The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (the Act) requires federal agencies to write "clear Government communication that the public can understand and use." President Obama also emphasized the importance of establishing "a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration" in his January 21, 2009, Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government.
The U.S. Department of Labor (the Department) is committed to complying with the Act. The Department has established a Plain Writing website that includes an overview of the Act and its requirements, documents that are covered, and timeframes associated with compliance with the Act.
Plain Language Coordinators
Plain Language Coordinators in each agency within the Department have been identified and their contact information is available on the Department's Plain Writing website. These coordinators are responsible for ensuring each agency's compliance with the Act's requirements and answering questions from the public about their agencies documents or plain writing practices. In addition, general questions about the Department's implementation of the Plain Writing Act can be addressed to the Department's Senior Plain Language Official.
Plain Language Training
In May 2012, the Department began requiring that all new employees take the training within 90-days of joining the Department and that all employees take an on-line plain writing training. By July 31, 2012, over 85 percent of the Department's employees and contractors had taken the training and received a Plain Writing Education and Training Certificate. DOL is planning to offer on-line training for all DOL employees and contractors in 2016.
The Department of Labor received grades of "A" for Compliance, "B" for Writing, and "C" for Information Design on the 2014 Federal Plain Language Report Card. The Center for Plain Language graded the Department on: Compliance – Does the Department fulfill the requirements of the Plain Writing Act of 2010; Writing – Do writing samples consistently demonstrate plain writing principles (for example, grammar, style, and tone) to make documents easier to read and understand; and Information Design – Do writing samples consistently use information design techniques (including, typography, layout, color, white space, and graphics) to guide readers' attention and reinforce key messages.