Required Labor Posters: State Guide
Employers are required to post summaries of applicable state and federal labor and employment laws where they are clearly visible to employees, often in the break room or employee cafeteria. Federal and state agencies provide free downloads of labor posters with the required information (such as minimum wage, anti-discrimination laws, etc.), while some private vendors sell laminated, higher quality posters. In any event, procuring and displaying the proper labor posters in your workplace is simple and required by law.
Required Federal Labor Posters
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provides a helpful guide to federal labor poster requirements, including Spanish language versions. Some small businesses have too few employees to be subject to certain federal employment laws, and therefore may not need to post information about those laws. For example, a business with 23 employees does not have to display a poster about the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, which covers employers with 50 or more employees.
If you request more guidance, the DOL's FirstStep Poster Advisor helps employers determine their federal poster requirements through a series of questions.
Required State Labor Posters
States typically have additional labor laws that often pick up where federal laws leave off, either expanding coverage to smaller businesses (based on number of employees) or offering additional protections. Such posters as unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, sick leave, safe computer operation or exposure to bodily fluids, and more may be required to be displayed in your state. For example, New York's employment discrimination laws cover businesses with four or more employees, whereas the limit for federal law is 15. In California and in some other states, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered) employees are a protected class.
Potential Penalties for Failure to Comply
In the case of federal law, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is in charge of enforcement and punishment of required labor posters. The penalties for failure to comply are stiff based upon the number of proven violations. Both federal and state government agencies impose a fines for failing to display posters (such as OSHA or FMLA) in a conspicuous area.
The labor department in your state should provide guidance into the necessary employment law posters for your business. Click on your state from the list below to learn more.
FindLaw's Employment Law Resources section includes additional tools for your small business, including Final Paycheck Laws by State, Sample Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policies, and Sample Independent Contractor and Consultant Agreements.
Have Questions About Required Labor Posters? Talk to an Attorney
Small businesses don't always fit into tidy categories. The criteria for determining whether an employer is covered by a particular law can sometimes be confusing. It's a good idea to contact an experienced employment law attorney if you have any questions about which labor posters are required for your business or any other employment law questions.