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Do You Know the Difference Between Postings and Notices — and What It Takes to Fully Comply?

Workplace postings inform employees of their legal rights and responsibilities under federal, state and local regulations. Employee notices also inform employees of their legal rights and responsibilities under federal, state and local regulations.

So, what’s the difference between postings and notices? Both are designed to inform employees – and both are legal requirements for employers – but they function differently in the workplace. Let’s take a closer look.

First Up: Labor Law Postings

Under federal law, all employers must display up to six workplace postings:

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): Covers anti-discrimination provisions and legally protected characteristics.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): Highlights important workplace safety measures.
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Explains employee leave eligibility and benefits, as well as employer responsibilities. (Generally, only applies to businesses with 50+ employees.)
  • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA): Addresses re-employment after military leave, anti-discrimination provisions and health insurance issues.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): Notifies employees of the federal minimum wage rate, overtime rules and child labor laws.
  • Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA): Describes the rules around lie detector tests in employment (a posting requirement, even if you don’t use lie detectors).

Additional postings are required by each state and, increasingly, by certain counties and cities. These physical postings must be displayed prominently in the workplace where all employees can view them. During the current times when more employees are working remotely, you also have the option to share electronic postings. Federal agencies like the Department of Labor (DOL) have indicated that electronic postings are an acceptable supplement to hard-copy postings if you employ both on-site and remote workers.

To be clear: You can take a completely digital approach only if all employees work remotely, typically receive employer information electronically and can readily access postings. Otherwise, your hybrid workplace will need to utilize physical AND electronic postings.

Posting or notice? Depending on the circumstances and legal requirements, a posting is displayed continuously in the workplace while a notice is delivered to an employee directly.

Next Up: Employee Handouts

Up-to-date postings provide one level of compliance protection for your business. But you also must distribute mandatory legal notices (or handouts) directly to employees for a variety of reasons. Depending on the underlying law, some notices may be required for all employees — either annually or on some other schedule. Others are event-driven, so they’re triggered when a specific activity occurs, such as: employee injury, leave of absence, change in pay or status, benefits, or separation.

Employee handouts function like labor law postings, with the same challenges for time-strapped employers. They vary from state to state, they change frequently, they must be researched and tracked down through various agencies, and they can lead to costly penalties and legal complications if you don’t comply.

Managing State and Local Postings and Notices Is a Big Undertaking

Workplace postings and notices continue to grow at the state and local levels. Depending on the location of your business, this could amount to more than 100 posters and handouts.

For example, here is what an employer in Denver, Colorado must display and/or distribute (beyond the six mandatory federal postings):

Colorado PostersColorado Handouts
Minimum Wage Employer's First Report of Injury
Unemployment Insurance Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
Fair Employment COBRA
Payday Notice Availability of Unemployment Compensation Notice
Workers' Compensation 2022 Overtime and Minimum Wage Standards Notice (COMPS Order 38)
Workers' Compensation - Report of Injury 2022 Healthy Families and Workplaces Act Notice
Paid Leave and Whistleblower Denver Notice of Right to be Free from Discrimination Because of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Related Medical Conditions
Denver Anti-Discrimination Poster
Denver Minimum Wage Poster

Turn to Poster Guard for Attorney-Backed Postings AND Notices

Fortunately, Poster Guard offers a variety of dedicated services to remove all these concerns. Poster Guard® Compliance Protection extends 365 days of guaranteed posting compliance with all required federal, state, county and city labor law postings, Poster Guard® E-Service for Remote Workers delivers necessary postings via email to employees who can’t view physical postings at the worksite and the Mandatory Employee Handout Service is available in basic and premium levels for immediate online access to all applicable employee notifications. With each service, you gain peace of mind knowing you’re fully covered through year-round legal monitoring and automatic updates whenever requirements change.

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