Every American business with three or more employees must display employee information posters required by federal and state law. Exactly which posters your business must display, and precisely where and how they must be posted, varies by industry, the number of employees, your state and other factors.
Three things you need to know:
- Compliance matters. There are hefty fines and other penalties for failing to post.
- Most posters inform employees about their rights and procedures related to health and safety, minimum wages, workers compensation and Equal Opportunity.
- Posting laws change often; for example, 40 percent of states change their posting requirements each year. Ongoing compliance demands vigilance.
Know which posters you need
Poster rules are no secret. These resources will tell you what you need.
of federal poster rules for small business or consult the companion Poster Advisor
tool. The Poster Advisor will generate a customized list of links to federal posters required for companies of your size and industry, plus other links to federal labor resources recommended for companies like yours.
Don't forget about your state requirements
Each state has its own poster laws for state-controlled labor issues such as minimum wage or unemployment insurance.
U.S. Department of Labor
to visit your state's labor offices, or consult a poster vendor, many of which, like this one from HRdocs.com, provide free links to lists of state requirements. The Interstate Labor Standards Association maintains a complete list of state labor contacts and Web sites.
Check for industry-specific requirements
Companies in some industries fall under laws requiring still more posters For example, those doing government construction must post signs related to the Davis-Bacon Act (which governs minimum wages for construction workers) and real-estate-related companies must post the Fair Housing poster.
from the Department of Labor. See the Labor Law Center's Specialty Posters list, and read and post on its labor-related forums to consult experts and peers about any special posting requirements for your industry.
Purchase posters or download the ones you need for free
Posters are available from multiple sources, each with its own advantages.
of federal posters or by emailing the U.S. Department of Labor at OSBP@dol.gov. Most states also offer their posters free for downloading from their Labor Department
Web sites. Non-government vendors charge for their posters, but often offer additional benefits, such as lamination or space-saving designs. Try Business Know-How or GovDocs.com for an "all-in-one" format that combines all federal and state posters into a single, laminated poster. If you order printed posters, make sure to buy enough posters to post in every location required.
Post by the rules
Posting in the right place is as important as using the right poster. Posters have different posting requirements, although most federal posters must appear in a place employees visit daily (such as near the time clock or in the break room) and in a place where job applicants can see them as well. If you buy an "all-in-one" poster, you must post it everywhere any of the incorporated posters is required.
To keep compliant, keep current
State-required labor law posters change more often than federal posters, but all change now and then.
- Employers must post state and federal minimum wage posters even if no employees are paid minimum wage.
- If you operate in multiple states, in each site you must post the state posters for that state.
- Lamination is important in dirty or damp workplaces — damaged signs may not be compliant.
- Some vendors guarantee their posters' compliance, including a promise to reimburse any fines incurred if their signs are properly posted but judged non-compliant.