(Editor’s Note: Today’s article is brought to you by our friends at Poster Guard® Compliance Protection, a division of HRdirect and the leading labor law poster service that gets your business up to date with all required federal, state and local labor law postings, and then keeps it that way — for an entire year. Enjoy the article!)
In the first two articles in this #MindTheGap series, we’ve talked about the labor law posting requirements for unique employee groups and different industries.
While most employers know they need to have labor law postings, I can see organizations forgetting to “mind the gap” where postings are concerned and forgetting to take the extra caution that needs to take place with three unique employee groups: 1) applicants, 2) Spanish language postings, and 3) remote workers.
I’d like to add another thing we need to “Mind the Gap” about: every organization isn’t the same when we’re talking about labor law postings. There are industry specific labor law posting requirements that apply to different industries like hospitality and health care as well as companies with federal contracts.
As human resources professionals, compliance is a key part of our roles. That doesn’t mean it needs to consume the majority of our time. We need to have a strategy to maintain compliance. That allows us to be proactive versus reactive. So, to wrap up this “Mind the Gap” series, let’s discuss the four key elements in a labor law posting strategy.
1. Understand the purpose. The purpose of labor law postings is to inform employees of their legal rights and responsibilities under federal, state, and local regulations. Organizations that are only focused on federal and state postings aren’t doing enough. For example, did you know that Denver, Miami Beach, New York and Tucson all require anti-discrimination postings? They do.
Labor law postings aren’t some dreamt up form of punishment. They provide education to employees. That shows employees the organization cares about their well-being, which attributes to employee engagement and retention. Don’t minimize how little acts that demonstrate caring through employee education can provide value. Organizations should treat labor law posters as such.
2. Communicate to everyone. I’d like to think it’s pretty obvious that if you have multiple locations then you need multiple sets of posters. But also think about if you have a single, large location. Is there someplace that you can guarantee every employee will walk by and see? And what about remote workers? Think about #1. The purpose of labor law postings is to educate employees. Which means they need to see them.
When it comes to employee communication, displaying only one set of posters
may not be probably isn’t won’t be enough. Organizations will want to be strategic about posting locations. Look for places where employees hang out so the company is ensured they can be viewed by employees throughout the workday.
3. Update continuously. Labor law posting changes happen all the time. Not just in January. According to Ashley Kaplan, Esquire, senior employment attorney for HRdirect, there are on average 150 state posting changes annually and at least half of them require an immediate poster update or replacement. If you’re only updating postings once a year, then it’s
possible probable that you’re not in compliance.
This ties into #1 and #2. Not only do organizations want to make sure that everyone knows their legal rights, but they need to know them in a timely fashion. Telling an employee that their rights changed six months ago doesn’t send the message to employees that the organization cares about them or being compliant. And I’ll say what we know our employees are thinking…if the company isn’t doing compliance activities like labor law postings, what other compliance aren’t they doing?
4. Use your time strategically. There are 175 different government agencies nationwide that are responsible for 395 mandatory posters. Sure, you can monitor all of the relevant agencies for changes and request free posters. That takes time. A lot of time. I don’t know about you, but that’s not how I want to spend my time. If I have to choose between spending an hour monitoring for free labor law posters and coaching a manager on how to get better performance from an employee, I know which one I’ll be doing.
Now of course, I get it. Those downloads from agencies are free. I don’t have anything against free. I like free. But there are some things that even when you can get them for free, it’s not worth paying for. You know what I’m saying. Be smart about how you spend your valuable time.
The good news is having a labor law posting compliance strategy doesn’t have to be complex. Organizations can partner with outside services that will handle the heavy lifting for you. Our friends at Poster Guard have a Labor Law Poster Service that does just that. Yep, that’s right. Poster Guard monitors labor law requirements (at the federal, state, and local level) and lets you know when things change. They also provide you with replacement posters every time there’s a change FREE of charge!
As you’re putting together your budget for next year, think about how you want to spend your time. How do you create the most value for your organization?16