Ask the HR Pro
By Ashleigh Petersen Ashley Cuttino, Ogletree Deakins, co-chair COVID-19 Litigation Practice Group
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Ask the HR Pro

Human Resources Tip of the Month

Q: Do I need to update the labor law posters each year?

A: Yes. It is best practice to review and update your postings at least once per year. Most employers are familiar with the long-standing U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requirement to post summaries of applicable federal labor and employment laws in the workplace. As a general matter, employers must place posters where they are conspicuous to or “clearly seen” by employees, often in the break room or employee cafeteria. Providing workers access to posters ensures they are informed of their rights under various employment and labor laws.

Many employers may feel these requirements are antiquated and have become stagnant over the years. Nevertheless, the pandemic’s impact on the remote work environment has sparked some employers to revisit these issues. The DOL’s recent increase of maximum fines for noncompliance also may prompt employers to take a closer look.

The DOL recently increased the maximum fine amounts for noncompliance with certain federal notice and posting requirements, to include the following:

  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): $189 (from $178)

  • “Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law” (Occupational Safety and Health Act): $14,502 (from $13,653)

  • Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA): $23,011 (from $21,663)

The DOL’s annual increases in maximum fines illustrates that posting requirements remain on its radar. As such, employers may want to be mindful of more specific posting requirements including the following:

  • Notably, the FMLA poster, Equal Employment Opportunity poster and EPPA poster must be displayed and visible to applicants.

  • While the applicable DOL regulations precede the internet’s ubiquity in the employment space, according to guidance issued by the DOL, a prominent notice on an employer’s website with a link to the applicable posters, in most cases, is a necessary supplement but not a substitute for the physical posting required by certain federal statutes.

  • Large combination posters also are available for employers that are required to post all posters contained in the DOL’s “six-in-one” poster.

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) poster and the Executive Order 13496: Notification of Employee Rights Under Federal Labor Laws poster (a required notice for federal contractors and subcontractors) have specific size requirements.

Applicable posters can be downloaded and printed for free at dol.gov/general/topics/posters.

The DOL’s recent increases in maximum fines for noncompliance with federal posting requirements underscore the importance of understanding the nuances of these rules. Employers may want to consider taking a closer look at current practices to see if they are displaying the correct and applicable poster(s) in the proper location(s) to all applicable employees and/or applicants.

The DOL’s guidance applies only to the federal notice and posting requirements of its own agencies. Many states and localities have additional notice and posting requirements that employers may be required to satisfy. Employers also may want to be aware of any unique posting requirements specific to other applicable federal or state laws. Indeed, employers should check applicable state guidelines for any similar state or local posting requirements.

This column is provided by Ogletree Deakins, Atlanta, as part of a partnership with the American Rental Association (ARA) for ARA’s Human Resources Assistance Program. ARA members can receive a single sign on from the ARA webpage to a microsite specific to ARA on the Ogletree Deakins platform; get access to two 30-minute calls with an HR professional per year; access to an FAQ section as well as to Ogletree Deakins’ library of webinars; and access to Ogletree Deakins’ ARA-specific webinars. To learn more, visit ARArental.org/Manage-Business/HR.

Ashleigh Petersen

Ashleigh PetersenAshleigh Petersen

Ashleigh Petersen is the digital communications manager for Rental Management. She writes news and feature articles, plus coordinates the monthly Safety Issue and several sections in the magazine. Ashleigh loves spending time with her husband and young son, baking, gardening and listening to true crime and comedy podcasts.

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