Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
In this #MindTheGap series, we’ve been talking about labor law postings and the requirements that employers might overlook. For example:
“3 Employee Groups with Unique Labor Law Posting Requirements” include remote workers, applicants, and Spanish language posters.
While there are six federal labor law posters that most businesses are required to post, “Different Industries Require Difference Labor Law Postings” reminded us that employers still have state and local postings to monitor. In addition, government contractors might have additional posting requirements.
And as more organizations are planning for a post-pandemic workplace, my interview with Ashley Kaplan, senior employment law attorney for HRdirect, provided insights on “Labor Law Posting Requirements for Hybrid and Remote Work”.
Compliance is a key part of our HR responsibilities so we should have a strategy to manage it. That way it doesn’t consume much of our time. It shifts our focus from being reactive to proactive. So, to wrap up this “Mind the Gap” series, let’s discuss four key components for a successful labor law posting strategy.
- Determine the purpose. The purpose of labor law postings is to inform employees of their legal rights and responsibilities under federal, state, and local regulations. Employers that are only focused on federal and state postings aren’t doing enough. For example, did you know that cities like 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 wellbeing, which attributes to employee engagement and retention. Employers shouldn’t dismiss how little acts that demonstrate caring through employee education can provide value. Organizations should treat labor law posters as such.
- Communicate to everyone. I’d like to believe it’s obvious that if you’re a multi-location employer, 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 all the required postings? 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. Employers 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.
- Update continuously. Labor law posting changes happen all the time. Not just in January. According to the Poster Guard legal team, they tracked more than 200 mandatory poster updates last year. It’s possible that this will increase this year. So, if you’re an employer that is only updating postings once a year, then it’s
possibleprobable 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 all know that employees are thinking…if the company isn’t doing compliance activities like labor law postings, what other compliance requirements aren’t they following?
- Use your time strategically. There are about 175 different government agencies nationwide that are responsible for more than 400 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 must choose between spending an hour monitoring for free labor law posters and working on filling requisitions or 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 in terms of your time. 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 and let you know when changes occur. As you’re thinking about how you want to spend your time, it could make some business sense to think about where HR can create the most value for your organization.15