Most states, in addition to the federal government, have notice-posting requirements. This means that a poster notifying employees about a particular law must be displayed conspicuously and in enough places so employees can see them as they enter and exit the workplace. These laws carry their own penalties and fines, but the consequence of not obeying notice-posting requirements may actually be more dire than that.
Sometimes an employee will simply point to the fact that the employer has neglected to display a notice in order to account for the employee’s not knowing or obeying it. Often a court will decide that the employee is absolved from liability because the notice delineating the obligation was not posted.
For example, according to a Business and Legal Reports white paper, in one case, an employee fired for absenteeism claimed that several of his absences were FMLA-covered and should not have been counted as absences. The employer defended itself by saying that the employee had not claimed FMLA coverage until long after the fact. Yet because the employer had never displayed the FMLA poster, the court disallowed its defense. The jury awarded the employee over $170,000 for wrongful discharge, and the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the award. This type of outcome is by no means an aberration.
Here are the federal and state posting requirements, with the most recent updates in parentheses. All of these posters are available free of charge from various agencies and can be downloaded from their websites. You can also find them formatted for downloading at eaconnect.com. In addition, there are numerous vendors who sell a consolidated federal and state combination poster. Sometimes these vendors use marketing scare tactics to sell posters to employers when there may not be a need to replace them. It is always better to check the necessity of updating before needlessly spending the money.
Federal Posting Requirements
- Equal Employment Is The Law (OFCCP 1420–2004)
- Employee Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (WH1088–6/07)
- Employee Rights For Workers With Disabilities Paid At Special Minimum Wages (WH1284–7/07)
- You Have a Right to a Safe and Healthful Workplace (OSHA 3165 or 3167–12/06)
- Notice—Employee Polygraph Protection Act (WH1462–6/03)
- Your Rights Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (WH1420/WH1420SP–8/01 plus addendum from 1/08 Defense Authorization Act updates)
- Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) Poster (WH1376–4/83)
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004 (VBIA) (1/06)
Specific to Government Contractors and Sub-Contractors
- Notice to Employees Working on Federal or Federally Financed Construction Projects (WH 1321–1/86)
- Notice to Employees Working on Government Contracts (WH 1313–1/07)
- Notice to Employees—Federal Government Contracts (Beck Poster—undated)
State Posting Requirements
- Notice to Employers and Employees (English version includes 7/1/08 revision with reference to future revisions in 2009-2010)
- Equal Pay Is the Law (1/04)
- Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) (8/25/03)
- Day and Temporary Labor Services Act (1/1/06)
- Workers’ Compensation Notice to Employees (12/04)
- Notice to Workers About Unemployment Insurance Benefits (4427/BEN-57—9/07)
- Employee Classification Act of 2008 (1/08)
- Choke-Saving Methods (PO#338149 & 338150—3/08)
- Job Safety & Health Protection for Public Employees (formerly Right to Know—undated)
Take advantage of this easy-to-follow list to take inventory of the posters in your organization. Make sure they are prominently displayed and up-to-date to reduce the risk of non-compliance. iBi