Labor law posters are federal and state notices that tell employees about their legal employment rights. If you have even one employee, you must hang labor law posters. It is your responsibility to hang the correct posters and keep them up to date as statutes change.
There are numerous employment posters. How can you know which ones to post?
Federal and state poster requirements
Below is a list of state and federal labor law posters, along with labor law posting requirements.
Federal labor law posters
Each federal labor law has its own statute regarding who has to post a notice about the law. Not all employers are covered by all labor laws, meaning they won’t have to post a notice. Carefully read labor law statutes so you know which posters to hang.
You can use the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Poster Advisor to help you determine which posters your business needs.
You can download free copies of federal labor law posters from the DOL. Print the posters so you can hang them in your workplace. Many of the posters are available in languages other than English.
Hang posters in a conspicuous place where employees can easily read them.
Here are common federal labor law posters that many employers must hang.\
1. Employee Rights Under The Fair Labor Standards Act
Who must post: Every employer of employees who are subject to FLSA provisions must hang this poster.
Poster size: There is no size requirement for the FLSA poster, but employees must be able to read it.
Language requirements: You are not required to hang the poster in any language other than English. But, the poster comes in multiple other languages for you to use.
Citations and penalties: There is no citation or penalty for failing to hang this poster.
Other information: The DOL has designed special posters specifically for agricultural employers and state and local governments. If you are in either of these industries, you can hang your industry-specific poster or the general FLSA poster.
If you employ workers with disabilities under special minimum wage certificates, you must also post the Employee Rights for Workers with Disabilities/Special Minimum Wage Poster.
If your employees are not subject to the overtime provisions in section 7 of the FLSA, you may legibly alter the poster to show that the provisions do not apply.
2. Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law
Who must post: All employers covered by OSH Act must hang this poster. If your state has an OSHA-approved state plan, you may be required to post a state version of the poster.
Poster size: The poster must be at least 8.5 by 14 inches. The text must be at least 10 point type.
Language requirements: You do not have to hang the poster in any language other than English. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) encourages you to do so if you have workers who speak other languages.
Citations and penalties: You may receive a citation and penalty if you do not hang the poster.
Other information: You must also post the Summary of Work-related Injuries and Illnesses (Form300A) in a visible location. This will inform employees of any work-related injuries and illnesses that occur in the workplace.
3. Employee Rights Under The Family and Medical Leave Act
Who must post: All employers covered by the FMLA must display this poster. If you are a covered employer but don’t have any eligible employees, you must still hang the poster.
Poster size: The poster must be large enough to contain the whole text at a size that is easy to read.
Language requirements: If a significant portion of your employees cannot read English, you must hang the notice in a language they can read. You can use a poster prepared by the DOL, or you can use another format as long as it contains all the information on the DOL version.
Citations and penalties: If you willfully fail to hang the poster, you may receive a civil penalty of up to $100 for each separate offense.
Other information: You can electronically post the poster as long as it meets all other posting requirements.
If you have FMLA eligible employees, you must provide each employee with a general notice. You might include the notice in your employee handbook or in another written guidance about benefits or leave rights. You can electronically distribute the general notice. For the general notice, you may duplicate the poster text or use another format that contains all the information on the poster.
When an employee requests FMLA leave, you must give them an eligibility notice within five business days. This notice must explain whether or not the employee is eligible for FMLA leave.
When you give an employee an eligibility notice, you must also give them a rights and responsibilities notice. This notice explains expectations, obligations, and consequences to the employee.
There is also a designation notice. You will give this notice to an employee when you designate their leave as FMLA-qualifying or if you decide their leave doesn’t qualify. You must give the notice within five business days of determination. The designation includes, if possible, the amount of time counted against the employee’s FMLA entitlement.
4. Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law
The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) poster describes laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, and genetic information.
Who must post: Employers with 15 or more employees must post the EEO notice.
Poster size: There is no size requirement, but the poster should be easy to read.
Language requirements: The poster is available in languages other than English, but you are not required to hang posters in other languages.
Citations and penalties: According to the January 31, 2017 Federal Register, the penalty is $534 per posting violation.
Other information: If you have employees who do not visit the workplace on a regular basis (work remotely), you may be required to also electronically post the notice.
5. Your Rights Under USERRA
Who must post: You must hang this poster if you have employees who are entitled to USERRA rights and benefits.
Poster size: There is no required poster size.
Language requirements: The poster is only available in English.
Citations and penalties: There are no citations or penalties for failing to post this notice.
Other information: You can also satisfy your posting obligation by mailing or emailing the notice.
6. Employee Polygraph Protection Act Notice
This poster explains the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA).
Who must post: All employers subject to the EPPA must post this notice.
Poster size: There is no poster size requirement. The poster should be easy to read.
Language requirements: The poster is available in English and Spanish. Posting the Spanish poster is optional.
Citations and penalties: Failing to post may lead to court actions and civil penalties.
7. Other federal posters
You might need to hang additional posters if you are a government contractor or subcontractor; are in the agriculture industry; are part of a union; or if you hire migrant workers, workers without U.S. citizenship, or people with disabilities.
State labor law posters
Each state sets its own regulations for labor law compliance posters. Contact your state labor office to learn your posting requirements.
For notices you can share electronically, you need a designated place to store them and distribute them to employees. You can use HR software. You can easily upload documents, including your employee handbook, and share them with your staff. And, our HR add-on integrates with our payroll software. Get your free trial today!
This article has been updated from its original publication date of September 25, 2012.
This is not intended as legal advice; for more information, please click here.