Once Compliant, Always Compliant?

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People who are new to labor law compliance often do not realize how often posters change throughout the year.  People assume that the posters on the break room walls were updated on January 1 and that they are good until the next year (sigh of relief!)  Not so fast, because federal, state and local labor laws change throughout the year and can affect those break room posters.

This year has shown significant changes to laws at all levels of government  which impact poster compliance.  The most recent changes came in July of 2016 when three of the standard federal labor laws saw changes which affected the corresponding posters.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – The Job Safety and Health—It’s the Law! poster is produced by OSHA which acts as the governing body over healthy and safe working conditions.  The poster specifically addresses:

  • Workers rights
  • Employers responsibilities
  • Contact information for questions or violations

The recent changes to this poster provide clarification concerning employee’s rights to report accidents and work-related illnesses without fear of retribution by the employer.  Updates to the OSHA law now require that notification be given to employees concerning the retaliation provisions.  The It’s the Law poster was actually updated in April 2015, however, it was not a mandatory update until the full changes of the law went in place.  It is now a mandatory update.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – The FLSA establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments.

The FLSA poster was updated as a result  of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements of 2015 which removed out-of-date penalty amounts and includes new information concerning penalties and violations.  The posting also provides new contact information in the form of the URL and telephone number.

Additionally, the updated law now impacts the poster as it acknowledges the requirement for employers to provide reasonable breaks, as well as a specified location (other than a restroom), for nursing mothers who are subject to the FLSA overtime requirements so that they can express breast milk.  Female employees are eligible for these breaks for up to one year after the birth of the baby or sooner if the mother no longer breast feeds.  Designated nursing areas must be shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public.

Finally, the FLSA now clarifies the classification between employees and “independent contractors.”  Employees who are not classified as “exempt” are entitled to the FLSA minimum wage and overtime protections.  Independent contractors are not covered by this legislation.

Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) – The EPPA prohibits most private employers from using lie detector tests, either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment. Employers generally may not require or request any employee or job applicant to take a lie detector test, or discharge, discipline, or discriminate against an employee or job applicant for refusing to take a test or for exercising other rights under the Act. Some positions such as security service firms and pharmaceutical manufacturers have exemptions from this law.  The Act permits polygraph testing of certain employees of private firms who are suspected of involvement in a workplace incident (theft, embezzlement, etc.) that resulted in specific economic loss or injury to the employer.

Similar to the FLSA poster, the EPPA poster update removes out of date penalties and includes new contact/referral information.

Keeping up with poster updates can be a laborious task because they can come at any any time and at numerous times throughout the year.  To remain complaint a company will either have to complete regular (at least monthly) audits in order to make sure that no changes have taken place, or they can let the LaborLawCenter™do the work for them.   LaborLawCenter™ is a premier labor law compliance company that has been in business for over 15 years and currently has shipped over 1 million labor law posters nationwide.  We are not just a poster provider, we partner with clients to ensure that they have everything required to be fully compliant with labor law postings.  We can be contacted by telephone at 800-745-9970 or via email at [email protected] with any questions concerning compliance postings.  Posters are provided in both English and Spanish and can be purchased on-demand or through an annual plan that provides automatic updates.  The company’s all-in-one labor law poster, the Labor Law Poster provides businesses with the most up-to-date posters with a guarantee to pick up fines for non-compliance should you choose to enroll in our replacement program, The Compliance Protection Plan.  Visit our website for more information at https://www.laborlawcenter.com .

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