Knowing exactly which labor law posters an employer is required to display gets trickier every day. Not only must you know which federal, state and local postings are required for your business, but you are also responsible for following complex rules about where to post them, at what size and when they must be updated. Increasingly, Spanish labor law posters are also required to be posted for employees.
That’s right, it’s likely you should (or must) post certain labor law posters in both English and Spanish. The goal is to make sure all employees fully understand their rights, and displaying translated posters for employees who are not fluent in English supports that goal. More importantly, displaying Spanish labor law posters provides you with an extra layer of protection in the event of a legal dispute.
Spanish Labor Law Posters: To Display… or Not?
Many employers mistakenly believe they are not required to display foreign language labor law postings if their entire staff speaks English. The truth is, nearly half of all states require businesses to display certain labor law postings in both English and Spanish, regardless of workforce demographics.
In addition, businesses that are subject to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) must display the FMLA posting in Spanish if they have a “significant portion of workers” who are not literate in English. The law does not define “significant portion,” so a good rule of thumb is to include the Spanish translation of the FMLA posting if more than 10 percent of your workers speak Spanish as their primary language.
Confusion often occurs because there is no mandate to display all posters in Spanish. But just one slip-up could have serious consequences if a Spanish-speaking employee files a complaint that involves not understanding their legal rights. As a result, employment law experts advise employers to err on the side of caution and post all employee notices in Spanish if they have any workers who are not fluent in English.
According to the US Census Bureau, an estimated 41 million US residents, or 13.4% of the population, speak Spanish at home.
States with Spanish Posting Mandates
As of January 2020, these 20 states and Washington, D.C., have passed statutes requiring certain postings to be displayed in Spanish, even if you have no Spanish-speaking employees: