Employment Law News- Latest on Workplace Posters
By Anne-Marie L. Storey, Esq.
All employers, regardless of size, are required by state and/or
federal law to maintain certain postings. Generally, the posters must be
displayed conspicuously where they are easily visible to all employees and
should be posted in all business locations. If an employer has employees
who work away from the office, such as telecommuters, the employer is
responsible for ensuring that those employees have access to the posters.
The State of Maine requires, at a minimum, the following
posters: Minimum Wage, Whistleblower Protection Act, Workers’
Compensation, Video Display Terminal, Child Labor, Regulation of Employment,
Sexual Harassment, and Maine Employment Security Act. Federal law
requires, at a minimum, the following posters: Equal Employment Opportunity is
the Law, Fair Labor Standards Act- Federal Minimum Wage, Employee Polygraph Protection
Act, Family and Medical Leave Act (for employers with 50 or more employees),
You Have a Right to a Safe and Healthful Workplace, and Uniformed Services
Employment and Reemployment Rights. Public workplaces have some
additional posting requirements, such as the State Occupational Safety and
Health Regulations poster. There are also optional posters available,
such as the Maine Human Rights Act- Equal Employment Rights, and Domestic
Violence in the Workplace. There are other optional posters under both state
and federal law.
Copies of most of these posters are available from the state and
federal Departments of Labor and most can be printed directly from their
websites. The posters may be updated from time to time, so employers have
to be vigilant about ensuring they are in compliance with the most recent
postings at all times. There are many services employers can subscribe to
for a fee that will send copies of the posters; employers who chose to use
these services should ensure the posters include all of those required by both
state and federal law and also ensure they are not posting laws that are
inapplicable to their workplace (such as the FMLA if the employer is not
subject to that Act).
The following are a few additional reminders of some nuances about what has to be posted and where:
Do the posters have to be accessible to applicants as well as employees?
Several posters have to be posted in a place where they can be viewed by both employees
AND applicants. These include the federal FMLA poster, the Equal
Employment Opportunity poster, and the Employee Polygraph Protection Act
Can an employer maintain the posters online instead of in the workplace(s)?
The federal DOL addresses
this question on its website and says: “please place a prominent notice
on the website where the job postings are listed stating that ‘Applicants have
rights under Federal Employment Laws'” and link to all required
posters. The site goes on to say “Please note, however, that
posting the notice on the employer’s website in this manner is not a substitute
for posting these EEO posters in conspicuous places on the employer’s premises
where otherwise required.” So, the answer appears to be that employers
should post at the actual worksite in addition to making them available on a
Do postings have to be in any language other than English?
Most of the regulations do not require posters to be in any language other than
English, with the exception of the FMLA poster, the Migrant and Seasonal
Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) poster, and Executive Order 13496,
which is the Notification of Employee Rights Under Federal Labor Laws poster
(this Order requires contractors and subcontractors
to post translations of postings where a significant portion of a contractor’s
workforce is not proficient in English). Finally, the Immigration and
Nationality Act poster (Employee Rights Under the H-2A Program) must be
provided in any language common to a significant portion of the workers if they
are not fluent in English. The DOL also “encourages” employers to post
the other required or optional posters in other languages to the extent there
are employees in the workplace who speak other languages. Several posters
are can be provided by the DOL in other languages so you should check their
website if this is applicable to your workplace.
It is a good idea to review your postings every year to ensure that they are complete, that they comply with the
posting rules, and that they continue to be the most recent versions available.