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Are we required to display posters if we only have a few employees?
Yes. Most posting laws apply if you have at least one employee on payroll (with very few exceptions).
Can’t we get posters for free from government websites?
Technically, yes. But it’s not that simple, as there’s no “one-stop shop” for free government posters. To stay in compliance, you must contact all federal, state and possibly local (county and city) agencies that require employment law postings. Depending on your location, that means tracking requirements from up to nine different agencies for federal and state posters alone. And across the country, more than 22,000 local jurisdictions are authorized to issue their own posting requirements.
Is it OK to update posters just once a year?
No. Mandatory poster updates can occur anytime throughout the year. Some states implement minimum wage changes in January, but that’s only one of several required posters. If you only update posters annually, you will likely fall out of compliance at some point during the year.
Our city/county has a minimum wage that is higher than the state and federal minimum wages. Do we have to post federal and state posters minimum wage posters also?
When federal, state and local laws vary, you must follow the law that’s most beneficial to your employees. However, you’re required to post the federal, state and local (city/county) posters even if the information conflicts. Keep in mind that minimum wage postings typically include other information about employee rights, beyond the minimum wage amount.
Can we display posters in a single location at our facility, or do they need to appear in multiple places in the building?
It depends. As a general rule, postings must be displayed in “prominent and conspicuous locations” throughout your business where they’re accessible to all employees. Larger companies should post in multiple locations to ensure easy access for all employees. Consider the following places: break rooms, locker rooms, employee entrances, time clocks, the HR department and applicant areas.
Posters take up too much room on our walls. Can we post them electronically on our company intranet instead?
Generally speaking, no. Electronic delivery is not a substitute for full-sized physical posters displayed in conspicuous locations and accessible to all employees. The federal exceptions are FMLA and USERRA postings, but only if you communicate other policies electronically and provide digital access to all employees. Exceptions also apply for non-traditional worksites without walls (such as mall kiosks and mobile work units), as well as remote/off-site workers.
Do we need to issue posters to employees who work from home?
By law, you must provide mandatory labor law notices to all employees, including those who work off-site. Electronic postings are a compliant solution for these workers if they regularly communicate with the office via email or internet, and have computers or mobile devices to ensure accessibility.
What about remote workers who come into the office a few times a year and see our postings? Are they covered?
No, visiting a few times a year isn’t sufficient. If remote workers come into the office less than 3-4 times a month, you need to provide posters in an alternative format (such as electronically).
We have employees who work in trucks or kiosks without walls. How do we satisfy posting compliance requirements for these employees?
Consider an electronic solution or a binder format. Electronic postings are ideal for employees with computers and internet access, while a binder format provides physical postings for other types of working environments.
What if we have employees who work at a client’s worksite? Who is responsible for the posters?
This depends on several factors and requires legal analysis of your specific arrangements and contract for a definitive answer. Under the “joint employer liability” theory, however, you and the client may both be held responsible for employment law violations. If you have control over the physical workspace, it’s a smart practice to display the posters. Otherwise, consider an electronic solution or binder format.
Are we obligated to post in Spanish and other foreign languages?
It’s highly likely. In about half the states, employers must display certain postings, in Spanish even if all employees are proficient in English. Plus, cities and counties often require posters in multiple languages even if all employees are proficient in English. Some laws at the federal, state and local levels also require foreign language postings based on the languages spoken by employees.
As a federal contractor, do we have to display the federal contractor labor law postings at every worksite?
Not necessarily. Federal contractors must post several additional labor law postings, which depend on the types of contracts and their value. In general, posters must be displayed only in locations where federal contract work is performed or supported.
What are the posting requirements for job applicants, and how do we handle them for in-person vs. online hiring?
Certain postings must be displayed where applicants can view them. At the federal level, these include EEOC, FMLA, USERRA and EPPA postings, plus the E-Verify/Right to Work posting where applicable. Many states, counties and cities also have applicant posting requirements. For applicants that come into your facility for pre-employment interviews, testing or other hiring procedures, you should display physical postings. For online applicants, you can provide electronic access via links to poster images.
There’s no such thing as “poster police,” so what are the chances of getting in trouble for not having the right posters?
While it’s not likely that government agents will knock on your door to check postings, they may visit for other reasons. At the federal level, most posting fines are assessed when agencies conduct an I-9 audit, an OSHA inspection, an EEOC investigation or even a DOL follow-up to an employee complaint. While on the premises for these reasons, agents will check posting compliance and issue fines if your postings are incomplete or outdated. On the state and local level, employers may be subjected to random government audits resulting in posting fines.
The bigger risk of non-compliance is related to employee lawsuits. In these cases, posting violations can result in higher damage awards against you, or cause you to forfeit important legal defenses. Missing or outdated postings can also extend the statute of limitations for employment lawsuits.
Which state posters do you provide if a remote worker lives in another state?
The answer depends on a lot of factors, including the state and local laws where your business is headquartered and where the employee lives, the structure of your business, tax issues, the legal relationship with the specific employee, company policies and applicable agreements. The safest practice is to provide posters from both states but at minimum you should provide posters from the state where the employee lives and works.
Can a company provide a handout instead of a poster?
No. Employee 'handouts' are completely different, and typically refer to legal notices employers must personally distribute to employees at various points in the employment relationship, such as: upon hire, on employee anniversaries, when there are pay status changes, when an employee becomes pregnant, when an employee becomes injured or requests a leave of absence, and upon termination.
Each state and locality has different requirements. For the most part, these ‘handout’ requirements are separate and apart from workplace posting requirements. There are a few overlapping notices, but as a general rule the handout notices are separate and must be distributed in addition to the workplace posters. Each handout requirement is unique when it comes to the distribution method, but in most cases electronic delivery is acceptable.
Can we shrink the posters?
Posters must satisfy minimum size and font requirements, along with strict color and/or layout specifications. Cutting corners by shrinking posters or not printing in color can put your company at risk for non-compliance.
Do certain industries have additional posting requirements?
Certain industries, such as healthcare facilities, restaurants and public sector employers, have additional labor law posting requirements under federal and state laws. They are a commonly overlooked area of compliance, but they must be addressed to ensure your business is fully protected.