assisted programs and services, such as:

    [sbull] Receiving and responding to requests for information and 


    [sbull] Applications for benefits such as trade and Unemployment 

Insurance benefits;

    [sbull] Adjudications;

    [sbull] Notifications of decisions;

    [sbull] Intake, orientation and assessment;

    [sbull] Training services; and

    [sbull] Community outreach.

Appendix--Application of LEP Guidance for Specific Types of DOL 


    While a wide range of entities receive federal financial 

assistance through DOL, most of DOL's assistance is awarded to 

Governors or local chief elected officials in the form of formula or 

competitive grants for the provision of training, including job 

training, and income support programs. This Appendix provides 

examples to demonstrate how DOL recipients might apply the four-

factor analysis. The examples in this Appendix are not meant to be 

exhaustive. The four-factor analysis requires a balancing, given all 

of the facts. Each different situation will present some unique 

aspects. The examples are intended only to show how the four-factor 

analysis may be applied in some situations.

    The requirements of the Title VI and Section 188 regulations, as 

clarified by the LEP Guidance, supplement, but do not supplant, 

other statutory or regulatory provisions that may require LEP 

services. Rather, the LEP Guidance clarifies the obligation under 

both the Title VI and Section 188 regulations to address, in 

appropriate circumstances and in a reasonable manner, the language 

assistance needs of LEP individuals.

    For the vast majority of the public, exposure to federally-

assisted job training or income support programs includes applying 

for and receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits or conducting 

job search activities through the One-Stop Career System. For a 

smaller number, exposure includes participation in a job training 

program under WIA or the Trade Act of 1974 including Trade 

Adjustment Assistance (TAA). The common thread running through these 

and other interactions with the federally-assisted workforce system 

is the exchange of information and services. LEP individuals' 

encounters with One-Stop Career Centers, including UI Call Centers, 

are covered by Title VI because they are funded wholly or in part by 

DOL. This Guidance focuses on the requirement that DOL recipients 

communicate effectively with persons who are LEP to ensure that they 

have meaningful access to the workforce investment system, 

including, for example, understanding how to apply for job training 

and/or UI benefits.

    Many DOL recipients already provide language services in a wide 

variety of circumstances. For example, in areas where significant 

LEP populations reside, One-Stop Career Center staff may utilize 

forms and notices in languages other than English and/or they may 

employ bilingual front-line staff. Recipients' current practices can 

form a strong basis for applying the four-factor analysis and 

complying with Title VI and WIA Section 188 regulations.

    In general, when providing language services, DOL recipients 

may: (1) Make available the staff and materials necessary to supply 

required language services; (2) choose to require an entity with 

which they have contracted to provide the services; or (3) contract 

with another entity to provide those services. Recipients have a 

wide variety of options for providing interpreter and translation 

services appropriate to the particular situation. Using bilingual 

staff competent to interpret in person or over the phone is one 

option. Additionally, particular recipients may enter into 

agreements with local colleges and universities, interpreter 

services, and/or community organizations to provide competent paid 

or volunteer translators.

1. General Principles

    The touchstone of the four-factor analysis is reasonableness 

based upon the specific purposes, needs, and capabilities of the DOL 

recipient and an appreciation of the nature and particular needs of 

the LEP population served. Accordingly, the four-factor analysis 

cannot provide a single uniform answer about how service to LEP 

persons must be provided in all programs or activities in all 

situations or to what extent such service need be provided.

    Knowledge of local conditions and community needs is critical in 

determining the type and level of language services needed. The 

following general points should

[[Page 32302]]

assist DOL recipients in correctly applying the four-factor analysis 

to the wide range of services provided in their particular 


a. Permanent Versus Seasonal Populations

    In assessing factor one, the number or proportion of LEP 

individuals, DOL recipients should consider any temporary but 

significant changes in a community's demographics. In many areas, 

resident populations change over time or according to season. For 

example, in some resort communities, populations swell during peak 

vacation periods, many times exceeding the number of permanent 

residents in the area. In other communities, primarily agricultural 

areas, transient populations of agricultural workers require 

increased workforce investment services during planting and harvest 

seasons. This dynamic demographic ebb and flow can also dramatically 

change the size and nature of the LEP community that is likely to 

come into contact with workforce entities. Thus, workforce entities 

may not want to limit their analysis to numbers and proportions of 

permanent residents.

