29 CFR § 1695.2 - Guidance requirements.

§ 1695.2 Guidance requirements.

(a) Each guidance document shall comply with all relevant statutes and regulations.

(b) It shall be written in plain and understandable English and avoid using mandatory language, such as “shall,” “must,” “required,” or “requirement,” unless the language describes an established statutory or regulatory requirement or is addressed to EEOC staff and will not foreclose the Commission's consideration of positions advanced by affected private parties;

(c) It shall identify or include:

(1) The term “guidance” or its functional equivalent and that the Commission is issuing the document;

(2) A unique identifier that provides information on whether the document was subject to a vote (CV) or not (NVTA), the year of issuance, and unique number of its issuance and, if applicable, a Z–RIN;

(3) The activity or entities to which the guidance applies;

(4) A short summary of the subject matter covered in the guidance document at the top of the document.

(5) A statement noting whether the guidance is intended to revise or replace any previously issued guidance and, if so, sufficient information to identify the previously issued guidance; and

(6) Citations to applicable statutes and regulations;


(i) A clear and prominent statement of the following: “The contents of this document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or Commission policies.”

(ii) When binding guidance is authorized by law or is incorporated into contract, the language in paragraph (c)(7)(i) of this section may be modified to reflect either of those facts.

(d) If the guidance document sets forth the Commission's position on a legal principle for the first time or changes the Commission's legal position on any issue, the Commission must approve the guidance document by majority vote. Any significant guidance or guidance that is otherwise subject to notice and comment procedures must be approved by a Commission vote. Any guidance document that requires a vote of the Commission to be approved shall be circulated to the Commissioners, and, if approved, shall be signed by the Chair on behalf of the Commission. If the document is not setting forth a new or changed legal position, is reiterating already established Commission policies, or is otherwise simply providing technical assistance on the laws the Commission enforces without announcing any new policy or legal position, it shall be circulated to the Commission for informational purposes for a period of not less than five days, unless emergency circumstances do not allow, and shall only require approval, but not signature, by the Chair.