In 2022, the traditional workplace is long gone and so is the traditional way of working. Today more than 80% of workers work in some kind of hybrid work arrangement.
While the place of work has changed, there are certain workplace laws that we must still comply with. This includes the posting of labor law notices that inform employees of the federal labor laws, state labor laws, and other employee rights that apply to them such as federal minimum wage, family leave, sick leave, etc.
Physical postings of state and federal employment notices in a visible location at the worksite have been required by law. Compliance with this law was relatively easy when everyone showed up to a common worksite. In fact, you are probably already familiar with the laminated posters that HR has to keep up to date year-round.
However, with the shift to a remote workplace, things have become more complicated. Besides working from home, some employees can use a co-working space which is shared by multiple employers while others meet up at a coffee shop for face-to-face time. To comply with federal and state notice requirements is not so straightforward in these cases.
For this reason, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) published FAB No. 2020-7 on December 23, 2020. This gave some guidance to employers on how to proceed in order to comply with providing posters for remote employees. It outlined three ways to do this: continuous posting, individual notices and access.
In this article, we will explain what each of the three methods mean and recommendations on how to apply them to your workplace.
Wage and Hour Division (WHD) Guidelines
The required posters are to satisfy the notice requirements under the following regulations: the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA), and the Service Contract Act (SCA) which pertains to contractors and subcontractors.
There are also additional federal posting requirements enforced by departments outside of the WHD which include: Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).
Each of these regulations have separate rules on what and where notices are to be posted.
Also note that the guidelines offered by WHD apply to federal notice requirements. Specific state and local laws may require additional or different rules for posting regulations, so be sure to check the requirements for each statute and the state law in all states where you have employees working (both on-site and remotely).
WHD has provided guidelines stating that electronic notices can supplement physical postings but not replace them entirely. To satisfy their obligation, employers are to adhere by the following principles.
Some regulations have required continuous posting of labor laws, such as minimum wage, overtime, break time, etc., in conspicuous places on premises where employees work.
For regulations that require that postings of a notice be available at all times (i.e. FLSA and FMLA), an electronic posting is considered an acceptable substitute only if all the following criteria are met:
All the employees exclusively work remotely
All the employees normally receive information from the employer electronically
All employees are able to readily access the postings at all times
In cases where employees are both on-site while others work remotely, electronic postings may only supplement and not replace physical on-site postings. In fact, it is recommended that both methods of posting be supplied in this case.
Electronic postings can be made available on HR systems, employee portals, company intranets, etc. It is important, however, to make sure that everyone can access these platforms from anywhere on any device.
Other regulations such as the SCA and FLSA Section 14(c), require individual notices to be provided to each employee. These notices are also permitted to be sent to employees via email or other electronic means, but only if the employee is accustomed to receiving electronic communication from their employer.
This is already consistent with existing regulations. Therefore, having an established communication tool in the workplace, is not just best practice, it can also help employers stay compliant with labor law posters for remote employees.
The WHD also put in place additional guidelines related to accessibility when using electronic methods to meeting posting requirements. Essentially, this is to ensure that the electronic postings are just as effective as the notices posted on-site.
To be considered sufficiently accessible, the notices need to be:
Accessible without having to request permission to view them
Posted in a location where employees have been informed how and where to access them
Displayed in a way in which employees can easily recognize which posting is applicable to them
If you have a remote workforce or even some employees who work off-site, here are some tips to make complying with the law easy and avoid violations and fines.
Set up an employee portal or a shared digital space where your employees can easily access labor law posters and other pertinent company information
Make it easy to log in to the employee portal by making it the default home page on your company’s recommended browser
Incorporate a step in your existing employee onboarding process to inform new hires of both the physical and virtual location of the postings
Use an employee portal service that is available on a mobile application so that even your deskless employees can have easy access
Using a platform like PeopleSpheres employers can help employers comply with labor law poster requirements for remote employees and create an employee experience suited to today’s workforce at the same time.
The platform solution is completely customizable to provide any information at any time. In addition to using the platform to display the posting notices and updating it each year with new posters, employers can also provide information such as company benefits, employee handbooks, news, announcements, and other communications on a regular basis. It is also made available on the mobile application which gives all employees a more convenient way to access information.
PeopleSpheres is the leading platform for company’s who want to be digital leaders in delivering the employee experience. We seamlessly work with your existing infrastructure to bring together data, processes, and communications into on place for employee and managers.
To see if we can help your company create a world-class employee experience, please contact us.