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Do You Know When Foreign Language Postings Are Necessary for Your Business?

It’s one thing to keep up with federal-level employment laws and related postings … it’s quite another when you drill down to the state, county and city level. While the federal requirements are limited to a handful of postings, mandatory postings in certain states can climb into the double digits. Depending on the states in which you operate and the areas of legislative activity, you’re looking at a much more complex compliance situation.

Does your business have employees who don’t speak English? Or do you operate in a state with enforceable foreign language posting requirements? If so, you need to be aware of posting obligations beyond the mandatory federal and state postings. Let’s look at both situations.

1. Spanish postings regardless of your workplace makeup

Currently, 19 states (plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico) require businesses to display certain postings in Spanish. In fact, you must comply with this requirement regardless of your workforce demographics and whether you have any Spanish-speaking employees on staff.

Mandatory foreign language postings are required in:

Alabama Mississippi
Arizona New Jersey
California New Mexico
Connecticut New York
District of Columbia North Carolina
Florida Puerto RIco
Georgia South Carolina
Kansas Tennessee
Louisiana Texas
Maine Utah

Today, nearly half of all states require businesses to display certain labor law posters in both English and Spanish regardless of workplace demographics.

2. Actual locations with Spanish-speaking employees

If you have business locations with a significant number of Spanish-speaking employees who aren’t proficient in English – your obligations change a bit. In this case, you must post the federal combination poster, which covers six separate postings, in both English and Spanish.

What is a “significant number” of Spanish-speaking employees? The law isn’t definitive on this so most employers – under legal counsel – will display Spanish postings if they affect 10 percent or more of their workforce at any given location.

Beyond federal postings, you’ll also want to address your state postings for any foreign language requirements. The same, or stricter, guidelines apply with certain state postings, where posters must be displayed in any language spoken by 5-10 percent or more of employees. These foreign language requirements apply to six states (plus Washington, D.C.):

  • California
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee

Keep in mind: Most employers who must display federal posters in English and Spanish also choose to post state postings in both languages, regardless of employee makeup. This can provide an added layer of protection in a legal dispute.

Foreign Language Posting Coverage with Poster Guard® Poster Compliance Service

When it comes to mandatory labor law postings, nothing short of 100% compliance will protect your business from the risk of government fines and employee lawsuits. This includes foreign language posting requirements. With Poster Guard® Poster Compliance Service (base service), you receive Spanish-language postings in all 20 states where they are required by law, at no extra charge. For all other states, you can take advantage of optional bilingual (English and Spanish) posters for added legal protection.

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