Look on the walls of any business and you’ll find one thing in common: Whether in the employee cafeteria or lunchroom, near the punch clock where workers begin and end their day, or in some other conspicuous place, employers have posted the various legal notices required by law that inform workers of their rights. The federal government requires this of most employers for a handful of employee rights, depending on the size of the business and whether it is a private or public enterprise; additional postings might be required in some circumstances, for example, if the business has federal contracts. State laws also may require separate additional postings.
As a business owner you’re bound to be familiar with the posting requirements, but did you realize that in order to ensure your compliance, you should review these requirements from time to time? That’s because changes to a law can require changes to the required notices. For example, increases in the minimum wage, either at the federal or state level, can mean that it’s time to replace the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) poster currently on your wall.
Here’s a list of the required postings with a brief explanation of each:
- “Equal Employment Opportunity Is the Law” — Every employer covered by nondiscrimination and equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws must post this notice on its premises. The poster consolidates the EEO requirements under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Equal Pay Act, effectively covering employee rights based on race/color/religion/sex/national origin, disability, age, and sex (wages). The notice must be posted prominently, both for employees and applicants for employment. The posting requirement applies to employers with 15 or more employees, with some additional requirements for federal contractors.
- “Employee Rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act” — This poster sets out the minimum wage, and information on overtime pay, youth employment, and tip credit. Because the minimum wage has undergone some changes recently, this is one of the posters you should check for compliance.
- “Job Safety and Health — It’s the Law!” — All employers must display this required posting from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that guarantees employees a safe workplace and spells out their rights if they believe there are workplace hazards or health issues.
- “Your Rights Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act” — All employers must post this notice, which describes the re-employment rights, nondiscrimination guarantees, and health insurance protection for military service personnel and reservists.
- “Notice — Employee Polygraph Protection Act” — Most private employers must post this notice, which sets out restrictions on employer use of lie detector tests and employee rights under the limited circumstances in which a polygraph would be allowed.
- “Your Rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993” — Employers with 50 or more employees must display this poster, which sets out reasons for taking FMLA leave, employee notice and medical certification requirements, job and benefits protection guaranteed by the law, and enforcement. With the recent FMLA expansion that added leave events to care for an injured or ill service member and to tend to an exigency caused by the active duty or call to duty of a service member, this is another poster that you should check for compliance.
As noted above, additional postings might be required, particularly for federal contractors, or based on state-by-state law. Also, you might want to go beyond the legal requirements and also post notices of employee rights under other laws, such as those related to jury duty, COBRA, ERISA, etc.
Most of these posters are available free of charge from the government agency responsible for enforcing the applicable law. There are also vendors who publish these posters, and some make available a single poster that consolidates the basic required notices, so that you can meet your compliance requirement with a single posting.