    Example: A rural community has a permanent population of 30,000, 

of which seven percent is Hispanic. Based on census data and on 

information from the contiguous school district, only 15 percent of 

the Hispanic population is estimated to be LEP. Thus, the total 

estimated permanent LEP population is 315 persons or approximately 

one percent of the total permanent population. Under the four-factor 

analysis, a workforce entity could reasonably conclude that the 

small number of LEP persons makes the translation of vital documents 

and/or employment of bilingual staff unnecessary. However, during 

the spring and summer planting and harvest seasons, the local 

population swells to 40,000 due to the influx of seasonal 

agricultural workers. Of this temporary population, about 75 percent 

is Hispanic and about 50 percent of that number is LEP. According to 

data supplied by the contiguous school district and a migrant worker 

community group, during the planting and harvest seasons, the 

community's LEP population increases to over ten percent of all 

residents. In this case, a DOL recipient should consider whether it 

is necessary to translate vital written documents into Spanish. In 

addition, the predictability of contact during those seasons makes 

it important for the community to review its interpretative services 

to ensure meaningful access for LEP individuals.

b. Target Audiences

    For most workforce investment services, the target audience is 

defined in geographic rather than programmatic terms. However, some 

services may be targeted to reach a particular audience (e.g., out-

of-school youth or migrant and seasonal farmworkers). Also, within 

the larger geographic area covered by a workforce entity, certain 

areas or neighborhoods may have concentrations of LEP persons. In 

these cases, even if the overall number or proportion of LEP 

individuals in the area is low, the frequency of contact may be 

higher for certain areas or programs. Thus, the second factor, 

frequency of contact, should be considered in light of the specific 

program or the geographic area served.

    Example: A community-based organization (CBO) is partnering with 

a local One-Stop Career Center to provide services to dislocated 

workers who have lost their jobs due to several recent textile plant 

closures. The LEP population of the community is estimated at only 

three percent. However, the LEP population of the workers dislocated 

by the closures is 35 percent, the vast majority of whom speak 

Vietnamese. As the target population for this CBO is confined to the 

dislocated workers, the number or proportion of LEP persons in the 

eligible service population would be calculated based on these 

workers. The applicable LEP factor would be the frequency with which 

LEP individuals come in contact with the program, which in this 

instance would involve a much higher percentage of LEP individuals 

than that of the general population. Further, because the Vietnamese 

LEP population is concentrated in one or two main areas of the town, 

the CBO should expect the frequency of contact with Vietnamese LEP 

individuals, in general, to be quite high in those areas, and it 

should apply the four-factor analysis accordingly with respect to 

the services it provides.

c. Importance of Service/Information

    DOL recipients play a critical role in providing workforce 

services, income support, and health and safety training for many 

Americans. UI, health and safety services provided through the 

Occupational Safety and Health and Mine Safety and Health 

Administrations, information and enforcement of State and local wage 

and hour laws and other workers' rights enforcement issues taken on 

by recipients, and employment services rank high on the critical/

non-critical continuum. However, this does not mean that information 

about all services and activities performed by workforce entities 

must be equally available in languages other than English. While 

clearly important to the ultimate success of the workforce 

investment system, certain activities do not have the same direct 

impact on the provision of core workforce investment services. The 

more important the program or activity or the greater the possible 

consequences of the contact for LEP individuals, the more likely 

language assistance services will be necessary.

    Example: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration 

(OSHA) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) provide 

grants to recipients to conduct safety and health training to 

individuals employed in many dangerous occupations, such as 

construction and mining. Much of the training involves learning how 

to take precautions to avoid accidents or injuries while on the job. 

Where individuals could sustain bodily harm if training is not 

provided in an understandable language, the need for appropriate 

communication is extremely high.

    There may be some instances in which the four-factor analysis of 

a particular portion of a recipient's program or activity leads to 

the conclusion that language services are not currently required. 

For instance, the four-factor analysis may not necessarily require 

that an advanced level computer course be given in languages other 

than English, if the language-related requirements for such an 

employment path is such that few, if any, LEP persons would benefit 

from the particular course even if it were made accessible to them 

and even if they are in the process of learning English (see Section 

V(3) above regarding such determinations), and if the other three 

factors also weigh against providing the service. However, a 

recipient may decide to provide other computer courses in languages 

other than English given demographics of the area and the potential 

benefit to the LEP population. Because the analysis is fact-

dependent, the same conclusion may not be appropriate with respect 

to all computer courses or to other courses.

