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Foreign Language Posting Requirements Every Employer Should Know

When it comes to labor law posting compliance, many employers mistakenly overlook foreign language requirements. Or they assume these requirements don’t impact their business because their entire workforce speaks English (or only a few employees speak another language, such as Spanish).

This assumption can leave a gap in your posting compliance! Take special note of the following requirements to ensure you’re satisfying all the requirements.

Spanish Postings No Matter the Workplace Makeup

Currently, 19 states — plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico — require businesses to display certain labor law postings in Spanish even if they don’t have any Spanish-speaking employees. So, if you operate in any of the following locations, you must display applicable postings in English and Spanish:

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

Also, in the case of Puerto Rico, all postings must be displayed in Spanish, not just certain ones like with other states.

Be sure to check with your local municipalities for any foreign language posting requirements beyond those at the state level.

Rules for Locations with Spanish-Speaking Employees

If you have a significant number of Spanish-speaking workers at your office who don’t speak English proficiently, you must display all federal postings in both English and Spanish.

Because the law isn’t clear on a ‘significant number’ of Spanish-speaking workers, employers are often unsure about how to proceed. It’s a best practice to display federal postings in Spanish if it affects 10 percent or more of the staff at any given location. The same, or stricter, guidelines apply with certain state and city/county postings, where postings should be displayed in any language spoken by 5-10 percent or more of employees, or that affect at least five employees.

Keep in mind: Most employers who must display federal posters in 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.

Rely on Poster Guard to Satisfy Foreign Language Requirements

If you’re in any of the states that require mandatory Spanish labor law posters, rest assured that Poster Guard® Poster Compliance Service has you covered. The Poster Guard base service includes all mandatory foreign-language translations that are required for all employers. We guarantee our posters are compliant with all current federal, state, county and city posting regulations — or we pay the government fines, no matter how big.

For situations where Spanish posters are required only if you have Spanish-speaking employees, we offer the option of a full bilingual (English/Spanish) poster service. Even where not required by law, this option is recommended for maximum protection if you have any Spanish-speaking employees who are not fluent in English.

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