If you run a business and have employees, there are a slew of federal and state labor law notices you’re required to post where employees can see them each day. These are often called labor law posters, or compliance posters. They include things like minimum wage laws, the federal USERRA, non-discrimination notices, and more. Keeping up with everything that ought to be posted and making sure that the most current notices are posted in the workplace can be a real chore for big and small businesses alike. What’s more, posting a collection of paper notices can make your office look messy.
To solve the problem, a number of companies sell labor law posters that combine all the state and federal regulations on one or two posters. The posters, in general, are a good thing. They tidy up offices and help businesses stay in compliance with labor laws. But unfortunately, some of the companies that market labor law posters by mail use hard-sell marketing tactics to get you to replace your labor law posters before you really need to. In fact, some of the marketing materials that get sent in mail seem somewhat misleading and deceptive.
One ploy that’s been used in various parts of the country is a mailing that has the word FINAL NOTICE in all capital letters on the top of the page of an official-looking document. Below the “Final Notice” headline was text stating that the employer must comply with the new labor posting requirements and that failure to do so could lead to government fines of up to $17,000 and other possible dire consequences.
Other tactics include mail-merging the name of the recipient company into the letter and using text in the letter such as a Notice Number, Reference Number, and a Reply By date designed to make recipients think the mail is somehow an official warning. If your business gets a notice like that, take the time to look at who it really comes from. If you see the words poster service, or compliance service, or if you see an out-of-state address, you can be sure the official-looking “Notice” is just a sales letter. Another dead giveaway: the letter will tell you how to order labor law posters from a private company.
If you’re unsure when labor law notices you need to post were last changed, check with the US Department of Labor and your state labor department to find out if there have been any changes in required postings. Remember, too, that no matter what the labor law poster companies tell you, you don’t need to buy a new poster just because it’s a new year. You only need to replace your posters when the state or federal laws listed on them change. For a list of the latest changes in state and federal labor law posters see the Business Know-How website.