Boss Lady

The importance of workplace posters in your business

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Every time you walk into an office, you see different posters hung onto every wall, some framed, some as-is. You wonder if they are just for display purposes to accentuate the office theme, or a strategy for everyone to see. No one reads employee handbooks nowadays, so might as well hang each page on the wall, right?

One thing’s for sure: regardless of whether it adds value to the interior of an office or serves as just a reminder, federal workplace posters are essential requirements that businesses have to comply with. As long as you have at least one employee, you have to do it because the law requires it.

What are these workplace posters?

These are the mandatory federal and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) posters, which include but are not limited to the following:

  • Employee Polygraph Protection – This informs workers that employers are not allowed to use a lie detector test on them, whether it be a pre-employment requirement or within the duration of the employment.
  • Employee Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act – This tackles minimum wage, recordkeeping, overtime pay, and youth employment. It also includes a special minimum wage for workers with disabilities.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) – This informs employees of their rights against discrimination at work.
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – It talks about eligible workers’ rights to take a leave of absence for certain periods (paid and unpaid) due to childbirth, sick members of the family, and adoption.
  • Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act – It explains to seasonal and migrant workers the different employment standards that relate to wages, recordkeeping, transportation, and disclosures.
  • OSHA Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law – This is about workers’ rights under OSHA, which ensures safe and healthy working conditions.
  • Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision – Workers are notified that they cannot be terminated due to compensation inquiry.
  • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) – This informs employees of their right to leave work to serve the military or the National Disaster Medical System.

These posters can be bought individually or can be an all-in-one poster. But what exactly are the importance of these posters? Why are they being required to be displayed in the first place? Let’s take a look:

  1. As notification of workers’ rights

Federal posters define employment-related laws that business owners must comply with. Obviously, these posters are displayed for everyone to read, particularly the employees.

These serve as a reminder for them that they have certain rights that are protected by the law, and they have all the rights to complain should they feel some of their rights have been violated.

Labor law posters are required to be displayed where employee traffic is mostly concentrated every day. This can be in the lobby, pantry, or lunchroom. Regardless of whether you have multiple branches or locations, each one will be required to have their own posters.

The only instances these posters are not needed would be the following:

  • Sole proprietorships without any employees
  • Companies that only have contractual employees
  • Companies with only volunteer manpower
  • Family-owned businesses with employees that are all family members and relatives
  1. As reminder for employers to remain compliant

When employers are required to display these posters, they are reminded that they should be able to comply with whatever employee protection the law requires them to do. With these, there should be no room for excuses for not giving whatever the employees deserve as mandated by law.

Moreover, your posters need to be multilingual or both in English and Spanish in the following locations below, where there are a relatively high number of Spanish-speaking workers:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • New York
  • Texas

However, regardless of whether your company is located in these states or not, if you have some Spanish-speaking employees, it’s nice to use multilingual posters still.

  1. Keep employees up-to-date with state laws

The truth is, labor laws vary depending on the state where your company is located. In short, the frequency of your company’s need to change posters depends on how often the federal, state, or OSHA agencies make amendments or changes in regulatory or legislative policies. One perfect example would be a change in the minimum wage rate. Through workplace posters, your employees can keep themselves up-to-date whenever there’s a change in labor laws.

  1. Avoid paying for fines

Fines and penalties for failure to display workplace posters are being imposed by the state and federal agencies, which can vary depending on locations. An example of a penalty that might be imposed includes a fine of $100 per offense by the Federal FMLA. Another is a civil penalty imposed by OSHA, which could be up to $7,000. Avoid paying for these fines by always having the appropriate workplace posters in your business premises.

Parting words

Enforcing this particular federal and state requirement only goes to show the government’s concern for the welfare of the workforce. And with this, every business owner is expected to cooperate; otherwise, sanctions will be imposed.

If anything, you, as a business owner, shouldn’t even need to be forced to do the right thing. Workers are an integral part of the business, and with that, their welfare should be protected at all times and at all costs.

About Andrea Toulsen

andreat@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

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