Below is the text from Executive Order 13166: Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency.
Ms. Merrily Friedlander
Dear Ms. Friedlander:
Pursuant to Assistant Attorney General Boyd's memorandum of November 12, 2002, I am providing you with an update of the Agency's Limited English Proficiency (LEP) implementation plan. You will note that this update builds upon the original report submitted to you by former Acting General Counsel Page on January 17, 2001 and the update provided on January 10, 2003 under my signature. Please note that the new material is noted on page 2 and relates to our publication of certain documents in Chinese (Mandarin).
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is an independent Federal agency created to enforce the National Labor Relations Act. We conduct secret-ballot elections to determine whether employees want union representation and we investigate and remedy unfair labor practices by employers and unions.
In developing this plan, the Agency conducted an inventory of current services and surveyed our regional offices to determine projected need based on the four factors identified in the Executive Order;
- number or proportion of LEP individuals;
- frequency of contact with the program;
- nature and importance of the program; and
- resources available.
Based on the responses, the Agency's services and needs appear to center around three major areas: publications, personnel, and forms.
Currently the NLRB provides Agency publications in both print (available for sale through the Government Printing Office) and electronic format (via the Agency's Web site). In addition to English the Agency also provides five publications in Spanish in print format ( The Text of the National Labor Relations Act; A Guide to Basic Law and Procedures under the National Labor Relations Act; Your Government Conducts an Election; The NLRB and You (Representation); and The NLRB and You (Unfair Labor Practices ). The same publications are available in Spanish via our Web site, with the exception of The Text of the National Labor Relations Act . During FYs 2001 and 2003, the Agency made available, in electronic format, A Guide to Basic Law and Procedures under the National Labor Relations Act and The Text of the National Labor Relations Act, respectively, both in Chinese (Mandarin).
During FY 2005, we have made available, via the Agency's website, our publication, Your Government Conducts an Election in Chinese (Mandarin). As funds permit, we will proceed with our plan to provide two publications each fiscal year thereafter until all our publications are available in the three languages most needed by our clients served (Chinese Mandarin, Korean, and Vietnamese).
Personnel/Hiring - Regional Office Efforts
The Agency's field offices report virtually no difficulties in providing effective service to persons with limited English proficiency. The Agency has taken several steps to meet the needs of non-English speaking individuals in its field operations. Over 100 of the approximately 1000 nonsupervisory field professional and support staff employees are completely bilingual. Many more are functionally proficient in a second language. Regional offices in areas with large Hispanic populations provide a Spanish language version of their automated telephone message, providing a description of the Agency and its functions.
The Agency makes particular effort to recruit qualified bilingual personnel in areas with high non-English speaking populations and has been very successful in these efforts. In addition, the Agency has established a protocol in which offices with greater complements of bilingual staff are assigned to provide casehandling and translation assistance to offices without bilingual employees. Non-English speaking individuals appearing at the Regional Offices are referred to a bilingual employee for inquiry or, if a bilingual employee is not available on site, the Region obtains telephonic assistance from another Regional Office. Several Regional Offices have established contacts with local foreign consulates, universities, and local Hispanic, Asian, and Eastern European community groups to obtain further translation assistance. The Agency also participates with other labor and employment related federal agencies in Worker Exploitation Task Forces organized by the Department of Justice for the purpose of, inter alia, reaching out to and addressing the special needs of workers, including workers with limited English proficiency. All field managers participate in numerous outreach activities, including meetings with local community groups.
In order to ensure that non-English speaking witnesses can provide testimony during Agency trials and investigations, the Agency's field offices regularly contract with local interpreter/translation services. The Agency also has incorporated techniques for effectively and sensitively handling challenges involved in dealing with non-English speaking witnesses into its trial training materials. In addition, the Agency has alerted the Division of Administrative Law Judges to the language and other cultural issues that arise when non-English speaking individuals participate in unfair labor practice hearings.
In addition to English, the Agency currently provides 41 casehandling forms in Spanish. These forms are used in conducting elections and investigating charges of unfair labor practices. In addition, the NLRB also provides election notices in the following languages:
Other Planned Actions
As reported in our initial plan submitted January 17, 2001, it is our intent to pursue future activities such as expanded translation services for persons with limited English proficiency. However, at this time, it is uncertain what our funding will be for FY 2006 so we are unable to determine what, if any, additional initiatives we will be able to undertake.
If you have any questions, please have your staff contact Vanita Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-273-3920.
Director of Administration