2. Applying the Four-Factor Analysis to the Full Spectrum of Services

    While all workforce investment activities are important, the 

four-factor analysis requires some prioritizing so that language 

services are targeted where they are most needed depending on the 

nature and importance of the particular service provided. Workforce 

entities have a great deal of flexibility in determining how to best 

address outreach to their LEP populations. In order to determine 

what is reasonable under the four-factor analysis, consider that the 

obligation to provide language services increases where the 

importance of the activity is greater. Under this framework, 

critical areas for language assistance would include applications 

for UI or trade-related benefits and adjudications of issues 

regarding benefits. Systems for receiving and addressing complaints 

from the public are also important. Employment services are of great 

importance for persons who are not currently employed. Community 

outreach activities are hard to categorize and generally less 

critical than other activities unless barriers to participation 

(such as limited availability of language services) exist. With the 

importance of community partnerships and involvement, the four-

factor analysis should be considered when evaluating the need for 

language services with respect to these programs.

a. Receiving and Responding to Requests for Assistance

    Taking reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to 

workforce investment services will entail different things in 

different communities. For instance, in areas with significant LEP 

communities, some intake workers and claims examiners may need to be 

bilingual and capable of accurately interpreting in high stress 

situations. Recipients in areas with small LEP populations should 

still have a plan for serving persons who are LEP, which may involve 

a telephone interpretation service or include some other 

accommodation short of hiring bilingual staff. Signs and telephone 

voicemail systems should also be appropriate for the populations 


    Example: A One-Stop Career Center in a large city has bilingual 

staff that can interpret

[[Page 32303]]

the most frequently encountered languages. When LEP clients request 

services in less frequently encountered languages, a commercial 

telephone interpretation service is provided. Ten percent of the 

city's population is LEP, and sixty percent of the LEP population 

speaks Spanish. The One-Stop Career Center has many Spanish-speaking 

staff and a few staff that speak other languages. Forms are 

translated into Spanish. The recipient provides services to other 

non-English-speaking clients using a language bank, comprised of 

volunteers and bilingual staff employed by other Government entities 

who are competent translators and/or interpreters. This example may 

be one appropriate way of providing meaningful access for LEP 


    Example: A small One-Stop Career Center is operated by a 

recipient of DOL funds and located in an area where 15 percent of 

the population speak Spanish and may be LEP. Seven percent of the 

population in the service area speak various Chinese dialects and 

may be LEP. The One-Stop Career Center uses competent community 

volunteers to help translate vital outreach materials into Chinese 

(which is one written language despite many dialects) and Spanish. 

The One-Stop Career Center telephone system has a menu providing key 

information, such as location, in English, Spanish, and two of the 

most common Chinese dialects. Calls for immediate assistance are 

handled by bilingual staff. The One-Stop Career Center has one 

counselor and several volunteers fluent in Spanish and English. Some 

volunteers are fluent in different Chinese dialects and in English. 

The One-Stop Career Center works with community groups to access 

interpreters in the several Chinese dialects that they encounter. 

One-Stop Career Center staff train the community volunteers in the 

intake process and the specialized vocabulary needed to explain the 

services available. Volunteers sign confidentiality agreements. The 

One-Stop Career Center is looking for a grant to increase its 

language capabilities despite its limited resources. There have been 

no complaints of delayed or denied service on account of language 

barriers. This example may be one appropriate way of providing 

meaningful access for LEP individuals.

b. Delivering Labor Exchange Services

    Currently, labor exchange services are being delivered through a 

wide variety of media, both electronic and paper-based. However, 

state and local workforce agencies are increasingly relying on 

Internet-based, self-help models of service delivery. While this 

method of service has the potential of benefiting the greatest 

number of job seekers while minimizing staff resources, key segments 

of the population are potentially excluded. Persons with limited 

language and literacy skills often have extra difficulty accessing 

services through the self-help, Internet-based systems. As such, a 

service plan is needed to develop alternative delivery systems. This 

can be done through incorporating one or more of the following 

strategies: (1) Having certain information translated; (2) 

incorporating a sufficient level of staff assistance to serve those 

persons that need assistance in accessing services electronically; 

or (3) providing direct one-on-one sessions with LEP applicants who 

are unable to access electronic information.

