While the Department of Labor Workplace Posters appear to be an outdated means to communicate employee rights, these posters are still very much a part of the DOL’s arsenal to ensure that employees are aware of their rights. In most cases, the posters are still required to be on display in the workplace, and the DOL is even increasing the fines for violations.
Despite the increasing popularity of working from home, the DOL has stated that the posters must continue to be displayed on the premises in a conspicuous area or where they can be “clearly seen.” If an employer has a combination of on-site and telework employees, then the DOL encourages both hard-copy and electronic postings. Placing posters on a website is a supplement to, not a substitute for, the physical posting of the notices on the premises. There are a few narrow situations where an electronic posting satisfies the regulatory requirements. For example, an electronic posting is an acceptable substitute for the continuous posting requirement where (1) all the employees exclusively work remotely, (2) all of the employees customarily receive information via electronic means, and (3) all of the employees have readily available access to the electronic posting at all times. Individual notices, either hard copy or electronic, may be permissible under certain statutes and regulations. Additionally, different statutes have their own size and location requirements. Therefore, it is important to review these requirements to determine which posters pertain to the employer’s business and how to properly post the requisite notices.
Otherwise, employers who violate these regulations face penalties, which includes recently increased fines:
• “Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law” (OSHA): $14,502 (from $13,653)
• Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA): $23,011 (from $21,663)
• Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): $189 (from $178)
Employers should review their current practice to ensure compliance with these regulations. State and local governments may also have their own poster rules that need to be considered, as well. For example, the North Carolina Department of Labor has updated its labor law posters based on recent legislative changes. These changes affect North Carolina’s Wage and Hour Act. New posters may be necessary to comply with these changes.
Finally – you don’t need to subscribe to a poster service to be in compliance. Poster services can be handy since they provide a neat, laminated all–in–one product. However, all the posters needed by employers can actually be downloaded for free, printed and posted from the DOL website – click here to access the posters.
Contact Gardner Skelton for assistance regarding Labor Law postings.