Have a general question about employment law? Want to share a story? I welcome all comments and questions. I can't give legal advice here about specific situations but will be glad to discuss general issues and try to point you in the right direction. If you need legal advice, contact an employment lawyer in your state. Remember, anything you post here will be seen publicly, and I will comment publicly on it. It will not be confidential. Govern yourself accordingly. If you want to communicate with me confidentially as Donna Ballman, Florida lawyer rather than as Donna Ballman, blogger, my firm's website is here.

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Brief Introduction To Labor Law Poster Requirements In The U.S.

I’m taking a small breather this week and have a guest blogger, talking about the important but little-discussed issue of mandatory posters in the workplace. Please welcome my guest, Ivy Liu of Easy Business Posters. This company provides posters to employers that will fulfill state and federal requirements. While you can definitely comb through the various federal and state requirements to do it yourself, companies like Easy Business Posters can make compliance really simple. Here’s the scoop on poster requirements, from an expert.

By: Ivy Liu, Easy Business Posters

For every business operating in the U.S., it is mandatory to display posters related to labor law. Even companies with only one employee must display current federal and state law posters in the work area. Special regulations have been outlined by federal and state governments on the display of required employment posters. It is essential for a company to know about posters required to keep employees well informed about their rights and laws.

Not all companies are required to display each poster. The type of posters that are required to be posted can vary according to the industry, business type and total employees. The regulations pertaining to the posting of posters can also depend on the state, as every state has its own posting requirements. If, during inspection, a company is found not adhering to state and federal regulations, then it might result in fines and penalties for non-compliance.

Place of display: The posters should be displayed in a location where they are easily accessible to the employees and it is possible for all to see them. Some of the most common places where posters are displayed include lobby areas, bulletin boards and break rooms.

Language: Another important consideration that businesses have to keep in mind is that labor law posters should have information, not only in English, but also in languages that all the employees understand. State vs. federal requirements: Labor law posters of states are different from federal posters, as each state has different laws. Information about specific laws of the state is present on these posters and they have to be displayed along with posters of federal law. The U.S. Department of Labor offers an online advisor to small and new businesses and compliance assistance, about requirements related to workplace posters. The posters that are required to be displayed in every workplace include topics like discrimination or harassment, health and safety, insurance benefits for unemployed, minimum wage, along with other emergency information.

OSHA: Posters of OSHA or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have information related to the safety and health of the employees.

Department of Labor: Posters issued by DOL have detailed content about minimum wage, family leave, disability rights and other such information about legal topics. Apart from the ones mentioned above there are other posters as well that a business might be required to display, according to its type and location.

Keeping current: Businesses are required to not only display the posters, but they should keep them updated as well. Posters that are required to be displayed in employee work areas should be updated from time to time, as the laws concerning safety and health requirements, labor laws and minimum wage are revised every once in a while. Thus it is essential for business owners to keep themselves updated about the latest changes and display the mentioned posters accordingly. To get the latest information about the labor laws and keep oneself updated, it is advised to check government and industry websites regularly. For state posters, you will need to check the requirements in each state where you have a worksite. For instance, New York and Pennsylvania have websites listing their poster requirements.

Not only can you be fined for not complying with poster requirements, but failing to have required posters could be used as evidence in a discrimination, minimum wage, or workpace safety case to prove violations were intentional. While poster requirements don’t seem like they’re a huge deal to employers, failing to comply can have huge consequences.

Author Bio:

As an employee herself, Ivy Liu pays primary attention to her employment rights and studies the employment laws whenever possible. Ivy Liu likes to share her findings and help those who are concerned about employment issues through writing articles on employment posters, minimum wage, workplace security and other topics. For more labor law information, please follow her on twitter: https://twitter.com/MandatoryPoster

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I appreciate your comments and general questions but this isn't the place to ask confidential legal questions. If you need an employee-side employment lawyer, try http://exchange.nela.org/findalawyer to locate one in your state.