    Example: A One-Stop Career Center in a moderately large city 

includes significant LEP populations whose native languages are 

Spanish, Korean, and Tagalog. One-Stop Career Center management 

officials could reasonably consider creating a resource list of 

individuals competent to interpret and ready to assist front-line 

staff dealing with LEP customers. This could be combined with 

developing language-appropriate written materials, such as an 

explanation of basic labor exchange activities and other services 

available at the One-Stop Career Center for use by LEP individuals 

who are literate in those languages. In other circumstances, it may 

be necessary to provide access to a telephone interpretation 


    Example: Job placement staff at a One-Stop Career Center assist 

employers interested in hiring LEP individuals who have completed 

ESL vocational training. In some instances, employers may have 

bilingual supervisors who can assure that safety precautions and 

explanations are provided in the individuals' primary language(s). 

In other locations, ``ethnic'' community-based organizations 

maintain lists of employers who have openings and are able to place 

LEP individuals without providing ESL or vocational training with 

businesses where the LEP individuals' primary language(s) is spoken. 

This example may be one appropriate way of providing meaningful 

access for LEP individuals.

    Example: A large state, with an ethnically diverse population, 

operates a website as part of its overall delivery system which 

offers access to labor market information and provides labor 

exchange self-service for job seekers and employers. Because of the 

scope and reach of the Internet, the population eligible to be 

served by that website may easily include LEP individuals 

representing over 100 different languages. In this instance, the 

state translates key documents and forms on its website into the 

most significant languages, e.g., representing five percent or more 

of the total eligible population to be served, and advertises its 

toll-free help line, which includes interpretation services, on the 

homepage of its website. Through the combination of its toll-free 

help line and its in-office delivery system, the state is able to 

provide information and services to LEPs in languages that are less 

commonly encountered. In this instance, the recipient takes into 

account, in conducting its four-factor analysis, its entire delivery 

system, not just one component. This example may be one appropriate 

way of providing meaningful access for LEP individuals.

c. Delivering Unemployment Insurance (UI) Services

    The federal-state UI program created by the Social Security Act 

of 1935, offers the first line of defense against the ripple effects 

of unemployment. Payments made directly to eligible, unemployed 

workers ensure that at least a significant proportion of the 

necessities of life, most notably food, shelter and clothing, can be 

met on a week-to-week basis while the claimant searches for work. UI 

benefits provide temporary wage replacement that helps claimants to 

maintain their purchasing power and stabilize the economy.

(1). Initial Claims and Follow-Up Notices

    State agencies that serve LEP claimants should consider the 

inherent communication impediments to gathering information from LEP 

persons throughout the UI claims process. During the initial claim 

process, it is necessary to collect basic information, such as the 

LEP person's name, address, employment information, and reason for 

separation from employment. It is also necessary to communicate with 

claimants throughout the life of their claims, and workforce 

agencies should evaluate their ability to provide appropriate 

services at all stages of the UI claim. Where few bilingual staff 

are available or in situations where the LEP person speaks a 

language not frequently encountered in the local area, telephone 

interpretation services may provide the most cost effective and 

efficient method of communication during the initial claim. However, 

subsequent correspondence and communication frequently entail 

written notices and claim forms. Depending on the size of the LEP 

population, it may be necessary to translate vital forms into other 

languages or to include a multilingual tag-line on correspondence 

not appropriately translated to inform claimants that free language 

services are available.

    Example: A state agency operates a statewide Call Center for UI 

initial claims taking that receives 100,000 calls per year. The 

majority of the calls are from English speakers. Fifteen percent of 

the callers (15,000) do not speak English: 6,500 callers speak 

Spanish; 4,000 speak Vietnamese; 3,500 speak Cambodian; and the rest 

speak other languages (500 Russian, 100 French, 80 Tagalog, 20 

German, and 300 speak other languages). The Call Center employs four 

Spanish speakers, two Vietnamese speakers and two Cambodian 

speakers. A voice response system directs the calls as appropriate 

to the bilingual staff. Calls from LEP claimants speaking other 

languages are directed to a commercial interpretation (telephone 

interpretation) service. The Call Center's bilingual employees are 

able to handle most calls from the three significant LEP language 

groups that they serve. Callers who speak English and any of the 

three languages for which translation is provided generally wait no 

longer than five minutes to speak with the staff. The system is 

monitored for wait times and performance. Follow-up correspondence 

such as letters, notices, and forms contain a tag-line in the 

languages of the three significant LEP groups and three other 

commonly encountered languages. The tag-line advises individuals of 

the importance of the information and provides a phone number to 

call for assistance. This example may be one appropriate way of 

providing meaningful access for LEP individuals.

