HR Mavericks

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Labor Law Posters

Working in HR comes with many rules and regulations—even about posters. Why are you required by law to put up posters in your workplace, and how can you most easily meet those requirements?

What Are Labor Law Posters?

The federal Department of Labor (DOL) (and some states) requires employers to display labor law posters in an area that can be easily viewed by employees. These posters educate the workforce about various labor laws. What posters are typically required varies from state to state, but typically they include:
There are many other posters that are either optional or mandatory only for a certain type of employer. The US Department of Labor has helpful tools to help you discern what you need to comply with federal regulations. For state requirements, check with the Department of Labor for each state your organization resides in.

Why Are Labor Law Posters Important?

Labor law posters may just be seen as one more thing for an HR team to worry about. It is important to understand why they are important.
  • Compliance. It is required by law for an employer to post labor laws. These posters must be displayed in an area that is easily visible for all employees to see, such as a breakroom or a hallway that is passed by often.
  • Provide employees their rights. Labor law posters play a key role in educating employees about their rights. Having these posters helps employees know where to go if they feel they are being mistreated or are unsure about a labor law. While the posters might not include all labor laws, they compose a good starting point for employees.
  • Protect companies. While labor law posters play a role in supporting employees and helping them understand their rights, they are also there to protect companies. Most HR professionals are aware of various labor laws and stay up to date on changes. However, other departments are often less aware. Part of HR's responsibility in keeping other departments well-informed includes these labor law posters, which help protect the company from breaking those laws.

What Businesses Must Display Labor Law Posters?

All of them. As a business, there are already a lot of rules and regulations you need to follow. It is hard to know which ones apply to your business, which ones are recommended, and which are actually required. It is federal and state law for businesses to display labor law posters. Failing to do so can lead to large fines for companies. Each case can vary, but as of 2022, businesses failing to display labor law posters correctly can be fined: $189 for failure to display the poster regarding FMLA; $14,502 for neglecting the “Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law poster; and $23,011 for not posting EPPA information.

Laws Employers Must Follow Regarding Labor Law Posters

The importance of labor law posters has been discussed, as well as the potential ramifications for not displaying them. However, it can be difficult to stay informed about changes to the regulations or the posters. Here are some important laws that employers should be aware of when posting labor law posters.

Visibility

Posters must be displayed in an area that is conspicuous, or easily visible, to all employees. This is open to a bit of interpretation, depending on the type of company, but a place such as a breakroom or the employee entrance might be considered conspicuous. There are also requirements for some of the posters to be a certain size. For example, the OSHA Job Safety and Health poster can’t be any smaller than 8.5” x 14” with a 10 point font. Anything smaller than that is not compliant with OSHA requirements. The other poster that requires a certain size is the Executive Order 13496 poster (Notification of Employee Rights Under Federal Labor Laws). This poster must be 11 x 17 inches. While the other posters don’t have a size requirement, they still need to be easily readable.

Stay Up to Date on Changes

One of the more difficult things with labor law posters regulations is staying up to date with all the changes. You must post the most up-to-date labor law information, but labor laws are constantly changing, and it can be difficult to be aware of all of them. You can stay up to date on law changes by enrolling in employment law update emails, such as J.J Keller. Or there are labor law poster companies that will send out new labor law posters to you whenever changes occur. Some of those companies include J.J Keller and QuickBooks. If you choose not to use one of those services, a best business practice is to review your labor law posters yearly to ensure you are displaying the most recent versions.

Posters in Additional Languages

Some state laws require you to provide your labor law posters in additional languages, depending on your workforce. In the states of Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina, New York and Texas, you must hang posters in English and Spanish if more than 5% of your employees have English as their second language. It is the employer’s responsibility that an employee’s rights and responsibilities are properly communicated to them in their primary language. Best practice is to consider all your employees who speak English as a second language and provide posters in their primary language.

Where to Get Labor Law Posters

How does a company find the correct labor law posters? Here are a few resources.

Laborposters.org

This website lists the state and federal posters you need depending on the state(s) your business resides in. It gives options for each poster or an all-in-one poster. You can also request the posters to be mailed to you if you want to pay to have them laminated.

Professional Employer Organizations (PEO)

If you outsource your HR to a PEO, typically they will provide the posters. Request new posters each year to reflect any changes.

US Department of Labor

This website gives you a breakdown of each different poster and the languages that they are provided in. You can print the posters from .pdf files or order them.
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Tanner Pierce, PHR

Tanner Pierce, PHR

Tanner has over 4 years of HR professional experience in various fields of HR. He has experience in hiring, recruiting, employment law, unemployment, onboarding, outboarding, and training to name a few. Most of his experience comes from working in the Professional Employer and Staffing Industries. He has a passion for putting people in the best position to succeed and really tries to understand the different backgrounds people come from.
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