My employer doesn’t have any posters with information on employment laws for employees to read. Is that a problem?

Well, it sure can be. Which posters are required depends on the kind of business you’re in and how many employees the business has, as well as some other factors such as whether it employs disabled persons. (The Department of Labor has an interactive webpage devoted to figuring it out)  Generally, many businesses, non-profit organizations, and even governmental employers have to put up posters informing employees of their rights under workplace safety statutes (such as OSHA); Equal Employment Opportunity (non-discrimination) laws; Minimum Wage and Overtime laws; the Family and Medical Leave Act; USERRA (a law requiring employers to make special provisions for veterans returning to work); and other laws.

Many of these posters can easily be obtained for free from the state and federal Departments of Labor, so employers don’t have an excuse not to put these posters up. These posters should have contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee these laws- for example, if you needed to contact the Connecticut Department of Labor regarding a minimum wage violation, the poster should provide you with the agency’s contact information.

There are many other provisions regarding these posters- some need to be posted where applicants as well as employees can see them, and some must be in the specific size required by law. For detailed information on these posters, see www.dol.gov.

Employers who do not have these posters up can also be subject to penalties in and out of court. In fact, the Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore won a ruling in Connecticut Federal Court against an employer who did not have a poster regarding overtime laws- the plaintiffs in that case were permitted to claim additional unpaid overtime because of the employer’s failure.

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