DOL Workplace Posters: Same Requirements, Greater Consequences for Non-Compliance | Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, CP

Most employers are familiar with the longstanding requirement of the US Department of Labor (DOL) to post summaries of applicable federal labor and employment laws in the workplace. As a general rule, employers should post signs prominently or “clearly seen” by employees, often in the employee break room or cafeteria. Workers’ access to the posters ensures that they are informed of their rights under various employment and labor laws.

Many employers may think these requirements are outdated and have stagnated over the years. Nonetheless, the impact of the pandemic on the remote work environment has prompted some employers to revisit these issues. DOLs recent increase maximum fines for non-compliance may also encourage employers to take a closer look.

The DOL recently increased the maximum fines for failure to comply with certain federal notice and posting requirements to include the following:

  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): $189 (from $178)
  • “Occupational Safety and Health: It’s the Law” (Occupational Safety and Health Act): $14,502 (from $13,653)
  • Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA): $23,011 (of $21,663)

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

  • In particular, the FMLA poster, the Equal Employment Opportunity poster and the Employee Polygraph Protection Act poster must be displayed and visible to candidates.
  • While applicable DOL regulations predate the ubiquity of the Internet in the employment space, according to guidelines issued by the DOLA prominent notice on an employer’s website with a link to applicable postings, in most cases, is a necessary supplement to but not a substitute for the physical posting required by some federal laws.
  • Large combination posters are also available for employers who are required to display all of the posters contained in the DOL “six in one” poster.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) attach and the Executive Order 13496: Notification of Employee Rights Under Federal Labor Laws displays (a mandatory notice for federal contractors and subcontractors) have specific size requirements.

the DOL website includes links to applicable posters, which the employer can download and print.

Indeed, the DOL’s recent increases in maximum fines for non-compliance with federal posting requirements underscore the importance of understanding the nuances of these rules. Employers may consider taking a closer look at current practices to see if they are posting (1) the correct and applicable poster(s); (2) in the right place(s); (3) to all employees and/or applicants concerned.

The DOL’s guidelines apply only to 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 meet. Employers may also want to be aware of any unique posting requirements specific to other applicable federal or state laws. Indeed, employers should check applicable national guidelines for any similar national or local posting requirements.

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