The federal government, through the Wage and Hour Division, requires some employers to hang posters where employees can conveniently refer to the posted information. Why are these posters required? It’s all about labor laws.
What Is the Purpose of Labor Laws?
There are more than 180 labor laws enforced by the federal government, and many more when state labor laws are added. These laws outline employer obligations regarding their employees. The laws cover several areas of workplace activity:
- Wages and overtime pay
- Workers’ rights
- Child labor
- Employee benefits
- Employee safety
- Federal minimum wage
- Whistleblower protection
Labor legislation may seem overwhelming, but when employers and employees work together to comply with the laws, rules, and regulations, the workplace is safer and more efficient for everyone involved.
Why Are Posters Required?
Although employers are required to understand and implement labor laws, employees don’t always know their rights under federal and state laws. This lack of information makes workers vulnerable to abuse on the part of supervisors and managers. To avoid this problem, federal and state agencies often require employers to post notices that outline employees’ rights. Some of the labor laws that carry requirements for posting notices include:
- The Fair Labor Standards Act: Minimum wage, overtime page, and youth employment are some of the issues covered by this Act.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Act: This Act is responsible for the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Agency which oversees safety in the workplace.
- The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act: The USERRA Act protects military service members and veterans from losing employment due to deployment.
In addition to becoming well-versed in these laws, employers must also know and comply with the laws about posting.
Does Every Business Need To Post?
There are several factors that affect which posters to hang, how often posters must be updated, and where to hang posters. These factors include the size of the business and the type of work completed on site. To further complicate the matter, not all laws apply equally to all employers. Not all employers are required to post all labor laws, and some employers don’t have to post any at all. However, all employers can be held responsible for not hanging Labor Law Posters correctly.
How Do I Learn Posting Requirements?
The first step in maintaining poster compliance is understanding federal law requirements. Fortunately, a lot of information is available through the federal government website. At this site, employers can get specific information about the posters and answers to common questions, such as where posters must be hung in the workplace and how big posters must be.
The next step is checking into state workplace posters. This information is generally available through state government websites. Employers can do an internet search for “state” labor laws, choose the government website, and then search for information specific to the type of business. Posters are widely available in English, Spanish, and other languages, depending on which languages are widely spoken in the state.
Sometimes, local governments require further posting. When this happens, an employer may be required to post federal, state, and local notices. Employers who neglect to include all necessary posters could be held liable, so employers must check with all pertinent government agencies.
What If I Need More Information?
If there are still questions about what to post and where to post, employers can search the U.S. Department of Labor’s Poster Advisor. This webpage is full of specific information about general posters, timely information (such as required posters about The Families First Coronavirus Response Act), and relevant recordkeeping requirements.