Struggling to keep on top of required labor law postings? Consider this catchy 5-letter prompt to remember what, when and where to post:
Post the Proper Posters Prominently, and Protect Them.
There’s just no getting around it — if your company has employees, you are required to post certain federal, state and, most recently, local employment law notices. Failing to follow the letter of the law could cost you. Violating the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) posting requirement, for example, carries a fine of up to $13,260. Ouch! Bottom line, it’s either post it or pay up.
U.S. employers must display up to six federal labor law postings: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), OSHA, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA).
These are bare-minimum essentials. In addition, you’ll probably need to post state and local-level notices. Depending on where your business is located, that could mean up to 15 state law posters, and up to 10 additional city/county notices. Note that municipalities sometimes have even broader posting requirements than federal or state laws. For example, to cover a higher minimum wage or additional protected characteristics (such as sexual orientation), you’ll need to stay on top of all the posting requirements — federal, state and local.
Additionally, don’t assume that posters are good indefinitely. There’s no such thing as “one and done” with most requirements. Regulations — and posters — change frequently. You’ll need to monitor changes and maintain multi-level postings year-round to ensure total compliance.
Some poster laws include a size requirement (as well as color and font) to ensure visibility and legibility. For example, OSHA’s Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law posting must be 8.5 X 14 inches and use a minimum font size of 10 points. Even if there aren’t specific requirements, workplace posters must be easily readable. So no slapping a half-size photocopy on the breakroom bulletin board.
Be aware, too, that you’ll need to fill in any company-specific information that is required for the posting. Some posters leave space for details such as worker’s compensation policy specifics, payday information or an emergency phone number.
Federal employment laws require employers to physically post notices where all employees will see them. Placing them in a binder in the HR office doesn’t meet that requirement, even if the binder is available to every employee.
The key is to place required notices in places employees frequent each day as part of their daily routine. Your best bet is common areas like a lunch or break room, conference room, employee lounge, kitchen or near a time clock. If you have multiple break rooms or kitchens, consider displaying postings in each location to ensure full coverage.
Note that four federal employment law notices — EEOC, FMLA, USERAA, and FMLA — must be displayed where job applicants will see them (for USERRA, it is a best practice because the law protects both employees and applicants). Whether it’s to fill out an application or sit down for an interview, applicants coming into your facility should be exposed to the necessary posters — just as with regular employee-facing posters.
Also, if you have employees who report to a remote company location, such as a warehouse or satellite office, you should post required notices in an area that is used by those employees on a regular basis.
Once you have the proper posters posted prominently, you’ll need to take steps to keep them protected. Take your cue from OSHA, which specifically states, “Each employer shall take steps to ensure that such notices are not altered, defaced or covered by other material.” For instance, avoid locations where employees can lean against posters during meetings, or on a wall where they can post their own materials, such as “for sale” flyers. For durability, laminated posters are the smartest choice.
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