Written by: Amy Kraal, HR Strategist & Business Consultant

Do you really need to buy a new labor law poster?

Recently the DOL updated two labor law postings: the FLSA and the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA). As a result, poster service companies are sending massive campaigns to sell you NEW posters. But, do you really need to buy one?

YES! If don’t have an accurate Labor Law poster displayed and you have employees. 
YES! If your poster was purchased before August 1, 2016 and you have more than 50 employees.
YES! If you want to work with a friendly, local and trusted source that knows how the laws and postings pertain to different size employers. 
NO! If you have less than 50 employees and your current poster has the 2016 Michigan Minimum Wage and Unemployment updates.

Recently the FLSA posting language regarding breaks for Nursing Mothers was updated, as well as a general statement about the use of Independent Contractors. These updates are not new laws and are not statutory posting requirements. Additionally, Employers with less than 50 employees can be exempt from the Nursing Mothers provision if it causes an undue hardship. The EPPA notice changes did not have any substantive information change, just the removal of the reference to fines and the addition of a QR code. Both notices were released without any warning and claim an immediate effective date of Aug. 1, 2016.

All employers must display required, accurate Federal & State Labor Law notices.

Here’s a list of things to consider before you hand over your credit card information to a random national Poster service company to purchase a new All-In-One Federal & State Labor law poster.

5 common errors when it comes to Labor Law Posters:

1.  Information on the Poster
There are 5 federal labor law notices, however, some of the notices only apply to certain employers. In Michigan, there are 7 state labor law notices required by all employers. Most all-in-one posters available for purchase include more than the 12 possible notices. Therefore, employers may be posting notices that don’t apply to their employees.

2. Location of Posters
Many federal and state laws require notices to be posted informing employees and applicants of their rights. This means posters must be posted in a highly visible location in your business, not just a breakroom or area frequented by employees.

3. Accuracy of Information
Postings must be updated each time there is a change or update to the law. For example, Michigan had 2 law updates in 2016: Minimum Wage and Unemployment. These are required to be on your labor law poster. The EPPA revisions effective 8/1/16 are language (not law) changes, thus not required on your poster. The FLSA language additions are recommended for Employers with more than 50 employees, but are not a statutory requirement. It is important to frequently review posters for updates or to subscribe to a service that provides notifications when there is a required update.

4. Failing to Post at All
There are possible penalties for failing to post federal and state employment law notices. Typically, a government agency will look for the required postings if they are on-site for an audit or investigation of a complaint. Failing to have the required postings can result in fines up to $17,000.

5. Highlighting Government Phone Numbers and Websites for Questions
Posters are often hung up without giving the content much thought. Since the postings are intended to help ensure that employees can report their employers’ violations, they commonly highlight government hotlines or reporting websites. It is in every employer’s best interest to be familiar with the information on the postings, and consider how they can encourage employees to come to them for information, before reaching out to a government agency.

Know My HR, a Michigan firm, is the only company offering employee friendly, customized Labor Law posters for Michigan employers. For more information on Michigan Labor Law posters, please visit www.knowmyhr.com or contact us at hello@knowmyhr.com.