Question:

I just got promoted to Director of Human Resources for a local business. I’d like to start the New Year off right in my new director’s role, so I am updating documents and doing whatever else needs doing in order to bring the company up to speed. One thing I am concerned about are the posters that are required in the workplace. I know that, by law, I need to put certain posters up, but I’m actually not sure which ones I need to post in our office and whether there are rules regarding how they are posted?

Answer:

Congratulations on your promotion! You are correct that certain postings are mandatory for businesses in California. Both state and federal law require the posting of employment-related posters in the workplace in order to notify employees of things like safety information and their rights to various types of leave. Because this information is so important, there are rules regarding the way the information is posted, as well as requirements for different employers depending on their size.

Posters must be in English (though many are available in other languages), and must be conspicuously displayed where employees can see them. The employee break room is a good choice for postings, since it gives employees the chance to read the posters during their meal and/or rest periods. Some posters also need to be displayed where job applicants can view them, such as in the Human Resources office. If your business has more than one location, you are required to provide the same postings at each site.

The number of employees at your business determines which posters you are required to provide. Posters addressing the following topics are required of all employers in California, regardless of their size:

Employee rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

  • Minimum wage
  • Payday (you can obtain a form from the California Department of Industrial Relations, or you can prepare your own)
  • Workplace injuries, and information about your workers’ compensation carrier
  • Job safety and health protectio
  • Emergency phone numbers
  • Your company’s smoking policy (if no smoking is allowed, you should post “No Smoking” signs at building entrances; if smoking is allowed in some areas, you should post signs that read “Smoking is prohibited except in designated areas”)
  • Unemployment Insurance, State Disability Insurance (SDI), and Paid Family Leave (PFL)
  • The right to take time off to vote (posted at least 10 days before each statewide election and through election day)
  • Unlawful discrimination and harassment in the workplace
  • Your business’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policy
  • The Employee Polygraph Protection Act
  • Employee rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
  • Whistleblower protections (including a list of rights and responsiblities)
  • The Wage Orders applicable to your industry

Larger businesses are also required to post the following:

  • Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) information (for businesses with five or more employees)
  • Annual Summary of Injuries and Illnesses, and a Proposition 65 Warning Notice if smoking is permitted in the workplace or if your business uses chemicals that cause cancer and/or reproductive health problems (for businesses with ten or more employees)
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) (for businesses with 50 or more employees)

Each of the notices discussed above can be obtained from one of the following government agencies: the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL); the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR); Cal/OSHA; the California Employment Development Department; the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH); and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The California Secretary of State’s office can provide you with information regarding voting leave.

There are also special rules that apply for posting information regarding workplace safety violations, hazardous substances, and government contractors. In addition, your particular business may be subject to additional posting obligations not discussed above, depending on your industry and the substances and/or equipment used in the course of your business. You can check with the DOL and Cal/OSHA to see if there are specific posting requirements that apply to your business.
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