(2). UI Benefits Rights Information (BRI)

    State agencies provide UI benefits rights information to all 

claimants. The information is necessary to ensure that claimants

[[Page 32304]]

understand their rights and responsibilities under the state UI law.

    Example: A state agency takes its UI claims in-person. It prints 

a Benefits Rights Information (BRI) pamphlet in English and in three 

other languages to serve the three significant LEP population groups 

in the state. After the initial claim is taken, the state agency 

provides the BRI in a group setting for all claimants. LEP 

individuals who speak the three significant languages attend 

separate groups in which the information is conveyed in the 

appropriate languages. Claimants who speak languages that are less 

prevalent receive the information through a telephone translation 

service. The state agency has also produced a video of the BRI in 

the three primary LEP groups' languages. The BRI video is available 

for viewing at the local library or at the local office. Claimants 

are advised that the BRI is important and that it is necessary that 

they hear and understand the BRI before filing claims for benefits. 

This example may be one appropriate way of providing meaningful 

access for LEP individuals.

(3). UI Determinations/Adjudications/Appeals

    The purpose of the UI program is to provide temporary financial 

assistance to individuals who have lost their employment, who are 

able and available for work, and who meet other eligibility 

requirements of state law. As appropriate, claims adjudicators apply 

the legal test of the various requirements of the state law to the 

factual circumstances involved in each specific claim to issue a 

determination of eligibility. All state laws contain provisions 

permitting claimants to appeal determinations within a specified 

period of time. Because of the importance of accurate and timely 

information from UI claimants for eligibility determinations, 

formulating a successful policy for effectively communicating with 

LEP individuals is necessary.

    Example: A workforce agency institutes a LEP plan that provides 

qualified interpreters, as necessary, for fact-finding at the 

initial determination stage and/or at an appeals hearing. Some of 

the interpretation is done using bilingual state agency staff, and 

some interpretation is handled by a number of individuals that are 

placed on a ``list of interpreters'' developed to assist when state 

staff is unavailable or when staff do not speak the particular 

language needed. The agency also has a contract with a telephone 

translation service, which is used as needed. The written 

determinations and decisions are printed in English and Spanish and 

``tag-lines'' (an annotation) are included in four additional 

languages advising claimants of their appeal rights. Claimants are 

advised at the time of the initial claim that it is very important 

to read and understand correspondence they receive about UI, and 

they are encouraged to seek assistance by contacting the agency as 

necessary. The agency is able to handle telephonic inquiries 

languages other than English. These actions would constitute 

evidence of reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to the UI 

benefits. This example may be one appropriate way of providing 

meaningful access for LEP individuals.

(4). UI Linkages to Reemployment Services

    Facilitating reemployment of the UI claimant is a key objective 

of the UI system. Claimants therefore need to be aware of the types 

of services available and need to know how and where to access such 


    Example: A state agency profiles UI claimants to identify those 

most in need of reemployment services. Written notices to report for 

reemployment services are sent to those claimants who have been 

identified as needing these services and whom the agency has the 

capacity to serve. Claimants are given specific instructions to 

report to the agency or contact the agency through other means such 

as by telephone. Claimants must understand both the requirement that 

they contact the agency and their rights under state law because a 

failure to follow these instructions could result in the denial of 

UI benefits. A tag-line is included on all notices in the three 

primary languages advising the claimant of the importance of these 

services and of the fact that language assistance will be available 

free of charge. Translation and interpretation for LEP claimants is 

provided through telephone interpretation services, some bilingual 

staff, and community-based organizations as needed. One-Stop Career 

Centers that may subsequently refer claimants to other service 

providers ensure that the service providers are aware of the 

language needs of the LEP claimants. This example may be one 

appropriate way of providing meaningful access for LEP individuals.

