Various federal and state laws require employers to post certain notices for employees regarding their rights. These requirements are mandatory but often inadvertently overlooked. Failure to post certain notices could result in criminal and civil fines.
The following is a primer on workplace postings. This list, however, is meant to be illustrative of the types of notices which are required. The list is not meant to be exhaustive. There are many more notices, including ones specific to certain businesses, which must be posted. Businesses with questions regarding required postings should consult with an attorney. (Businesses may also want to consult an interior decorator to determine where best to hang all of these posters!)
Federal Workplace Postings
Employee Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Businesses of any size subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act must post basic information related to the federal minimum wage, overtime requirements, child labor, tip pay, and information for nursing mothers. A copy of the poster can be found at the Department of Labor (DOL) website. There are specialized posters for particular types of businesses.
Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law. Businesses of any size engaged in interstate commerce must post basic information related to workplace safety. The notice warns against retaliation for employees’ exercising their rights and advises how to file a complaint for unsafe conditions. A copy of the poster can be found at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website.
Employee Polygraph Protection Act Notice. Businesses of any size engaged in interstate commerce must post a specific notice warning that employers cannot require employees to submit to polygraph (lie detector) testing unless the employer is engaged in an exempted business. The Secretary of Labor can actually bring a court action for civil penalties for failing to post this poster.
Employee Rights and Responsibilities Under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Public agencies, public and private schools, and businesses with 50 or more employees in 20 or more weeks a year must post a basic notice regarding employees’ FMLA rights. The poster includes information on who qualifies for FMLA leave, protected benefits, and how to properly request leave. The poster can be found on the DOL website.
State Workplace Postings
Unemployment Compensation Law. All Pennsylvania businesses are required to post a summary of employees’ rights and the procedures for filing an unemployment compensation claim. If an employer employs Spanish-speaking employees, then the notice must also be posted in Spanish. The notice can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor (Pa DOL) website.
Workers’ Compensation Act. All Pennsylvania businesses are required to post in an easily accessible and prominent place a notice regarding the name and contact information for the employer’s insurance carrier and the person to whom claims and requests for information should be directed. The requirements mandate that a certain font of a distinct size to be used. The notice can also be found on the Pa DOL website.
Pennsylvania Clean Indoor Air Act Signage. This posting requirement applies to all Pennsylvania employers with certain limited exceptions. The exceptions include but are not limited to private homes, tobacco shops, private clubs, and drinking establishments (food sales are equal or less than 20% of gross sales). Non-exempt businesses must conspicuously post “no smoking” signs, as smoking is prohibited in these establishments.
Pennsylvania Equal Pay Law. All Pennsylvania employers must post a notice advising that discrimination based on sex is prohibited. The poster also notes that employers are required to keep and maintain certain records related to wages, wage rates, job classifications, and other terms and conditions of employment which the Pa DOL could use to determine whether sex discrimination is occurring. It also lists the fines to which an employer could be subjected for failing to comply with these requirements. The notice can also be found on the Pa DOL website.
Child Labor Act. All Pennsylvania employers which employ minors must post and maintain an abstract which documents the weekly schedule for each minor. The abstract must be signed and dated by a manager. The posting must be posted in an area viewable by all employees.
The laws regarding required postings can be complicated. Anyone with questions should consult with an experienced attorney.
Matthew T. Hovey, Esquire is an attorney at the law firm of Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C., which has offices in Pottstown, Reading, and West Chester. He practices in the areas of municipal law, business representation, and civil litigation. Matthew is also the President of Boyertown Area Multi Service (“Multi Service”). He may be reached by telephone at 610.323.7436 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.