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(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!)
A few months ago, I published an article about three new labor law poster changes that have been implemented lately. Quick FYI – the three changes are the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers (PUMP) Act, and the EEOC Know Your Rights. I hope you’ll check it out when you have a moment.
Today, I’d like to offer a friendly reminder that when we’re thinking about labor law postings, not every organization is the same. Some industries have specific labor law posting requirements that companies need to know. Here are three examples of industry specific labor law postings that organizations need to remember.
If the organization has government contracts, don’t forget your federal contractor postings.
According to the U.S. Treasury department, the United States government spent $6.13 trillion (and that’s not a typo) this year. While a big piece of government spending goes towards programs like Social Security and Medicaid, billions of dollars end up with private sector companies. And as you would expect, a big chunk of those billions go to defense contractors.
However, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 23% of government contracts are targeted for small businesses. Meaning we can’t make the assumption that only big businesses are federal contractors. Many different types of organizations have contracts with the government: financial institutions, technology companies, non-profits, auto dealers, retailers, service establishments, etc. If your organization is a federal contractor, there are posting requirements. Here’s a sampling of the ten common federal contractor posters:
- Department of Defense (DOD) Hotline
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Hotline
- Minimum Wage
- National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
- Notice to Workers with Disabilities
- Paid Sick Leave
- Pay Transparency Statement
- Right to Work
- Walsh-Healy Public/Service Contracts
This goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, the penalty for non-compliance isn’t just a fine. It could include losing a government contract. I’d like to think that, if your organization has a nice contract with the government, it makes good business sense to maintain compliance and keep it that way.
Different industries have different posting requirements. All organizations are not the same.
Currently, there are six federal labor law posters that most organizations are required to post.
- Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
Certain types of organizations have additional posting requirements. For example, organizations in the hospitality industry might have requirements to post information about alcohol service, CPR and choking assistance information, and notices for tipped employees.
In addition, health care organizations might have up to 18 additional notices covering areas such as biohazard materials, radiation areas, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Notice of Privacy Practices.
And, public-sector employee notices include whistleblower protections, right to know postings, and information about electronic monitoring. Government agencies also have their own unique versions of the OSHA and FLSA. The takeaway here is that even when it comes to federal posting requirements, we cannot assume that all organizations are the same.
Organizations that have their federal and state postings, but not their industry specific ones, are still at risk.
It might be tempting to think that the organization doesn’t need to spend a lot of time worrying about the “labor law poster police” because the company can simply pay the fine and move on. Someone might say, “So, what’s the big deal if the company doesn’t have their industry postings?” Let’s remember that the purpose of labor law postings is to inform employees of their legal rights (and responsibilities) under federal, state, and local law.
Sadly, I’ve actually heard senior leaders suggest not putting up posters because they were “ugly”. Thankfully, the organization came to their senses and realized they needed to focus on the purpose of the posting and their responsibilities as an employer.
The reason I wanted to mention the ugly poster comment is because I’m not naive. I realize that organizations might have plenty of money to pay a fine. The question becomes do organizations want to pay two fines? Six fines? Ten fines? I spoke with Ashley Kaplan, Esquire, senior corporate counsel for HRdirect, and she told me that the fines for a federal notice violation could be as much as $41,000+ per location. So, let’s say that you’re an auto dealer with 4 locations that services government vehicles. That puts your risk potential at $160,000. Not to mention increased legal exposure in employment litigation and negative public relations if job candidates and employees found out about the incident.
Stay in Labor Law Posting Compliance
What amazes me about these industry-specific labor law posting requirements isn’t that labor law compliance is complex. Staying current with legislation is complex in general. The amazing part to me is that organizations don’t look for ways to make the process easier.
Our friends at Poster Guard have a Labor Law Poster Service that will do it for you. Yep, that’s right. Poster Guard monitors labor law requirements (at the federal, state, and local level) and lets you know when things change. In addition, they have an add-on service that covers industries like healthcare, hospitality, and the public sector.
Poster Guard extends a 100% guarantee that all posters are compliant – or they’ll pay any government fine due to improper posting content. But to me, the best part of the service is that for an entire 12 months, you get new posters every time a mandatory change occurs … automatically and at no additional cost.
One of the biggest business lessons I’ve learned over the years is just because I could do something doesn’t mean I should. Spending huge amounts of time on manual tasks keeps me from other activities like recruiting, engagement, learning, and retention. The same applies to other organizations. Spending lots of time manually tracking labor laws keeps the organization from their customers. That has a direct impact on the bottom-line.46