Federal, state, and local laws require employers to post labor law posters in the workplace.
The required federal posters include those covering the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, Equal Employment Opportunity, Fair Labor Standards Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. On top of that, businesses may have additional posters specific to their state, city, or county—plus posters that may be required depending on whether they are a federal contractor or work in a certain industry.
With so many posters, and so many of those posters changing rapidly, it can be difficult for employers to keep up with the labor law posting requirements, especially since changes to posters may go into effect on an unpredictable schedule—they don’t all go into effect on January 1 each year.
Because it is challenging to remain up-to-date, many employers would prefer to offer employees digital versions of labor law posters by email or over the internet. But is this legal?
Employers Are Required to Post Hard-Copy Labor Law Posters
Employees must post labor law posters in a conspicuous place that is accessible by all employees at every one of their facilities. Often, the best place to post labor law posters is in the breakroom or another common area. Depending on the size of the facility and workforce, this may mean that a company must display posters in multiple areas.
Most labor laws have not yet been updated to consider whether electronic access is permissible. However, the government has been hesitant to approve the use of online posters because not all employees have regular access to a computer. Moreover, some labor laws require employers to display posters of a certain size; electronic viewing would not satisfy this requirement.
Remote Employees and Poster Access
But the nature of work has changed over the years. With so many people working remotely today, employers often wonder whether they are required to send a copy of each labor law poster to each of their mobile employees. While that’s the safest option, it’s not the most economical.
To comply with the law, employers must, at a minimum, ensure that all employees have access to the required postings. In cases where employers work with a large remote workforce, it may be possible to share posters online, so long as they notify employees if the law changes by email and send a copy of, or share a link to, the updated poster.
Applicants for Employment Must Also Have Access to Labor Law Posters
Keep in mind that many labor law posters must also be visible to applicants for employment. Given the volume of applicants applying online, employers should include a link to the required workplace posters on the webpage where applicants are applying. The required posters for applicants include the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, Equal Employment Opportunity, Family and Medical Leave Act, and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.
Next Steps for Employer Compliance With Workplace Poster Laws
Labor law posting requirements have not yet caught up to technology, so for now, it’s safest for employers to continue posting paper versions of workplace posters and to share updated posters with remote employees.
To make sure you have the most recent version of the mandatory federal, state, and local labor law posters for your business, check out the Poster Compliance Center website.