California Labor Laws and Mandatory Postings

Labor Laws and Mandatory Workplace Postings in California

What Notices Are Required On California Labor Law Posters?

Employers in California are governed by federal labor laws and various state laws enforced by the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), and other agencies. To be in compliance, all California employers are required to conspicuously post more than a dozen notices. Employers of certain sizes or in certain industries are subject to additional posting requirements.

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Required Federal Labor Law Postings For California

To understand these posting requirements, let’s first review some of the federal labor laws that govern California employers. Then we’ll take a closer look at some of the state-specific labor laws in California.

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Law

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the EEOC), a federal agency designed to protect Americans from workplace discrimination. Equal employment opportunity is required under various laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

What does EEO law mean for employers?

Employers may not take adverse action against prospective or current employees based on their race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. To ensure employee awareness and employer compliance with the law, most employers are required to post the EEO is the Law poster, which includes information about how employees can file a complaint, and the EEO is the Law Poster Supplement.

Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 1993. The FMLA covers all public employers, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and private companies with 50 or more employees.

What does the FMLA mean for employers?

To foster healthy work-life balance and equal employment opportunity, the FMLA requires covered employers to grant eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under certain circumstances, including the following:

    • For the birth and care of an employee’s newborn child
    • For the adoption or foster care placement of a child with an employee
    • To care for an employee’s immediate family member who has a serious health condition
    • To take medical leave for a serious health condition that renders an employee unable to work

The FMLA requires employers to display a poster outlining the employee leave entitlements, benefits, protections, and eligibility requirements provided for in the Act.  

Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)

The EPPA prohibits private employers, in most instances, from asking employees or job applicants to take a lie detector test. Employers also cannot take any disciplinary action against employees or prospective employees who refuse to take a lie detector test.

Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was originally enacted in 1938. It establishes the minimum wage, eligibility for overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards.

What does the FLSA mean for employers?

Private employers and federal, state, and local government employers are governed by the standards established in the FLSA. Effective July 24, 2009, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. The FLSA has posting requirements for provisions within the Act, including minimum wage information. Many state governments require additional posters regarding minimum wage and overtime pay, among other wage and hour topics.

Occupational Safety and Health Act

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency established by the Occupational Safety and Health Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Nixon in 1970. The U.S. Department of Labor defines OSHA”™s mission: “to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.”

What does the OSHA law mean for employers?

All public and most private employers must provide a safe work environment for their employees. The U.S. Department of Labor provides a detailed summary of key employer responsibilities that include compliance inspections, workplace injury recordkeeping, and mandatory workplace postings.

California-Specific Labor Laws

In addition to these federal law requirements, California employers must also comply with the California DIR’s list of posting requirements. Here is an alphabetical list of postings required by the California DIR for all employers.

Access to Medical and Exposure Records

California OSHA regulations require employers to post safety data sheets for chemicals used in the workplace, and employees have the right to review their own medical records and records of exposure to toxic substances or harmful physical agents—as well as the exposure records of employees in similar work conditions.

Emergency Response Phone Numbers

The California Code of Regulations requires all employers to post emergency phone numbers near a telephone, or otherwise make it available if there isn’t a telephone at the job site. 

Family Care and Medical Leave, and Pregnancy Disability Leave

Under the California Family Rights Act of 1993, employees may have the right to family care or medical leave of up to 12 weeks in a 12-month period for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child, or for a serious health condition that affects the employee or their child, parent, or spouse. Employees may also have the right to family care leave under the New Parent Leave Act.

Minimum Wage and Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Orders

Under the California Labor Code, all employers must post minimum wage and industry-specific wage orders in “a conspicuous location frequented by employees during the hours of the workday.”

Notice to Employees—Injuries Caused by Work

This notice, provided by the California Division of Workers’ Compensation, advises employees of their rights and benefits related to workplace injuries and the steps they must take in order to receive benefits.

Paid Sick Leave

All employers must conspicuously display a poster providing specific information about paid sick days under the California Healthy Workplaces/Healthy Families Act.

Payday Notice

California employers must conspicuously post the specific date(s), time(s), and place(s) of payment. 

Pregnancy Rights

California employers are required to display a poster explaining an employer’s obligation to accommodate employees who are pregnant, have a medical condition related to their pregnancy, or are recovering from childbirth.

Safety and Health Protection on the Job

Employers must post the California OSHA poster regarding occupational safety, job hazards, and employee health standards.

Smoking Signs

All employers must post signage identifying permitted and prohibited smoking areas in and around the workplace.

Time Off to Vote

Employees have the right to take time off from work to vote if they do not have time outside of working hours. This notice must be posted at least 10 days before every statewide election.

Transgender Rights

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing requires employers to display this poster, which defines the word “transgender,” describes gender transition, sets forth employer obligations, and explains how discrimination victims can file a complaint.

Unemployment Insurance/Disability Insurance/Paid Family Leave

This required poster, issued by the California Employment Development Department, outlines how employees can file for unemployment insurance and disability insurance, as well as Paid Family Leave to care for a seriously ill family member.

Whistleblower Protections

A whistleblower is an employee who reports wrongdoing by an employer to a supervisor, investigator, law enforcement official, or an investigative public body. The California Labor Code requires employers to post whistleblower protections information in 14-point or larger font. This information includes instructions for reporting improper acts to the California State Attorney General.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance Notice

All employers must post a notice containing information about their workers’ compensation insurance carrier or a statement that the employer is self-insured. Additionally, this notice must include injury, treatment, and compensation information. This notice must be obtained from the employer’s insurance carrier.

Workplace Discrimination and Harassment

California employment law is much broader than the federal EEO laws. The law protects employees from discrimination and harassment in a variety of protected categories. These include ancestry, age, color, disability, genetic information, gender identity and gender expression, marital status, medical conditions, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex/gender, and sexual orientation. The required poster includes information about employer obligations and complaint mechanisms.

How to Comply

With a large number of federal and state posting requirements in California, it can be a headache to keep up with the latest versions of the laws and posters. An all-in-one set of federal and California posters can make it easier for California employers to comply with the laws.

Keep in mind that, depending on an employer’s size or industry, the California DIR may require additional mandatory postings than the ones described here. Our website also includes a list of California posting requirements. Please call us at (800) 322-3636 if you have any questions about your posting requirements under California law.