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Solving Big Business Labor Law Posting Challenges: Are Subscription Services the Solution?

8/4/2017
Labor Law Posting Requirements for Large Businesses

Keeping track of labor law postings is challenging for any employer, but it’s especially difficult for big businesses with different requirements or multiple locations. That’s why a reliable labor law poster subscription service is the ONLY way to keep up with changing labor laws and avoid costly fines.

Legislative changes happen sporadically, and there’s no central clearinghouse to let you know when an update has occurred. And if your business has multiple locations in multiple states, how do you keep track?

The cost and complexity of posting compliance multiply exponentially when your business operates across state lines. Since 2015, there have been 122 changes across 43 states. The number of changes is even higher for businesses that operate in certain industries or in cities with local requirements.

To make things even more complicated, all mandatory federal, state and local notices must be displayed simultaneously. Typically, you’ll see states issuing a higher minimum wage than federal law, and cities may issue an even higher rate than state law. And although employers must follow the law that is most generous to employees, they still have to display ALL the posters.

Interstate Operations Complicate Labor Law Posting Challenges

Let’s examine the fictional example of “Ben’s Pizza,” a family-owned eatery that exploded into a nationwide pizza chain with approximately 50 locations in nine cities in seven states (and with several remote workers).

Headquartered in Newark, NJ, Ben’s Pizza opened shop with two small restaurants. The pizzeria morphed into a nationwide chain when the owner’s six children moved to different states and opened up new locations to grow the business.

Ben’s Pizza eventually opened four restaurants in Newark; 11 in Philadelphia, PA; six in Dover, DE; six in Bloomfield, CT; three in Baton Rouge, LA; 12 in New York City; and five in Oakland, CA. It also employs five remote workers in Los Angeles and San Francisco combined.

All the locations share certain posting obligations, but with one important distinction: One size does NOT fit all. Different states — and different cities within the same state — may have specific minimum wage rates, state posting requirements and even city laws that require mandatory postings.

For example, hourly workers at Ben’s Pizza earn widely varying wage rates depending on the state or city where they are employed. Workers in Newark, NJ, earn a minimum wage of $8.44 per hour while workers in Los Angeles, CA earn $12.00 an hour and workers in New York City earn $10.50 an hour. Ben’s Pizza employees are paid anywhere from a low of $7.25 an hour in Philadelphia to a high of $14 in San Francisco. All the wage rates, including any rates approved by the state and federal government, must be posted.

And it doesn’t end there. Because Ben’s Pizza is a restaurant, the company must display industry-specific posters in addition to federal, state and local posters. Different states have different restaurant requirements to keep employees informed. For example, New York State requires restaurants to post five specialty posters while Connecticut only requires two.

The state posting requirements for Ben’s Pizza locations range from eight to 15 posters. The local posting requirements, depending on location, range from one to 12.

Here’s a summary of the total posting requirements the owner of Ben’s Pizza must constantly monitor:

  • Newark, NJ: 6 federal posters; 14 state posters; 1 local poster; 3 industry posters
  • Bloomfield, CT: 6 federal posters; 10 state posters; 2 industry-specific posters
  • Dover, DE: 6 federal posters; 8 state posters
  • Baton Rouge, LA: 6 federal posters; 14 state posters
  • Philadelphia, PA: 6 federal posters; 8 state posters; 7 local posters; 1 industry-specific poster
  • New York, New York: 6 federal posters; 11 state posters; 1 local poster; 5 industry-specific posters
  • Oakland, CA: 6 federal posters; 15 state posters; 2 local posters; 1 industry-specific poster
  • Los Angeles, CA: 6 federal posters; 15 state posters; 3 local posters; 1 industry-specific poster
  • San Francisco, CA: 6 federal posters; 15 state posters; 9 local posters; 1 industry-specific poster

Remember those remote workers? Because Ben’s Pizza also employs remote workers in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the company has the added responsibility of providing mandatory labor law posters electronically.

Are you dizzy yet? To remain fully compliant, Ben’s Pizza would have to monitor the status of more than 180 federal, state, local and industry-specific posters around the clock for potential changes. The pizza chain would also have to find a way to get the required labor law posters to its California workers in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Penalties for Noncompliance Are on the Rise

As if keeping track of all your posting responsibilities isn’t daunting enough, there’s the continual risk of getting it wrong. In fact, noncompliance with labor law posting requirements can be downright costly. Penalties for not displaying federal postings doubled in August 2016 and went up again in January 2017. Potential posting fines under federal law can cost big bucks.

Here’s a breakdown of the August 2016 federal fine increases:

  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): $110 to $163
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): $210 to $525
  • The Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA): $10,000 to $19,787
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): $7,000 to $12,471

In January 2017, fines increased again:

  • FMLA: $163 to $166
  • EEOC: $525 to $534
  • EPPA: $19,787 to $20,111
  • OSHA: $12,471 to $12,675

And these statistics don’t take into account possible penalties for not complying with state, city, county and industry-specific postings.

A Subscription Service Makes Compliance Easy

So, what’s the solution? You know that business owners are required to display current federal, state and local postings. But you also know that keeping up with it all can be difficult, especially when you’re a big business like Ben’s Pizza with 50 locations in several states.

A labor law poster subscription service is a sure way to protect your big business and remain compliant, even if your business stretches across state lines. It is best to look for a company that has a team of compliance attorneys who track every posting requirement for you and sends out new posters any time a mandatory change occurs. And with all of the foreign-language requirements, you should look for those companies that offer foreign language posters as part of their service.

Want to ease your burden? Click here for more information about Poster Guard® Compliance Protection service for large companies. Poster Guard will customize your labor law poster sets to match your unique needs.

When you sign up for the service, they provide a set of state and federal labor law posters to bring you immediately into compliance. Plus, this poster service includes mandatory city and county posters (and foreign language, if required) so businesses are guaranteed 100 percent compliance with all federal, state and local regulations.