Business owners and human resources departments should always be alert to news and happenings from the Department of Labor, especially when it involves potential penalties or fees levied over regulatory violations. As a case in point: The DOL recently announced a steep increase to its labor law posting penalties. What this means, in brief, is that employers who fail to post the required signage may face penalties as high as $38,000.
And that’s actually just the tip of the iceberg. The DOL can impose federal penalties, but there may also be state or municipal penalties for any employer that fails to provide employees with clear and up-to-date information about their employee rights.
The New Penalties
Employers have long been expected to comply with labor laws concerning employee rights and information, putting up posters or signs in areas such as the employee break room, where all team members can read up on their government-backed rights.
What’s changed is simply the severity of the penalties that the DOL is levying. The new maximum penalties include:
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): $189
- Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law (EEO) $612
- Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law (OSHA): $14,502
- Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA): $23,011
Needless to say, these are some potentially crippling financial burdens, particularly over infringements that may seem relatively minor. Take it as a sign of just how serious the DOL is about keeping all employees well-informed about their rights.
There is a simple way to avoid incurring these penalties, and that’s to make sure you have the current labor law posters displayed with prominence. You might even send out an email to your team members, or mention at your next town hall meeting or huddle that there are new posters for employees to review.
Employers here in the State of North Carolina will want to attend to the posters highlighted above, but also a few additional posters that our state requires:
- Minimum Wage
- Unemployment Insurance
- Workers' Compensation
Finally, keep in mind that a good HR partner can help you maintain compliance and avoid even the barest risk of penalty. FullHR is diligent about sending updated posters to all of our full-service clients. To find out more, we welcome you to contact us directly.