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Labor Law Posters – Do I Really Need Them?


Yes you do!

Whether you have just one employee, the organization is a sole proprietor or corporation, nonprofit or for-profit, there are posting requirements (for every worksite) that must be complied with, otherwise the employer will face some fairly hefty penalties should there be a check.   There is also exposure to employee lawsuits which can be more costly than any government agency fine.

These days compliance is very easy.  Many office supply stores or even online, sell “all in one” posters, but beware as they are not all created equally and you want to make sure you are covered.  One way is through the Department of Labor and their online Poster Advisor service.  This web service will take you through a Q & A and the end result will be a specific listing of which Federal posters your workplace is required to have posted.   Once you know the posters required, you can download each one of them for free, print, and hang them on the wall.  This DOL website contains links to the many federal posters  Some posters are required to be of a specific size, so be sure you take that into consideration before shrinking them down to fit on a sheet of paper.

There are hefty fines for not posting the federal posters and they have recently increased.  The 2017 penalties for not complying are;

  • $534 fine – Equal Employment Opportunity is The Law
  • $166 fine – Family and Medical Leave Act
  • $12,675 fine – Job Safety and Health:It’s the Law (OSHA)
  • $20,111 fine – Employee Polygraph Protection Act

Total of $33,486 in potential fines just from the federal requirements.

A frequent question is about employees who work from home.  Considering an employer needs to have the posters at their worksite, does an employee’s home fall under this?  In a way, it does, and an employer is not relieved from providing notice and informing employees of their rights because an employee works from home.  Should you send the employee their own poster?  You could, but it may not be practical.  Better yet, if you have an employee portal, or a company Intranet, then make available an electronic version of the postings.  This way a ‘good faith’ effort of notification has been made.

One final note is, this is not a post and forget task.  Federal and State government agencies appear to make an active effort of keeping us on our toes.  It seems like every few months some agency is making a change to their poster, which requires new postings.  Therefore, that all in one poster that was purchased just a few months ago is now obsolete and you must purchase a new poster.   To combat this, one has three options; 1. buy a new poster at least once a year (This way you are not more than 12 months out of compliance with any given agency.), 2. keep up with the agency changes and go online to the respective agency who made the change, download their poster, print and post (This is perfect if you have lots of time on your hands and you need a hobby.), 3. look for a poster compliance service (This may cost a little more, but the service will keep up with the changing laws and automatically mail/email posters when they change.)

State agencies have their own requirements, so be sure to check with your state’s labor department for posting requirements.

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