If you’re in charge of poster compliance, you probably have questions about your federal and state labor law posters, as well as city and county posters. This confusing yet important aspect of compliance is riddled with misinformation and uncertainties.

The good news is there are professionals who specialize in poster compliance and know the correct answers to these questions. Let’s take a look at the four most common questions we are asked:

1. Why should I purchase employment law posters instead of obtaining them from the government for free?

Maintaining poster compliance year-round is no simple task. Employers have a legal requirement to stay on top of new or amended labor laws and update their posters when necessary. The laws change frequently, which requires constant awareness and vigilance in researching changes that will affect your company. While downloading and printing compliance posters from federal, state, or city governments is free, the cost of laminating posters, or putting them behind glass, can become significant. When you factor in the time it takes for you or an employee to research laws and download the correct posters, you will likely discover that streamlining the process by ordering from a trusted poster compliance provider is the best option.

2. Can I be fined if I don’t have a certain poster?

Yes! Failure to post required state, federal, or local employment law notices can result in fines of up to $33,486. To receive maximum fines, the employer would need to continually or knowingly be in violation of labor law poster compliance. However, fines and penalties vary by agency and are determined on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, it’s always best to play it safe. Know what’s expected of your company and stay up-to-date on labor law changes.

3. Am I required to post compliance posters in Spanish?

The requirements for Spanish-language posters are varied and can change as your employee roster grows. The need for posters in Spanish varies according to the percentage of Spanish speakers in the workplace, as well as language fluency and literacy. Government agencies don’t always provide specifics about language requirements, adding a layer of guesswork to determining if you’re fully compliant. Regardless, it is an employer’s responsibility to inform all employees—in a language they can understand—of their rights under employment law.

Employers should also be aware that some city or county laws require employers to post notices in English and Spanish and any language spoken by at least 5%, or in some cases 10%, of their employees.

4. Where should I display my posters?

Where you hang your posters can be equally important as displaying all the correct posters. If posters are not displayed in accordance with labor law poster guidelines, you could be penalized. Employers are required to hang their posters in a common area that is frequented by employees. We recommend posting them in a break room, near a timeclock, or in another common area that is easily accessible by all employees. Remember, for ease of readability, the posters should be positioned at eye-level with an unobstructed view.

Here’s a recap of what we’ve covered:

  • Labor laws change frequently.
  • You are required to update your compliance posters when laws change.
  • It is your responsibility to post required notices in languages your employees understand.
  • Display your posters in a common area where they can easily be read.
  • A worry-free poster service like the OneSystem 1-Year Compliance Plan can help you stay up-to-date with these changes.

If you have another question we haven’t covered here, please let us know. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!