Today I received my first mailer encouraging me to purchase a new labor law poster. Employers have to post certain notices regarding employee rights and benefits or face fines of up to $17,000. Often one or more of the notices was changed in the last year or two so your poster can get out of date quickly. Examples of required notices include:
- Federal minimum wage
- State wage and hour act
- Workers’ compensation
- State unemployment notice
- Earned income tax notice
Companies offering to supply labor law posters typically charge from $16 to $50 for the poster. Anything more and you should shop around. You can get all the notices for free if you look around. NC allows you to download or order posters from their NC DOL Labor Law Posters page. The entire package of notices, including federal notices, is 17 pages long. Not all posters are included, just the most common. For example, there is nothing about the earned income tax credit.
The US Department of Labor also offers its own notice adviser called elaws®. The US DOL adviser does not include the state posters but it does have a page with links and contact information for the states’ and the DC’s labor offices.
Should you buy the poster or download the ones you need for free? That depends on several things. Typically, the companies selling labor posters shrink the most common notices down and fit them on one poster that takes up quite a bit less space than the multiple notices that are free. On the other hand, the companies choose the most common notices and sometimes you will need a notice missing from their poster. The other thing to consider is the cost versus the value of your time tracking down all the required notices.
Even if you decide to purchase your labor law poster, you should check with your attorney, HR department, or the state and federal poster advisers linked earlier to see if the paid poster has everything you need. Like many other things involving government regulations, what you need depends on your unique circumstances.
Picture from NC DOL.