Employer Posting Requirements & Free Resources
Employment laws change frequently, as do the requirements for employers to stay in compliance. Among the most commonly misunderstood requirements are those regarding employer posters. State and federal regulations require employers to display mandatory labor law notices. Requirements vary widely based on the location and size of your business, the type of business/industry, whether you have government contracts or sub-contracts, etc.
We have all received one of those scary-looking letters from one of the many poster providers who make it sound like the world will end if you don’t purchase their federal and state posters and ongoing updates. In this article, we will show you how to easily obtain these posters on your own. We also notify you in our legal updates of any poster requirement changes, making it unnecessary to purchase the ongoing updates that come with poster service subscriptions.
The first step in creating your posters is to clearly understand what applies to your organization, based on the factors discussed above.
FEDERAL POSTING REQUIREMENTS
The most common postings required by federal guidelines include:
• FLSA Federal Minimum Wage
• Employee Polygraph Protection
• Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
Additional posters include those addressing:
• FMLA for companies with over 50 employees;
• The Davis-Bacon Act , Displaced Employee Rights on Successor Contracts , Notification of Employee Rights Under Federal Labor Laws andThe Service Contract Act (SCA) for specific federal contractors;
• Employee Rights for Workers with Disabilities/Special Minimum Wage Poster ;
• Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act for agricultural employers.
• E-Verify Participation Poster and Right to Work Poster for all E-verify employer users.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s free FirstStep Poster Advisor provides a series of questions to help employers determine what federal posters are required and provides free downloadable links for each required poster.
The Poster Advisor questionnaire includes the following:
1. Choose from a list of categories to describe the nature of your business.
2. Select from a range the maximum number of employees your business will employ in the calendar year.
3. Have you hired or do you plan to hire a person with a disability certified by DOL?
4. Do you employ or seek to employ foreign workers?
5. Has your business or organization made a payment to, or entered into a financial arrangement with, a labor organization or a labor organization officer, employee, or other representative?
6. Does your business or organization have an arrangement with and/or make payments to a labor relations consultant or other person to undertake activities that, directly or indirectly, will persuade employees to exercise, or not exercise, their rights to organize and bargain collectively, or obtain information about the activities of employees or a union in connection with a labor dispute with this employer (except information solely for administrative, arbitral, or court proceedings)?
7. Does your business or organization currently maintain or plan to maintain a health benefits plan for employees?
8. Does any establishment in your business or organization have any federal or federally- assisted contracts or subcontracts?
Based on the answers you provide, the site will generate the list of posters required for your organization and free links to download them.
STATE POSTING REQUIREMENTS
In addition to federal posting requirements, each state requires certain postings per state-specific regulations. Some cities and counties also have additional posting requirements.
Select the state(s) where you have employees to download posting requirements and downloadable links.
San Francisco HCSO
San Fran. Mín. Wage
San Fran. Fair Chance
San Jose Min. Wage
CT Paid Sick Leave
District of Columbia
Prince George’s County
Newark Paid Sick Leave
If your business is located in one or more of the following states, you are required to post labor law posters in both English and Spanish: AZ, CA, FL, GA, NM, NC, NY, and TX. Outside of these states, it is not mandatory to display bilingual posters. However it is highly recommended if you have non-English-speaking employees.
Although it is recommended by federal and state agencies, the following types of businesses do not need to post labor law posters:
• Sole Proprietor without employees
• Businesses with only contract employees
• Businesses with an all-volunteer work force
• Family-owned business where all employees are related
Once you determine which posters are required, you also must ensure the location of the postings meet compliance requirements as well. Labor law posters
must be displayed in a conspicuous location where employees can access them during the normal course of the workday , such as a break room, employee bulletin board, locker area, or business entrance or exit. If you have multiple locations, each workplace should display its own posters.
Each poster has a posting requirement specific to the size and location of the posting. As a general rule, most must be at least 8 x 11 inches in size.
NOTE: E-Verify posters, which are for the benefit of individuals applying for employment, are required to be in an area such as a public entrance where applicants are likely to see them.
HOW OFTEN TO UPDATE?
Posters only need to be replaced when posting requirements are updated by federal or state agencies. There have been n o federal posting requirement changes since 2013. The most recent was the FMLA notice change in February 2013.
The following states have posting requirements that have taken or will take effect in 2015: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, FL, IL, MA, MO, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NC, OR, RI, SD, TN, VT, WA, and WV.
The following states have not had update requirements since 2013 or prior: AL, GA, ID, IA, MS, ND, UT, VA, and WY.
PENALTIES FOR NON-COMPLIANCE
Posters remind supervisors of their obligations to uphold employment laws and protect workers from injury, discrimination, harassment, and other important protected rights. Fines and penalties for non-compliance are imposed by various agencies, and these fines vary.
In April 2014, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission nearly doubled the fines it can levy against employers who do not adhere to its posting requirements. Employers now face a fine of $210 per posting violation for EEO posters. Civil penalties of $100 per offense can be imposed for failure to post the federal FMLA poster and fines up to $7,000 may be imposed for failing to post the federal OSHA Poster. The Secretary of Labor can bring court actions and assess civil penalties for failing to post the Federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act notice.
In addition to the state and federal website resources provided which offer free downloadable versions of all required posters, all-in-one federal and state posters are also available for purchase from many online retailers. Providers can be found via a web search for “all-in-one labor law posters.” Note that many of these providers charge a subscription fee for on-going compliance – a service already provided with the service you receive from HR Service, Inc.
By Rhonda Hollier, HR Coach, HR Service, Inc.
Sources: U.S. Department of Labor Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization and respective state compliance agencies for each state.