Tacking posters on your walls may feel like a faded teenage memory. But if you’re a company with at least one employee, it’s time to bust out the tape, scope out your wall space, and take a trip down memory lane.
Thanks to the workplace posting requirements from the Department of Labor (DOL), becoming a poster child for compliance means that you’ll have to display notices on your office walls. Has your posting prowess lost its sheen? Don’t worry — in this article, we’ll show you exactly how to become a poster whiz.
Post up here
Before you get the poster party started, let’s take a look at the rules:
- DOL notices are only required if you have at least one employee on staff.
- You have options. You can either print each poster directly or you can order free copies from the DOL website — whatever suits your fancy.
- If your team includes multilingual folks, be sure to order a version of each poster in whatever language you need.
- Your posters can hang out for awhile. Employers are only required to update their posters if the actual copy changes. Duck into this site to see if you have the most recent versions.
- You’ll need to make sure all your posters are large enough for people to read (i.e. no glasses required). There aren’t specific size stipulations for most posters, except the OSHA one (which we’ll explain below).
- Find a central location for displaying all your workplace notices. Common areas, lunchrooms, and lounges are all great spots to add in a little labor law love.
Your federal requirements
Your requirements center on where your business is located, what kind of company you have, and how many people are on your team. Here are the main ones to know about:
Employee Rights Under the Family and Medical Leave Act
If you have 50 or more employees, this poster is singing your name. Essentially, it explains the FMLA parental leave guidelines for both employees and employers. It also outlines who is eligible for coverage, what they should receive, how people can request leave, and what employers should do to comply.
Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law!
This notice breaks down all the protections employees receive under OSHA, which stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Live somewhere with a state-specific OSHA plan? Then you may have to post that version instead. Click here to see if that’s you. You’ll also want to make sure the poster is at least eight ½ by 14 inches and printed in a ten-point font.
Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law
It may seem like a “duh” that people shouldn’t be treated differently because of who they are. However, this poster is there to back up this essential point. It’s issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and it spells out all of the workplace discrimination laws that safeguard people at work. It also includes information for employees on how to report any cases of discrimination.
Employee Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
This sheet is designed for anyone who is covered under the FLSA’s minimum wage rules. Once it’s posted, it allows everyone to easily find out the current wage, rules on overtime pay and tips, and how the minimum wage is enforced.
Employee Rights for Workers With Disabilities Paid at Special Minimum Wages
If you employ anyone with a disability who earns a special minimum wage, you’ll need to add another version of the FLSA poster to your set. It provides a recap of the overtime and tipping laws, along with a summary of people’s rights.
Employee Rights Under the National Labor Relations Act
Does anyone on your team belong to a union? If that’s the case, you’ll want to get your hands on this poster pronto. The notice lays out your team’s rights as union members, and explains what employers and unions need to do to follow the law.
Your Rights Under USERRA: The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
This poster protects people who leave their jobs to join the military or the National Disaster Medical System. It explains what they’re entitled to receive before and after leaving, along with where to go for help. You actually don’t have to post this anywhere, as long as you deliver the sheet to each employee by email, mail, or in person.
To get a summary of your specific federal reporting to-dos, take this FirstStep Poster Advisor quiz from the DOL.
Your state requirements
Hopefully the federal poster rundown gave you a good start. Once you’re done, check out your state labor laws, which build off of the federal requirements above. Since it fluctuates depending on which state your business calls home, you’ll have to click through to your state’s labor division to find out what you have to do.
Your decorative requirements
After you put up all your posters, you may find yourself in the middle of an intense game of office decorating. Since you’re already in the thick of it, here are a few more ideas for sprucing up your workspace:
- Add plants to freshen up the air, open windows, and reconfigure your furniture so people have a view of the outside. Looking at nature has been proven to get people’s creative juices flowing.
- Set up a comfy lounge space for people to hang out in during breaks.
- Do a five-minute decluttering exercise and wipe down surfaces, take out the trash, and do the dishes.
- Make your office smell amazing. Apartment Therapy suggests squeezing a drop of lemon or lime juice on top of your light bulbs (while they’re turned off).
Now that your walls are covered with wall-to-wall awesomeness, your team will have an easier time absorbing the information they need. Plus, in the midst of all that posting, you just gave your office a mini makeover. Following the law has never looked — or felt — so good.