Is Your Business Labor Law Compliant?

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Labor laws are in place to govern and protect workers' rights. Labor law posters (a.k.a. "break-room posters") embody these laws and present them in verbiage that is easily understood and readily accessible. All US businesses with one or more employees must display the most current state and federal labor law posters in a place where employees can view them at least once a day.

The federal government requires at least 6 posters to be displayed. Each state has, on average, 4-6 state agencies that regulate labor laws and issue respective posters. These posters are also required to be displayed and vary by state.

Labor laws change frequently, especially at the state level, usually with little or no warning to businesses. It's up to the employer to seek out changes and take action to ensure their locations are compliant by displaying the most current required posters. Non-compliant businesses leave themselves vulnerable to inspections, lawsuits, and fines.

Government agencies classify changes as either mandatory or non-mandatory:

  • Mandatory changes are modifications to the law that impact the rights of employees or the employer's workplace obligations. These types of changes require employers to update their posters.
  • Non-Mandatory changes have no direct impact on the rights of employees or the employer's workplace obligations. They are usually text or formatting changes and do not require employers to update their posters.

Between January 2008 and April 2009 there were more than 300 updates with 25% considered mandatory. While the vast majority of changes are at the state level, federal mandatory changes have intensified over the past 2 years:

  • In 2007, the federal minimum wage increased to $5.85 per hour. The current version of the poster displays the 2007, 2008, and 2009 annual increases.
  • In 2008, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) laws changed to provide coverage for families of military personnel.
  • In 2009, it is anticipated that the Genetic Information Non-disclosure Act (GINA), signed into law in 2008, may affect the federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) posting. GINA prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of genetic information.

The process of determining what is required—and staying on top of it—takes time and skilled resources. Companies specializing in labor law postings provide a service by compiling required state and federal postings and then monitoring government agencies for changes. Most also offer an alert system or update service to help companies stay compliant.

To view the required federal and state-by-state postings and subscribe to receive FREE alerts on labor law changes go to www.govdocs.com, a LegalZoom preferred partner.