The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released a new notice-of-rights labor law poster for employers to display at their worksites.
Under Title VII and other federal laws, covered employers must conspicuously post notices for employees that inform them of their legal rights. Those who do not meet their obligations in this regard are subject to a penalty of up to $612 per violation.
The federal Department of Labor has explained that not all posters must be posted by all employers and offers an advisor service that helps employers determine what is required of them.
Many laws at play
Here are some of the federal laws that include notice requirements for employers to whom the statute applies.
- The Fair Labor Standards Act, which establishes minimum wage, overtime, recordkeeping and youth employment standards for covered employers.
- The Family and Medical Leave Act, which gives eligible employees the right to take unpaid but job-protected leave for a number of specified reasons.
- The Employee Polygraph Protection Act, which generally bans most private employers from using lie detector tests for pre-employment screening and during employment.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Act, which broadly regulates workplace safety.
- The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, which protects the civilian employment rights of military service members and veterans.
- The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, which protects migrant and seasonal agricultural workers by setting standards in a number of areas, including wages, houses, transportation, disclosures and recordkeeping.
- The Walsh/Healey Public Contracts Act and McNamara-O-Hara Service Contract Act, which require some federal contractors and subcontractors to pay employees fair wages.
- The Immigration and Nationality Act, which governs immigration law.
- The Davis-Bacon and Related Act, which set requirements relating to certain federal contractors and subcontractors.
Not all of these laws apply to all employers – and figuring out exactly which ones apply involves maneuvering through a complicated maze that takes a number of specific factors into account. That means the answer to the question of exactly which notices must be posted varies depending on the employer.
New labor law poster replaces old
The new “Know Your Rights” poster replaces the previous “EEO is the Law” poster.
The agency explains that the new poster summarizes a number of laws that it enforces and notes that applicants and employees may file an administrative charge if they believe they have been subjected to unlawful discrimination.
The new poster specifically provides information about unlawful bias that is based on the protected categories of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age and disability. It also addresses equal pay, genetic information and retaliation.
The agency touts a number of improvements from the prior version. These include the use of more straightforward language and formatting as well as a specific indication that harassment is prohibited.
The new poster is also better, the agency says, because it clarifies that sex discrimination encompasses discrimination that is based on pregnancy and related conditions, sexual orientation and sexual identity.
It also provides information about equal pay discrimination for federal contractor employees.
Significantly, it further adds a QR code that provides digital access to a webpage explaining how to file a charge of discrimination.
The poster is available in English and Spanish.
“The new ‘Know Your Rights’ poster is a win-win for employers and workers alike,” said Chair Charlotte Burrows in a release. “By using plain language and bullet points, the new poster makes it easier for employers to understand their legal responsibilities and for workers to understand their legal rights and how to contact EEOC for assistance. The poster advances the EEOC’s mission both to prevent unlawful employment discrimination and remedy discrimination when it occurs.”
Under Title VII, for example, employers are required to post notices that are “prepared or approved” by the agency. The EEOC’s release says the new poster “updates and replaces” the previous version, adding that “[c]overed employers are required by federal law to prominently display the poster at their work sites.”
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