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Stay Vigilant with Mandatory Workplace Postings to Avoid Higher Fines and Legal Risks

Are you taking unnecessary risks with mandatory workplace postings? If you’re downplaying the importance of labor law posting compliance – or ignoring the requirements altogether – you could face significant financial and legal complications. Not only have the penalties for violating labor laws increased for 2024, but the threat of litigation is ever-present if you cut corners.

Higher Labor Law Posting Fines in 2024

Keeping current with workplace postings is imperative to avoid federal government labor law fines. The amounts are steep — and they can add up quickly if you have violations at multiple locations.

In early 2024, both the Department of Labor (DOL) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced penalty increases. Failure to post the necessary postings can lead to the following maximum fines:

  • $680 – EEOC/Know Your Rights Posting
  • $211 – Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Posting
  • $16,131 – Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA) Posting
  • $25,597 – Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) Posting

At the federal level, combined fines for the six mandatory postings could add up to more than $42,619 per location. Additionally, state and local government posting fines are typically between $100 and $1,000 per violation. (Each posting carries its own fines because every agency and posting law is different.)

Perhaps, like many employers, you learn about these fines and dismiss them, thinking the chances of “getting caught” are extremely low. While it’s true the federal government rarely sends out representatives JUST to enforce posting laws, you’re not off the hook with potential fines. Federal-level labor law posting fines are typically assessed when an agency is on your premises for another reason. It could be a Form I-9 audit, an OSHA inspection, an EEOC investigation or even a DOL follow-up to an employee complaint. The complaint or investigation may be completely unrelated to labor law posters, but the agencies will check posting compliance during their onsite visit.

Given the magnitude of government fines and possible legal exposure, it’s not worth the risk to cut corners with mandatory workplace postings.

Labor Law Posting Violations Can Lead to More Than Fines

Federal posting fines aren’t your only concern. Missing or outdated postings can increase your exposure in employment litigation in two ways:

    • Statute of limitations — The statute of limitations is a big advantage for employers because it allows you to dismiss a claim that was filed too late. For example, the statute of limitations for a federal discrimination claim is 300 days. For an FLSA overtime case, it’s two years. So, typically, if your business gets a claim from a former or existing employee outside of the established time period, you can move to have it dismissed.

      But problems can occur if there’s a posting violation. If you have an outdated poster — or no poster at all — the courts may decide that the statute of limitations doesn’t apply because you didn’t notify employees about their legal rights and responsibilities in the first place. You can’t use it as a defense, and the case may move forward against you.

    • “Bad faith” — Another way posting compliance comes into play is as evidence of “bad faith.” This term refers to an intentional, dishonest act by not fulfilling legal obligations. A finding of bad faith can directly affect your damages in an employee lawsuit — either by inflating a damage award against you or standing in the way of a good-faith defense that would otherwise reduce or eliminate your damages. 

      In federal discrimination or harassment lawsuits, this may come into play as punitive damages, issued in addition to damages for back and front pay, emotional distress and legal fees. They are typically the largest portion of a plaintiff’s total settlement. Without good faith, employers may also have to pay “liquidated damages” in suits involving laws such as the FLSA and the Equal Pay Act (EPA). This essentially means damages are doubled.

Noncompliance with Mandatory Workplace Postings is Never Worth the Risk

Clearly, it’s more important than ever to meet labor law posting requirements. Poster Guard® Poster Compliance Service gets your business up to date with all mandatory labor law postings — and keeps it that way for an entire year. We guarantee our posters are 100% compliant with all federal, state, county and city regulations; if you’re ever found out of compliance, we pay the fines. It’s a level of coverage that protects your business and extends valuable peace of mind.

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