On June 14, 2023, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) again updated its new Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal poster. It was previously updated in October 2022 — replacing the EEO is the Law poster — and is required for employers with 15 or more workers. Here are answers to common questions about the EEOC, the updated workplace posting and what you must do to comply.
Q: What is the EEOC?
A: The EEOC is the government agency that administers and enforces federal laws prohibiting workplace discrimination. The agency was created under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to help protect employees and job applicants from employment-related discrimination. As part of its role, the EEOC requires businesses to display a mandatory poster about federal anti-discrimination laws.
Q: What are the changes to the EEOC poster?
A: The poster was updated to include information regarding the new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). The PWFA went into effect on June 27, 2023 and requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees or applicants with known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions — unless the accommodation would cause an undue hardship. An undue hardship is any situation creating significant difficulty or expense to the business.
Q: What are the regulatory changes covered in the ‘Know Your Rights’ poster?
A: The poster explains that employers must provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. Reasonable accommodations refer to changes to the work environment or the way things are done in the workplace. Examples for affected employees under the PWFA include:
- Being able to sit or drink water
- Receiving closer parking
- Having flexible hours
- Receiving appropriately-sized uniforms and safety apparel
- Receiving additional break time to use the bathroom, eat and rest
- Taking leave or time off to recover from childbirth
Being excused from strenuous activities and/or exposure to chemicals not safe for pregnancy
Q: What does EEOC compliance entail?
A: EEOC compliance means to operate a business according to the anti-discrimination laws enforced by the EEOC. These laws, which are covered in the ‘Know Your Rights’ poster are:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act — forbids employers from discriminating based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin
- Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act — prohibit employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants based on disabilities, in addition to requiring employers to make ‘reasonable accommodations’ for disabled employees
- The Age Discrimination Act — makes it illegal to discriminate against job applicants and employees aged 40 and older
- The Equal Pay Act — prohibits pay discrimination based on gender
- Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) — bars employers from discriminating based on genetic information
Q: Do the laws enforced by the EEOC apply to all businesses?
A: Most employers with at least 15 employees must comply with the federal anti-discrimination laws enforced by the EEOC. This includes private employers, state and local governments, and educational institutions. Labor unions and staffing agencies are also subject to these laws. (It’s important to note that employers not covered by federal anti-discrimination laws may be subject to similar state and/or local laws, which often apply to smaller businesses.)
Q: What are the requirements with the ‘Know Your Rights’ poster?
A: For employers with 15 or more employees, the ‘Know Your Rights’ poster should be displayed in a conspicuous location in the workplace where notices to applicants and employees are customarily posted. Be aware, too, that the ‘Know Your Rights’ EEOC poster is one of four federal posters that must be accessible to both employees and job candidates.
Q: What are the fines and repercussions for failing to display the ‘Know Your Rights’ poster?
A: The maximum penalty for violating mandatory workplace posting requirements is $680 per location. Failure to post can also be considered a sign of ‘bad faith’ in a legal dispute because you didn’t properly inform employees of their rights. In certain instances, it can even extend the statute of limitations, which gives an individual more time to file a lawsuit.
Q: Is the updated ‘Know Your Rights’ poster the only federal requirement?
A: No! The new ‘Know Your Rights’ poster by the EEOC is just one of six mandatory federal posting requirements for employers. Most employers must also display certain state-issued — and often city- and county-level — notices. Fortunately, expert assistance is available. Poster Guard® Poster Compliance Service gets your business up to date with all required federal, state and local labor law postings — and keeps it that way for a full 12 months. You’ll receive a complete poster set plus automatic replacements any time a mandatory change occurs, providing you with year-round peace of mind.