Do your labor law posters show these changes?

Updated versions need to be displayed

Posted October 24, 2016

Like a box of cereal in the cupboard, the labor law posters on the wall don’t stay fresh forever.

Over the summer, two federal posters expired and must be replaced by updated versions. The laws referenced in these posters apply to nearly all employers with one or more employees.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) postings were updated in July by the Department of Labor (DOL). New fines for noncompliance with these laws took effect on August 1, and the posters were revised to remove outdated fine information.

The changes were mandatory, which means that employers must display the new versions.

Businesses should make sure the FLSA and EPPA postings on their wall have revision dates of 07/2016. Posting an EPPA notice with an older date could bring a fine. Neglecting to update both posters also increases the risk of an employee lawsuit and may open the door for a larger-scale audit.

What’s new?

The most significant change to the posters was the deletion of fine information. On August 1, fine increases took effect under a law called the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.

Among the fines impacted were those listed on the FLSA and EPPA postings. For example, the maximum fine for a violation of the EPPA went from $10,000 to $19,787, and the penalty for willful violations of the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime provisions rose from $1,100 to $1,894.

Rather than listing new fine amounts on the posters, the DOL removed them altogether. This was likely done to avoid annual poster revisions, as the penalty adjustment law calls for fines to increase each year.

Erasing fine information was the only change made to the EPPA posting. However, on the FLSA posting:

  • A section on the rights of nursing mothers was added,
  • Tip credit information was revised,
  • Information on independent contractors was added, and
  • Information about a youth minimum wage for workers under 20 was removed.

Optional updates

Two other federal posters were also recently revised by the DOL, but posting these new versions is optional.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) poster was revamped in April 2016 to make it easier to read, and the Job Safety and Health (OSHA) poster was updated in April 2015 to expand the list of employee rights and employer responsibilities.

The February 2013 version of the FMLA poster remains in compliance, however, as do older versions of the OSHA posting. (Employers may use the new version of the OSHA poster to comply with anti-retaliation provisions in the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses final rule, but also have other options for sharing that information.)

Time for action

While there’s no need to rush to replace FMLA and OSHA posters, businesses do not have the luxury of time when it comes to the FLSA and EPPA postings.

Action needs to be taken to make sure they are current and in compliance.

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