How to Handle Required Employment Posters when your Employees are Working Remotely
During an event earlier this month, a question was posed by one of the attendees about how organizations that operate in full virtual capacity can meet the legal requirements associated with the mandatory posting of required employment notices. After collaborating with our terrific colleague, Maryland Nonprofits’ General Counsel Paddy Morton, we have some resources and tips to share with our members.
In office settings, these posting requirements are satisfied by placing posters on bulletins in break rooms, lobbies, and other well-trafficked areas. However, as more employees do remote work, the U.S. Department of Labor has released the Field Assistance Bulletin to provide guidance to employers. The bulletin provides:
If a statute and its regulations require a notice to be continuously posted at a worksite, in most cases, WHD (the Wage and Hour Division of the US Department of Labor) will only consider electronic posting an acceptable substitute for the continuous posting requirement where (1) all of the employer’s employees exclusively work remotely, (2) all employees customarily receive information from the employer via electronic means, and (3) all employees have readily available access to the electronic posting at all times.
There are some important points to consider.
First, electronic posting is only acceptable as a direct substitute when all staff are exclusively working remotely. If even one staff member is on-site, then the statutes and regulations must still be posted in a highly visible, well-trafficked area of the office.
Second, employers must ordinarily disseminate information to their employees via electronic means for the electronic posting to be acceptable. Employers who normally do not use electronic avenues to share information with employees cannot use electronic posting as a substitute to fulfill their legal posting requirements.
Third, “readily available” means that employees can freely access the notice without having to deal with requesting permissions or credentials to view the files. Employers must also inform employees of where the notice is posted and how to access it electronically. Thus, if the employer posts a notice without informing its employees or posts the notice within an unknown or concealed location, they fail to meet federal requirements.
Please keep in mind as well that the Department of Labor views a difference between items that must be continually posted and those that are provided once to each individual employee. Additionally, note that the Department of Labor guidance only applies to federal notice requirements. Maryland, as well as other states, has additional notice and posting requirements. Employers should be sure to remain up to date on these posters and posting requirements.
Tips for Success:
- Create an easily accessible, highly visible space in your company website and employee portal for federal and state posters.
- Incorporate information into the employee handbook and include page numbers informing employees of the virtual location of postings.
- Utilize the FirstStep Poster Advisor for advice and assistance.
One final tip! We encourage you to go to our Standards for Excellence Legal Requirements Checklist, one of our member benefits. If you are not yet a member, now is a perfect time to join. Use the code WER30 to get a discounted rate on membership with Maryland Nonprofits and begin enjoying the benefits of our community.