While you may not consider labor law posters a necessity, if you have one or more employees in your business, not including your spouse, you’re required by law to update and prominently display them. Even if you have relatives working in your business, they must have access to compliance posters. Some statutes and regulations enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor require that notices about applicable labor laws be displayed in the workplace. Failure to post them can result in stiff penalties and possible fines up to $12,675. You can obtain these posters at no cost by visiting: Workplaceposters.org. When you go to this site, you can download free electronic copies of all mandatory posters and you can print them at your convenience.
Depending on state and federal laws, here’s a list of six federal labor law posters that you need to prominently display:
- Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
- Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)
- Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
In addition, some states may require the following posters be posted in Spanish and English. Check your state’s individual requirements:
- Unemployment Insurance for Employees
- Employer Vacation (exemption from unemployment)
- Equal Pay for Equal Work Act
It’s important to not only make sure you have these posters prominently displayed, but to assure they’re up-to-date, because, while it’s more common for complaints to be submitted to the Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission related to statutory wage-hour violations and discrimination in the workplace, you can also be dinged for not having current versions of these posters.
According to the 2017 Hiscox Guide to Employee Lawsuits, any worker who feels discriminated against or feels retaliated against for supporting a discriminated worker, can bring a charge against their employer. Charges can be filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the equivalent state fairness agency. To determine what qualifies for a discrimination charge activity, check the federal (EEOC) and state data. An investigation of this type would involve on-site visits, often resulting in more offenses likely being identified. Failure to display workplace posters is one example, especially when they relate to state laws.
The labor law poster requirement was designed to communicate to workers their rights under state and federal employment laws. Typically, most legislatures or agencies grant at least a 60-day notice once a law or revision has been passed. It’s important for employers to familiarize themselves with what’s new or has been revised
before moving forward. Or business owners can also seek professional input before implementing new policies.
No One is Exempt from Having Access to Compliance Posters
In addition to your employees, you must give access to those in your business who are federal contractors or subcontractors, because they’re on your payroll. And, if you have employees who work remotely, they need to have full access to the labor laws. The following are examples of ways you can be in compliance under these circumstances.
- Consider an online compliance guide, one where you can view the labor laws for each state online. Granted, this doesn’t meet the poster requirement; however, it can serve as a resource for your employees who work remotely. For help obtaining an online compliance guide, call the Poster Compliance Center at 800-322-3636.
- Another option is the Poster Compliance Center’s electronic compliance guide, commonly referred to as Ecomply. It’s a valuable resource for your employees who work remotely (from home or at tiny satellite offices). It shows your employees how they can download and print the labor law compliance notices. You can order the electronic version at https://www.postercompliance.com/labor-law-posters/ecomply.
What if my employees work where there’s no room for full-sized labor law posters? Is a full set of compliance posters still required?
When there’s physically no room for posters, try putting the labor law notices in a binder or booklet. While this doesn’t fully satisfy the poster requirement, it can still serve as a resource for your employees who are constantly mobile or rarely visit the main office. Such booklets are available through the Poster Compliance Center. And, they contain all the required state and federal labor law notices. These booklets can easily fit into a vehicle, a kiosk, or other small space. To obtain a labor law poster booklet, simply call the Poster Compliance Center at 800-322-3636.