Labor Law Posting Requirements for All 50 States
Never (even in the slightest) considered appealing to the eye, yet destined to adorn the break rooms and common areas of workplaces throughout the country, often the bane of HR’s existence, today we focus a little attention on the ever-changing, always confusing…Labor Law Poster.
The federal government, as well as all 50 states, have passed laws or regulations that require employers to post official notices in the workplace to inform employees of their legal rights and responsibilities. Sounds simple, right? Simple, until we take into account that state and federal laws and regulations are constantly changing, employees are being added in different states, expansion into new business lines or increased head counts create new posting requirements – all meaning that these postings are frequently revised.
And, we cannot forget that failure to post required labor law notices can result in fines or penalties and may affect an employer’s legal rights in the event of enforcement actions.
For a “snapshot” of the current state and federal posting requirements, covering all 50 states and including links to most of the state agencies from which the posters can be accessed, here is a link: 50-StatePostingRequirements.2021.
Although all required posters are available at no cost through the various state or federal agencies, many employers prefer the convenience of working through a vendor that can provide nice, laminated, all-in-one posters at a reasonable price. For any information you may need on this, please reach out to our labor law poster specialists at ServiceOne@EmployersGroup.com.
For a more detailed overview of some of the well-know (and lesser-known) issues surrounding posting requirements, please continue to our blog.
Here are the Top Ten “Fun Facts” about Labor Law Posters…
- Both the states and the federal government require labor law notices to be conspicuously posted in the workplace in areas frequented by employees. Generally, this means on walls or bulletin boards in break rooms, hallways, lobbies or similar locations. The US Department of Labor has some very specific suggestions in its FAQs. In most cases, the guidance says each notice “must be displayed/posted by employers in a conspicuous place in all of their establishments so as to permit employees to readily read it.” In some cases (for example “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law”) must be posted in conspicuous places available to “employees and applicants for employment.” To view the full FAQs, please visit: Frequently Asked Questions – United States Department of Labor (dol.gov).
- All required notices must be current. This is a huge challenge given the constant changes.
- One size does not fit all. There are two federal posters where the regulations specify a size (the OSHA poster and Executive Order 13496 poster), but all federal workplace posters must be easily readable.
- You cannot email labor posters to remote employees; however, in some situations you can mail them. This has been a big issue over the past year (for obvious reasons). The guidance is a little confusing, but here goes: If you have remote employees that are legitimately working remote100% of the time — meaning they never come to the worksite at any point during the year, you can mail (not email, but old-school mail) each of your remote employees all of the state and federal notices. If your remote employees report to the worksite, even occasionally, you have satisfied your obligation as long as you are following regular procedures and the notices are posted conspicuously at the workplace.
- Binders are usually not an option In almost all cases, posters must be displayed or posted in a conspicuous place where they are easily visible to all employees — the intended audience. However, the “Your Rights Under USERRA” can be provided in other ways as long as the full text of the notice is provided, e.g., by distributing the notice to employees by direct handling, mailing, or via electronic mail. Some state notices can also be handled differently.
- Labor law posters cannot be altered. It is up to the employer to ensure that posters are not altered, defaced, or covered by other material.
- Translation may be required. Many state and local jurisdictions require posting in English and other languages. The law may specify that employers must post in the languages spoken by a certain proportion of the employees at the work site or the languages spoken in the community. Usually, you will find that when the law requires posting in multiple languages, the federal agency or state will make the poster available in many languages.
- There are real fines for not fully complying. Fully complying means having all required posters, having the current version of each poster, and having them displayed properly. While there is no “Poster Police,” fines for poster violations are still commonplace. Most often they are identified during audits or in the event of other claims. Imagine a harassment complaint leading to an investigation at which it is notices that the mandatory state anti-harassment posting is missing.
- Fines can be assessed at both a state and federal level, and each posting could carry its own fine. Generally, fines can range anywhere from $100 to over $1,000 per violation. Fines are increased every year. A violation of the OSHA posting can be as high as $13,494. And, for California employers, failing to post the CAL/OSHA Poster can carry a penalty of up to $1,000 per violation.
- The DOL has a link for each state’s posting requirements. In addition to the link to the PDF provided earlier, here is a link to the DOL’s source for state-specific posting requirements: dol.gov/whd/contacts/state_of.htm.