The Importance of Labor Law Posters

Why is it so important to post labor law posters? Labor law posters define those federal and state employment-related laws that all employers must comply with in their place of business. In addition, employers are responsible for making sure that the posters are posted in an area where all employees have access to read them. So, while this may seem like a simple task, it is one that employers often fail to do in their place of business, or businesses.

Within the past six years, there have been over 260 mandatory labor law poster changes across the United States. To be compliant, every time the federal or state labor laws change, employers must take down the old posters and replace them with a new, up-to-date poster with the updated laws. Failure to do this may result in fines, lawsuits, or citations that could easily have been prevented. Complete failure to comply with the federal and state labor law posting requirements may result in combined fines up to $17,000 and potentially more depending on the number of business locations.

Labor law posters are designed to protect both the employee and the business. Below is a list of the mandatory federal posters that must be displayed along with some information about the law, who must post them and who enforces them:

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Poster: Informs applicants and employees of Equal Employment Opportunity laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and the Equal Pay Act (EPA).

Who must post: Employers with 15 or more employees.

Who enforces: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Poster: Describes in detail the federal law regarding minimum wage, overtime pay, equal pay for equal work and child labor.

Who must post: Every private, federal, state and local government, company or business with employees who are subject to the FLSA

Who enforces: U.S. Department of Labor – Employment Standards Administration
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Poster: Summarizes the major provisions of the FMLA and tells applicants and employees how to file a complaint.

Who must post: Public agencies (including federal, state and local employers), public and private elementary and secondary schools, and private employers with 50 or more employees.

Who enforces: U.S. Department of Labor – Employment Standards Administration
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Poster: Explains that employees are entitled to a workplace free from recognized hazards under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, with guidance on how to report workplace hazards.

Who must post: Private employers engaged in a business affecting commerce.

Who enforces: U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) Poster: Informs applicants and employees that employers are prohibited from requesting or requiring lie detector tests for employment purposes and from retaliating against them if they refuse to take lie detector tests.

Who must post: Any employer engaged in or affecting commerce, or in the production of goods for commerce

Who enforces: U.S. Department of Labor – Employment Standards Administration
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Right Act (USERRA) Notice: Summarizes the rights and benefits under USERRA, the federal law pertaining to uniformed service members and their civilian employers.

Who must post: All employers.

Who enforces: U.S. Department of Labor – Veterans’ Employment and Training Service

Along with the federal labor law posters that must be displayed there may be state labor law posters that employers are required to post, as well. State employment-related laws typically include information about: teen work hours, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, state minimum wages, Equal Employment Opportunity, individual State Family and Medical Leave benefits (FMLA), and individual State whistleblower laws. There may be cases where both the federal and state labor law posters address the same topic. States may pass laws that are stricter than what federal laws state, which is why both posters, regardless of conflicting information, must be posted. Employers must abide by the law that is most favorable to the employee.

Staying up-to-date with federal and state employment law updates is time-consuming and may pose a risk to employers. So, there are organizations that provide subscription services to employers to assist them with remaining compliant. An employer is able to choose their respective state, and they will automatically provide the employer with updated posters every time that there is a change in either federal or state employment-related laws. The costs vary from vendor to vendor and for most businesses participation is a no-brainer, as the potential penalties for not having compliant posters is much greater than what the subscription service costs.

For additional information on federal and state labor law posting requirements, please contact us at

Written By: Patrick McKenna, SHRM-CP
HR Coordinator

Posted in: HR Rules, Regulations and Laws, Policies and Procedures

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