Have you stepped back and looked at what is hanging in your office lately other than pretty plants and your wall décor? You may or may not know that the Federal Government requires employers post certain posters when there are Personnel in your office. In addition, states have more poster requirements and they vary from state to state.
You may be asking, why is this really important to a real estate/property management business. Consider this; if a business is not in compliance with current federal and state labor law poster standards, they are in jeopardy of receiving a fine. Here are some examples of federal fines and your state may add on their own.
- Federal FMLA $100 per offense
- Federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act Secretary of labor can bring court actions and assess civil penalties for failing to post
- For failing to post the Federal OSHA Poster – a civil penalty of up to $7,000 may occur
There can be some exceptions for certain posters. Although it is recommended, the following types of businesses do not need to post labor law posters.
- Sole Proprietor without employees
- Businesses with only contract employees
- Businesses with an all-volunteer work force
- Family owned business where all employees are related
There are certain posters that are an absolute necessity. A great example in the real estate/property management industry is the equal opportunity/Fair Housing posters.
Listed below are posters the Federal Government normally requires. There can be more, depending on the nature of your business. In-house maintenance is an example because of contractor requirements.
- EEOC – equal opportunity/Fair Housing
- ADA – Americans with disabilities act
- Fair labor standards act
- FMLA – family and medical leave act
- Federal minimum wage
- Notice to workers paid special minimum wages
- Osha safety communication
- Employee polygraph protection act
- USERRA – uniformed services employment and reemployment act
It is important to put the RIGHT state posters in your office. States vary. Some states have many more than others. Here are examples many common state posters:
- State minimum wage
- State no smoking
- Drug-free workplace
- Whistle blower law
- Prohibited workplace harassment
- Jury duty – time off for voting
- Pregnancy disability leave
- Domestic violence protection
- Workplace meeting
- Unemployment insurance
- State medical leave
- Emergency instructions
Here are some tips and tricks regarding poster compliance for your office.
- Start with Federal requirements. You can enter a search for “required federal compliance posters” Two sites you can check are:
- Next investigate your state. Enter a search for “required (state name) compliance posters.” Here are two more useful links.
- Find out if you need compliance posters in a language other than English. You don’t want a fine because of ignorance. For example, of your business is located in one or more of the following states you are required to post labor law posters in both English and Spanish: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina, New York, and Texas. If you do not fall into this category, it is not mandatory to display bilingual posters; however it is highly recommended if you have Spanish-speaking employees.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel. Find a company that will give you everything you need for a reasonable price. Most good poster companies can sell you a package of both federal and state posters. Use one that can provide bi-lingual posters if necessary.
- Update posters yearly – put it on your annual calendar. December is often a good month because often when the year changes, so do poster requirements. It is very useful to have a poster company that will keep you updated and send you a yearly reminder. Keep a record of when you update them.
- Put posters where they can be read and avoid covering them up with company information. Most companies post them in a common area such as a break room or office meeting room. They are not effective if people tack other information over them.
- Bring them to the attention of your personnel. Don’t just hang them, make them a topic of an office meeting, and put them in your manuals, such as your policy and procedures manual and employee manual.
- When in doubt, put them up. You may not need them, but if there is any doubt, just post them. The companies that supply them generally sell them at a reasonable cost.
- Consult your attorney or the labor department in your state if you have specific questions. It’s better not to guess.
Preventative measures are always easier. Checks out the posters are required for your business and set up a program to avoid any future problems.
Jean Storms, MPM® is the founder/author of LandlordSource and has been a NARPM® member since January 1993.
Disclaimer: LandlordSource does not represent the article content in this website as legal advice. It is shared information only and up to the reader to use this information responsibly, seeking legal advice as necessary to their business.