It’s one of HR’s most important, and seemingly antiquated, responsibilities: hanging up workplace posters. Employers are federally required to display notices covering a broad range of topics, including the minimum wage, workplace safety, and family and medical leave.
Try as you might to make your department’s operations paperless, workplace posters have become a part of HR tradition and aren’t fading from the scene any time soon. This guide will cover what posters you’re federally required to display.
“Employee Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act”
The Fair Labor Standards Act poster prominently displays the federal minimum wage and covers a broad swath of topics, including overtime, tipping, and child labor. It comes in a variety of languages, and certain industries like the agricultural sector have their own versions. Note that federal contractors have a special variation, as they are often subject to higher standards (like a minimum wage of $10.80 per hour, for example).
Though this poster does not carry a size requirement, it must be printed legibly. The Department of Labor (DOL) recommends printing it on 11-by-17 paper.
“Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law”
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets and enforces workplace safety standards. While you may think their reach extends only to hands-on work like construction, the agency’s rules cover all employers.
OSHA requires companies to display their poster, which outlines workers’ rights and employer responsibilities. Though businesses only need to display the English poster, the agency recommends displaying other versions depending on your demographics. You can order a poster online or by phone. If you decide to print your own, it’ll need to be, at a minimum, on legal size paper.
“Employee Rights Under the Family Medical Leave Act”
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles some workers to job- protected, unpaid leave for a variety of reasons, including giving birth to a child and caring for a health condition. The law also comes with a mandatory workplace poster, which outlines the FMLA’s scope and eligibility requirements.
Unlike the posters described previously, if a large number of a company’s employees have a preferred language other than English, a translated version of the poster must be displayed. While the DOL does not specify a size requirement, it does require that notice is “easy to read” and “fully legible.” Our recommendation is to err on the side of caution and go for legal size paper or larger.
Break Time for Nursing Mothers
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to provide break time and space for a covered nonexempt nursing mother to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after her child’s birth.
This is an optional poster, so while it is recommended that you post this if it is relevant to your employees, you are not required to by the Department Of Labor.
“Employee Rights for Workers with Disabilities/Special Minimum Wage”
This poster is only required for those employers who have workers with disabilities under special minimum wage certificates authorized by the Fair Labor Standards Act, the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act, and/or the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act.
You must display the poster in a conspicuous place where employees and the parents or guardians of workers with disabilities can readily see it. The DOL recommends that you print this poster on 11×17 paper.
“Equal Opportunity is the Law”
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has its own mandatory poster, which outlines employee discrimination protections. It also features a list of all the protected classes (e.g., gender, race, national origin) and employee instructions on how to file a claim.
Neither the DOL nor EEOC require employers to display bilingual versions of the poster, and there is no specific size requirement. Note that this poster features a second page, which applies directly to federal contractors or companies receiving federal financial assistance.
“Employee Rights – Employee Polygraph Protection Act”
Lie detectors might be all the rage on daytime television, but they’re a big no-no in the workplace. Federal law prohibits most businesses from using polygraph readers on individuals during the interview process or active employment. Trust us, we’re telling the truth.
With a few exceptions (federal, state, and local government offices), employers are required to prominently display a poster outlining the Employee Protect Act’s prohibitions and exemptions. There are no size requirements.
“Your Rights Under USERRA”
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), signed in 1994, protects non-career members of the military from losing their jobs or benefits when called into active service.
The law comes bundled with a posting requirement, which describes reemployment rights, insurance protections, and how individuals can report violations. As an alternative to posting this notice, employers may opt to share it digitally via email.
E-Verify and Right to Work Posters
E-Verify is an optional, electronic service that supplements the traditional Form I-9. If a company does choose to opt-into the service, however, doing so comes with new posting requirements.
The Department of Homeland security mandates that E-Verify subscribers prominently display two posters, one confirming E-Verify participation and the other outlining foreign national labor protections. Both can be downloaded from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
New for 2021 is the Employee Rights – Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act poster.
Workplaces are required to post this in a conspicuous place in the workplace. Posting requirements can also be satisfied by emailing or direct mailing this notice to employees or posting this notice on an employee information internal or external website.
As the saying goes, “location, location, location.” Workplace posters need to be displayed prominently. They should be in full view in a public area, unobstructed by doors, machinery, or strategically placed ferns. In particularly large offices, or those with multiple floors, cover your bases by hanging duplicate posters throughout. They may not mesh with the rest of your office decor, but at the very least you’ll be compliant.
Note that these posters aren’t just required to be visible to active employees. For example, the required FMLA poster needs to be visible to job applicants, too. It’s best practice to find a conspicuous location visible to both visiting candidates and employees. That may mean hanging your posters in a high-traffic hallway, in the kitchen, or even by the restrooms (make sure both the men and women’s rooms are covered). Additionally, companies with remote workers should make digital versions of the posters available via your company intranet.
Also note that this guide only represents what is federally required, and that separate, state specific posting requirements are available at your jurisdiction’s labor department website. Additionally, depending on your company’s industry, there may be additional federal posters you’ll need to display. Employers in the agricultural sector, for example, need to display the mandatory Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) Notice. A comprehensive list of posting requirements can be found on the Department of Labor’s website.
*The content of this publication is provided for informational purposes only and does not contain or constitute legal advice. Do not rely on this information to take any legal decision without consulting with appropriate legal counsel.*