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Jul

12

2021

Allowing Remote Work? Get the Latest DOL Guidance on Posting Requirements for Hybrid Workplaces

In early 2020, partially or fully remote workplaces were the exception. But today, due to the unique dynamics surrounding COVID-19 and employee safety concerns, this working arrangement is commonplace. This widespread shift presents a host of compliance challenges, including how to manage posting requirements for hybrid workplaces.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has provided guidance on this vital issue to assist employers and highlight best practices. If your business is allowing remote work, here’s what you need to know about federal, state and local posting requirements to ensure complete compliance.

Sharing Mandatory Postings with Remote Workers

Employers must display certain federal postings — e.g., notice of rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) — in conspicuous, highly trafficked locations, such as break rooms or lobbies. But how will employees who work from home receive this essential information?

The latest DOL guidance makes an important distinction with mandatory employee posters, which are considered “continuous postings” (vs. one time, event-specific notifications). Depending on your working environment:

Hybrid workplaces with some remote workers: Physical posters are still necessary for visibility with onsite employees (no matter how few are working onsite), but electronic postings are acceptable for remote workers.

Entirely remote workplaces: Electronic postings are allowed exclusively if all employees work remotely, they’re used to receiving information virtually and they can readily access such postings.

The DOL stresses that electronic transmission is only appropriate if your remote employees customarily receive information on a dedicated company intranet or portal, or through a company email communication system. Otherwise, you’re relying on unfamiliar platforms that might not get their attention. This means remote employees should be fully aware of where and how to access these electronic notices, and they shouldn’t have to ask for special permission each time to view them. Ideally, this intranet or portal will populate automatically when employees log on to their desktops.

Be aware of these additional pointers to cover all your compliance bases:

    • Postings for job applicants (such as the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) poster and other federal, state and local notices) must be provided electronically if you handle hiring remotely. (Physical postings are still necessary, however, for any hiring done onsite.)
    • This guidance only addresses the federal postings the DOL enforces (such as the FLSA and FMLA postings), but legal experts recommend the same compliance approach for other mandatory federal postings until further instruction is available.
    • Although many enforcement agencies at the federal, state and local levels support this DOL guidance, other agencies are issuing their own regulations in response to this quickly evolving compliance trend.

One more compliance tip: Indicate the virtual location of workplace postings in your employee handbook or handbook acknowledgment page.

Easily Manage Posting Requirements for Hybrid Workplaces

Our innovative electronic services let you deliver the latest mandatory federal, state and local postings to temporary and/or permanent remote workers, per DOL guidelines. With either service, all postings are kept up to date year-round by our expert, in-house legal team. Choose from:

12-Month Intranet Licensing ServiceProvide access to electronic postings via your hosted corporate intranet or employee web portal. Employees simply click to select their location and view applicable postings. (Also available as a 6-Month Intranet Licensing Service for temporary situations.)

E-Service for Remote Workers — Allow remote workers to view required postings online and receive automatic email updates whenever a mandatory change occurs. Plus, all receipt acknowledgements are tracked on our portal for easy verification.

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