d. Community Outreach

    Community outreach activities are increasingly recognized as 

important to the ultimate success of a program that aims to serve 

the larger community. Thus, application of the four-factor analysis 

to community outreach activities can play an important role in 

ensuring that the purpose of these activities--to improve awareness 

of and participation in a program--is not thwarted due to lack of 

planned, reasonable steps to address the language needs of LEP 


    Example: A state Employment Security Department (ESD) UI 

Division has implemented a many-faceted outreach program to inform 

Spanish-speaking LEP customers how to access UI benefits. Eight 

radio stations that reach the highest numbers of Hispanics are used 

to make public service announcements about ESD services. Inserts are 

placed in major Hispanic newspapers and magazines, and flyers on ESD 

services are distributed through community centers, faith-based 

organizations, and Hispanic businesses. Articles are printed in 

newspapers and magazines in Spanish and English on how to file UI 

claims by phone through the UI Telecenters. This example may be one 

appropriate way of providing meaningful access for LEP individuals.

    Example: The Local Workforce Investment Board mobilizes faith 

and community-based organizations to spread the word about the 

upcoming public comment session on its five-year workforce 

investment plan in the six major languages spoken by LEP individuals 

in the area. Information about the upcoming meeting is delivered 

throughout the community in written notices (in each target 

language) as well as through public service announcements on radio 

and tv in these six target languages. This example may be one 

appropriate way of providing meaningful access for LEP individuals.

e. ESL Classes

    English-as-a-second-language (ESL) classes are often useful and 

appropriate for LEP populations. ESL courses can serve as an 

important part of a proper LEP plan. However, the fact that ESL 

classes are provided does not necessarily obviate the need to 

provide meaningful access for LEP persons in other programs and 

services that the One-Stop Career Center provides.

f. Intake, Orientation and Assessment

    Intake, orientation and assessment play a critical role not 

merely in the system's identification of LEP persons, but also in 

providing those persons with fundamental information about how to 

utilize the system and participate in education and training 

opportunities available. All individuals should be given the 

opportunity to be informed of the program's rules, obligations, and 

opportunities in a manner designed effectively to communicate these 

matters. An appropriate analogy is the obligation to communicate 

effectively with deaf persons, which is most frequently accomplished 

through sign language interpreters or written materials. Not every 

One-Stop Career Center will use the same method for providing 

language assistance. One-Stop Career Centers with large numbers of 

Spanish-speaking LEP persons may choose to translate written 

materials, notices, and other important orientation material into 

Spanish with oral instructions, whereas One-Stop Career Centers with 

very few such persons may choose to rely upon a telephonic 

interpretation service or qualified community volunteers to assist. 

Each person's LEP status and the language spoken should be recorded 

in the person's file. Although the LEP Guidance and Title VI are not 

meant to address literacy levels, recipients should be aware of 

literacy problems so that the appropriate language services are 


    Example: A One-Stop Career Center is located in an area that has 

a five percent Haitian Creole-speaking LEP population and an eight 

percent Spanish-speaking LEP population. The One-Stop Career Center 

has developed intake videos in Haitian Creole and Spanish for staff 

to use when conducting orientation for new LEP persons who speak 

these languages. In addition, the One-Stop Career Center provides 

LEP persons with the opportunity to ask questions and discuss 

orientation information with bilingual staff who are competent in 

interpreting and who are either present at the orientation or 

patched in by phone to act as interpreters. The One-Stop Career 

Center has also made arrangements for LEP persons who do not speak 

Haitian Creole or Spanish. For such situations, the One-Stop Career 

Center has created a list of sources for interpretation, including 

staff, contract interpreters, university resources, volunteers, and 

a telephone interpretation service. Each person receives at least an 

oral explanation of the

[[Page 32305]]

services available in the One-Stop Career Center. This example may 

be one appropriate way of providing meaningful access for LEP 


g. Providing More Intensive Employment and Training Services

    An effective LEP plan should envision how a LEP person will move 

from receipt of core services to intensive services and then to 

training services. An effective LEP plan will envision 

accommodations along each step of the service continuum. For 

example, customized programs that combine Vocational ESL and skills-

based vocational training may be appropriate depending upon the size 

of the LEP population and the need of individual LEP persons. If 

there are a significant number of LEP persons speaking a particular 

language in a local area, the One-Stop Career System should consider 

outreach to training providers that could provide classes in 

appropriate languages in One-Stop Career Centers and at employer 

sites. If there are far fewer LEP persons speaking a particular 

language, the recipient might consider the use of bilingual 

teachers, contract interpreters, community volunteers to interpret 

during the class, reliance on videos or written explanations in 

appropriate languages.

