Have you ever been curious to know what goes into creating a labor law poster? If yes, then you’re in for a good read. In this blog, we provide a “behind the scenes” view of the life of a poster, covering the process the labor law posters go through before inevitably being shipped to your business and then posted on the wall in your workplace.
While what we do isn’t science, it is important. Employers are required to post the most up-to-date labor law posters for their employees in accessible areas where they can easily be viewed. Our Research Department’s team of editors and researchers leads the charge when it comes to fact-checking and ensuring we provide the most current required federal, state, and city/county posters.
The team regularly conducts a series of sweeps, looking for updates to existing labor law notices as well as notices for brand-new laws. Our poster process starts the moment the Research Department determines a required change has occurred. At this point, our editors begin a series of steps, focusing on publication and revision dates, size and color requirements, whether the posting requirements have changed, and so much more.
Once all relevant information has been collected, a “poster packet” is put together and proofed by the editors, who make detailed notes for the Art Department based on their review of the packet. These notes are very important, in particular when they relate new information about a notice.
You may not know this, but some labor law postings have specific size and color requirements to make them more visible to employees. For example, the dimensions of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Job Safety and Health poster must be 8.5 by 14 inches to be compliant. This size requirement also applies to the notices for the individual state OSHA plans. An example of a color requirement is the Maryland Workers’ Compensation notice, which stands out from the crowd—it must always have a yellow background and features a large hand giving the thumbs-up sign.
Once the Art Department receives a poster packet, the graphic artist is responsible for updating the art files that will appear together on the final poster, taking into account any size, color, or other requirements. Each time an existing notice is updated, or a new notice has to be added to a poster, the graphic artist is tasked with finding just the right spot for the notice, which requires skill and patience—much like solving a puzzle.
When the Art Department has completed the poster update, the Research team receives a proof of the poster to review. Two eagle-eyed editors on the team check all the notices against the poster packet to be sure the corrections have been made, and if everything is correct, a final art file is requested. If a correction is needed, the proof goes back to the Art Department, and a second round of proofing happens once the change has been made.
Proofing our All-in-One posters, which include both federal and state posting requirements, can sometimes pose a challenge for the Research team, particularly for states such as California and New Jersey, which have a large number of notices. The team has to check the proofs carefully to be sure that all the state and federal notices are there and have the most recent publication codes.
An additional challenge the Research team faces is when proofing customized All-in-One posters for certain clients, who may require a branded heading for their poster or a notice that describes the client’s own information related to pay periods or unemployment insurance. The editors have to make sure the original All-in-One changes for the state and/or federal notices, as well as any customized notices, have been updated as requested.
When the Research team determines there are no other changes to a poster, the art file is sent to the printer. Once the printer sends a blueline proof to the Research team to review, and final approval is given, the posters are printed and then shipped out within approximately 10 to 14 days.
As you can see, producing a labor law poster requires several steps with checkpoints along the way. When labor laws change and new laws are passed, the life of a poster is always evolving.