The right to work is a basic freedom that should never be taken for granted. Anyone who is willing to engage in lawful work should be able to earn a decent living, allowing them to take care of themselves and their families. Yet, history has demonstrated that what sounds good in theory may not always take place in real life. Unfortunately there have been a lot of workplace abuses in the past. To ensure that workers and management are now on the same page when it comes to conditions in the workplace, the government requires that all companies and organizations have workplace posters explaining the rules. Following are eight of the most asked questions about these posters, along with their answers.
There is no mandatory size. In general, conscientious employers buy posters large enough to be easily seen.
Posters must be visible to workers, preferably in places where they're seen on a regular basis. Many workplace posters are located on the walls near employee time clocks. When people came to work, they had to punch the clock. The poster would be right there, informing them of the minimum wage and other rights they had. Others have these posters in employee lockers rooms, cafeterias and lounges.
In general, the government decided that employees need education about their rights. Too many employers in the past kept their workers ignorant of the laws. People received less pay than required. Workers accepted unsanitary and unsafe conditions. They even worked longer hours than allowed by law. To stop these abuses the government made it a requirement for employers to post notices explaining relevant labor laws. Now all workers have an opportunity to learn exactly what rights they possess.
At the moment, there are no federal citations for failing to post labor law notices. Each state has its own standards. Nevertheless, negligent management could find itself in trouble in a labor lawsuit if it becomes known that the poster was not visible in a conspicuous location. In the end, most employers opt to place the notices because losing a labor suit is much more costly.
Yes, it seems that keeping workers aware of their rights and responsibilities with free labor law posters can make the working environment more pleasant. Everyone knows what to expect, which is always better than having no idea about business.
The Department of Labor (DOL) and certain state agencies with similar responsibilities require employers to post notices explaining workplace laws. For example, it is a federal requirement to have a poster explaining the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the law that sets the current minimum wage.
In the nature of freedom of contract, where everyone has a right to accept a job doing whatever they desire, the government does not want to get too involved in workplace operations. Yet, it also knows workers need education about their rights. Posters are a middle ground. By making management post notices in conspicuous places, the government makes labor law education available to all without forcing people to take classes.
Free labor law posters cover a variety of topics. These include job safety, the Family and Medical Leave Act, Equal Employment Opportunity Act, migrant and seasonal worker rights and child labor rules.