    Example: A rural One-Stop Career Center has made a number of 

accommodations to serve LEP job-seekers. Services are provided both 

directly to the applicants and through a partner organization that 

has the capability to mobilize comprehensive services to assist LEP 

clients. The partner organization runs a special service center, 

which is considered part of the One-Stop Career System and is 

located near its main offices. The special center offers core 

employment services such as job placement, job-seeking/job-retention 

skills, and individual counseling to LEP clients as well as 

providing access to many other services, such as housing, 

transportation, childcare, legal services, counseling, interpretive 

services, and assistance with completing immigration and 

naturalization forms. Emergency referrals for healthcare, housing/

shelter, and food are also made. The local One-Stop Career Center 

also routinely provides specialized resources to serve LEP 

dislocated workers, including bilingual assistance for UI and other 

financial aid, assessment of English language skills, and ESL career 

planning. The program utilizes the ESL capabilities available at the 

local community college and hires translators to assist the workers 

in developing individual plans, providing guidance, and in taking 

skill-building courses in new demand occupations. Customized ESL 

classes have been developed on specific work-related issues (for 

example, higher level ESL courses on job seeking and communicating 

in the workplace are offered). Students are also referred to both 

community-based ESL and an intensive for-credit immersion ESL course 

that runs five days a week, six hours a day, offered through the 

local community college. The local program has also developed a 

strong partnership with the State Bureau of Refugee Services to 

coordinate the provision of additional social services for LEP 

dislocated workers. This example may be one appropriate way of 

providing meaningful access for LEP individuals.

    Example: A community college, which serves as a One-Stop Career 

Center, customizes its workforce services for LEP individuals. In 

particular, its dislocated worker program (of which eighteen percent 

of participants is LEP) has made accommodations in fourteen services 

that are now individualized to meet the specific needs of LEP 

participants. The services include: outreach and recruitment, rapid 

response, orientation, assessment, case management, self-sufficiency 

plan development, support services, vocational training, job search 

assistance, job development and placement, retention services, 

interagency coordination, basic skills training, and employer 

services. Changes in services have been developed through close 

collaboration between the workforce investment staff and the 

traditional ESL teachers at the community college. While ESL, adult 

basic education and GED courses are available to all participants; 

the LEP dislocated workers receive customized employment-related ESL 

training. The dislocated worker program also provides peer support 

training and counseling. This unique approach involves training 

peers--dislocated workers themselves--who are proficient in both the 

LEP participant's primary language and English to serve as 

translators, information providers, and counselors to the other 

dislocated workers. Another unique component of the services to LEP 

dislocated workers is the targeted industry model, which includes 

pre-training job shadowing and industry-related classroom 

activities. The program also provides training to employers on 

cultural differences and on creating multicultural work teams. 

Finally, the program has developed close relationships with 

community-based organizations serving immigrant populations to 

provide other services to LEP individuals. The community-based 

organizations provide additional employment services as well as 

information on a variety of youth and family services, which may be 

useful to dislocated worker participants. This example may be one 

appropriate way of providing meaningful access for LEP individuals.

h. Youth Programs

    DOL provides funds to many youth programs to which the LEP 

Guidance applies. Recipients should also consider LEP parents when 

designing programs targeted to youth.

    Example: A local workforce program serving former gang members 

has significantly altered its services to accommodate a large number 

of immigrant youth who have limited English proficiency and are 

transitioning from the juvenile justice system. In order to make all 

program elements accessible to these youth, program staff is fluent 

in multiple languages including Vietnamese, Cambodian, Spanish, and 

Laotian. Upon entry into the program, each youth is assessed using a 

specially designed risk assessment tool to gauge such factors as 

educational and employment skill levels, need for home-based support 

(which can include culturally appropriate interventions), 

counseling, and identification of personal assets and interests. 

Each youth receives an individualized service strategy after 

assessment. This example may be one appropriate way of providing 

meaningful access for LEP individuals.

[FR Doc. 03-13125 Filed 5-28-03; 8:45 am]