Required federal, state and local workplace postings can cause confusion among your employees. Check out this list of postings that are required for most employers.
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Employees have many rights and protections in the workplace. Anti-discrimination, safety, and wage laws are probably the most well-known, but many employees may not be aware of their rights under specific laws. This is why federal, state, and local governments have enacted workplace posting requirements. Workplace posters are intended to inform and educate employees about their rights in the workplace.

The posters aren't optional, however. Failing to post the required notices can carry fines anywhere from $100 up to $10,000!

For the employer, compliance with the workplace posting requirements can be confusing. Some posters are required, and some aren't, depending on factors such as company size, type of work, or number of employees, just to name a few. To help you, we've summarized and outlined some of the more common workplace posters. Please note that the following list isn't exhaustive; you will still need to determine if there may be additional posters you're required to post in your workplace. More information is provided at the end of this article.

Required Federal Posters

The following posters are required for most employers under Federal law:

OSHA Job Safety and Health Notice

According to 29 CFR 1903.2(a), every employer is required to post the OSHA Job Safety and Health notice. The notice gives information about OSHA, its protections and obligations, and where to go for more details. This notice must be posted "in each establishment in a conspicuous place or places where notices to employees are customarily posted," such as near a time clock, on a bulletin board or in a locker room.

Log of Occupational Injuries/Illnesses

According to 29 CFR 1904.32, every employer with 11 or more employees must maintain a log of occupational injuries and illnesses. At the end of each calendar year, the contents of the form are summarized on an OSHA form 300-A or equivalent. This summary must be posted in the workplace or at the job site no later than February 1 through April 30.

Minimum Wage Poster

The Fair Labor Standards Act (29 CFR 516.4) requires employers to display a minimum wage poster in a location where employees can readily see it.

Polygraph Protection Poster

The Polygraph and Protection Act (29 CFR 801.6 and 801.42) prevents employers from using lie detector tests either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment (but note that there are some exceptions). The Act requires employers to display a notice regarding the Act in a place where employees and job applicants will readily see it.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Poster

FMLA (29 CFR 825.300) requires employers to display employees' rights under the Act. The poster explains how to file complaints under the Act and must be posted in a location where employees and applicants for employment will see it.

Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Work Protection Act Poster

If your company hires migrant or seasonal agricultural workers, you're required to display a poster describing employee rights and protections under the Act. Refer to 29 CFR 500.75(c) for more information.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Poster

The EEOC requires employers to display a poster which explains prohibited employment discriminatory practices. This covers such anti-discrimination laws as Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (29 CFR 1601.30 and 1627.10).

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) Poster

The USERRA poster informs military service employees of their rights to reemployment and nondiscrimination and also to continuation of health insurance benefits while performing military service.

Free Posters Available

OSHA has free posters available - such as the OSHA Job Safety and Health Notice Poster - at http://www.osha.gov/Publications/fedposter.html and a listing of other free posters and publications at http://www.osha.gov/pls/publications/publindex.list or by calling the publications office at (202) 693-1888.

State-Specific Posters

Depending on the state in which you're operating, you may have additional posting requirements. For example, states may require you to post information regarding workers' compensation, unemployment, and/or child labor rules.

Unfortunately, there's no free one-stop-source for obtaining workplace posters for the various states. You do have some options, however. Many times, you can call your local OSHA office or go to your state's labor-related department websites (http://www.dol.gov/whd/contacts/state_of.htm). The good news is, most of the posters are free if you obtain them through your state contacts.

For More Information

The Employment Law Guide can help you determine which laws apply to your business to further assist you in complying with workplace posting requirements: http://www.dol.gov/asp/programs/guide.htm.

The U.S. Department of Labor also has an eLaws Poster Advisor program that can help you determine your posting requirements. View the program at http://www.dol.gov/elaws/posters.htm.