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Ask the Attorney: Answering Your Questions about Local Labor Law Posting Compliance

Ashley Kaplan, Esq., who heads the expert legal team for Poster Guard® Compliance Protection, answers questions about labor law posting requirements, discusses common posting mistakes, the risks of non-compliance and why it’s important to get it right.

Q: I’ve never heard of city postings. I only display federal and state. Is this something new?

A: Yes, this is a fairly new trend. Many cities and counties now require employers to post additional local labor law notices — and most businesses haven’t caught up with the demand. A few cities have multiple required postings, such as Philadelphia and San Francisco, while others have none. However, the number is growing quickly, largely because local jurisdictions are passing more and more ordinances giving employees rights and protections beyond what is already provided by federal or state law.

Q: I work in a city that has its own minimum wage. Do I still need to display the federal and state minimum wage posters?

A: Yes. All mandatory federal, state and city notices on the subject must be displayed — even if the information conflicts. As far as compliance, employers must honor the minimum wage that is most beneficial to employees.

Q: Why would cities require postings on laws already covered on the federal and state level?

A: Here’s how it works: States generally have authority to pass laws that are more generous to employees than federal law, and local governments have the authority to pass laws that are more generous than state law. Typically, you’ll see states issuing a higher minimum wage than federal law, and cities with an even higher rate than state law. Although city and county posters cover much more than minimum wage, this is the easiest way to illustrate. As an employer, you must follow the law that is the most generous to employees — such as the highest minimum wage or the longest period for medical leave — yet you’re still required to display all the posters.

Q: What are the most common types of local postings?

A: Typical postings cover minimum wage, paid sick leave and anti-discrimination laws. In fact, more than 60 cities and counties have established different minimum wage rates than those set by the state or federal government. Additionally, 28 cities and two counties have laws that grant workers paid time off due to illness. Many of these laws have associated workplace-posting requirements that employers must display.

Q: Do you expect fewer local regulations under the Trump administration?

A: No. In fact, I expect the number of city postings to rise. Deregulation at the federal level doesn’t necessarily result in reduced labor law compliance for businesses. As the pace of federal regulation declines, states step in to fill the gaps. Recently, more cities and counties have stepped up and passed laws designed to protect employees as well. In reality, federal deregulation can create added complexity and increased compliance burdens for employers on a state and local level.

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