December is the time for so many things. In Arizona, it’s when I actually start wearing my winter coat* (although, I’ll admit it got cold a little early this year). It is time to decorate the house for the holidays and perhaps even break out the Elf on the Shelf. And, yes, it is even time for companies to update their policies and employee handbooks and also ensure that all required posters are… posted.
Employers constantly evaluate what needs to be updated, but there is something about the month of December that serves as a reminder to those who keep moving these updates to the end of the to-do list. I will be the first to admit, it is easy to move “update employment documents” to the end of the line when there are much more pressing issues. However, it is important to ensure that changes in the law are reflected in the policies – in some instances it means the difference between being able to assert an affirmative defense or not – and to ensure that the policies reflect what the company actually does.
When it comes to the required posters, each company has to take a close look at its own business to determine what needs to be posted pursuant to federal and state law. The poster requirements vary based on the number of employees the company employs, the location the employees perform work, the industry the company is in, whether the company is a federal contractor, and the types of individuals who are employed.
In Arizona, for example,** employers are required to post certain posters, including those addressing constructive discharge, employment discrimination, minimum wage, no smoking (in color and in a conspicuous location at all entrances and visible from the outside), safety and health protection on the job (on 8” x 14” paper), unemployment insurance, work exposure to bodily fluids, work exposure to MRSA, spinal meningitis, and TB (for all employers whose employees may receive significant exposure to MRSA, spinal meningitis or TB in their regular course of employment), and workers’ compensation.
Employers have to determine whether additional postings are required under federal law, including: OSHA Job Safety and Health, Employee Polygraph Protection Act Notice, E-Verify (participating employers), Fair Labor Standards Act poster on Minimum Wage, Right to Work (for right-to-work states), Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act poster for Non-Federal Contractors/Employers, National Labor Relations Act poster on Employee Rights [Appellate courts have temporarily enjoined the NLRB's rule requiring the posting]; (15+ employees) Equal Employment is the Law – including Title VII, ADA, ADEA, EPA, and GINA; (20+ employees) COBRA; (50+ employees) FMLA; and so on.
Poster requirements frequently change and posters are updated often. Companies need to replace and update posters throughout the year and post in languages of the individuals reading the posters. Happy Posting!
* Yes, I said “coat” not “coats.” I only own one winter coat. It gets worn the five or six days a year when it is freeeeeezing (i.e., 40 degrees or below).
** And if it’s not totally clear, this article is not intended to be the end-all-be-all of the posters each company needs (or doesn’t need) to post. Do your own research or, better yet, consult with legal counsel.