President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act into law nearly five years ago, but elements of the law are still being clarified through the rule-making process. Recently, a set of Dodd-Frank regulations surfaced in the area of corporate diversity and inclusion.

The standards were issued by six federal agencies, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They give employers an idea of how they should encourage diversity, evaluate progress and build a more inclusive workforce in a transparent manner.

“The regulations are voluntary, and they do not create new legal obligations,” said Dee Spagnuolo, a partner at Ballard Spahr. “But even with that being the case, everyone wants to be a good corporate citizen, and if this is something that your regulator is recommending and is asking that it be done, even if there isn’t a specific enforcement hook, companies would be well served to comply with it.”

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