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EEOC increases maximum posting penalty

Maximum federal labor law posting fine tops $36,000

Posted June 4, 2021 

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced an increase in the maximum fine for violating anti-discrimination posting requirements. The maximum penalty will increase to $576 under a final rule published in the Federal Register on May 26, 2021.

Posting a notice of employee rights is required under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA). The EEOC summarizes information about employee rights under these laws on the Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law posting.

Employers with 15 or more employees need to display this poster in prominent and accessible places.

Annual increase

The EEOC is required to adjust the posting fine annually under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. The adjusted penalty applies to fines issued after May 26, 2021.
The Act also requires the Department of Labor (DOL) to increase its posting penalties each year. The DOL announced these increases in January, and they apply to fines issued after January 15, 2021:

  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): $178
  • Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law (OSHA): $13,653
  • Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA): $21,663

When all federal posting fines are added together, the total maximum posting penalty is $36,070.

Reducing risk

It would be extremely rare for an employer to be assessed the maximum posting fine, as it’s not often that an employer receives a fine simply for failure to properly display an employment law poster. The EEOC notes that it issues fewer than 60 posting fines each year.

The fact that federal agencies are meticulous in adjusting the maximum penalties each year, however, shows that the agencies take posting compliance seriously.

In addition, the failure to display required labor law posters can increase an employer’s risk of being sued by an employee. Failure to properly display posters deprives employees of vital information, and may give them additional time to file a lawsuit if they believe their rights have been violated. Courts have held that if posters are not displayed, the deadline to sue an employer may be extended.

Employers can stay in compliance and reduce their risk by conspicuously displaying up-to-date labor law posters in areas where employees are likely to view them.

Posting Penalty Summary

Posting Name 

2020 fine

2021 fine

Family and Medical Leave Act        



Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law



Employee Polygraph Protection Act



EEO is the Law






This article was written by Terri Dougherty of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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