President Rescinds US DOL Rule on Guidance Changes, Public Notice and Comment Procedures

Situation Report | February 1, 2021

Through an executive order on January 20, President Biden rescinded an August 28, 2020 U.S Department of Labor (DOL) final rule related to procedures for DOL guidance.

The now-rescinded DOL rule provided policy and requirements for: issuing, modifying, withdrawing, and using guidance; making guidance available to the public; a notice and comment process for significant guidance; and taking and responding to petitions about guidance.

It was rescinded based on the decision that it “deprived” DOL “of necessary flexibility in determining when and how best to issue public guidance” and “unduly restricts the Department’s ability to provide timely guidance.”

The executive order cited several challenges — the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recovery, racial justice, and climate change — for which “executive departments and agencies (agencies) must be equipped with the flexibility to use robust regulatory action to address national priorities.”