With the election over and a new year under way, we’re already seeing an uptick in legislative activity. State and federal changes that will likely affect U.S. employers in 2013 include various new rules regarding mandatory workplace labor posters.
By law, all businesses are required to display up-to-date federal and state labor law posters for employees — and they must replace those posters whenever there’s an update. Employers who fail to stay abreast of changing requirements risk government fines and litigation.
Here’s a look at recently approved and pending legislation regarding labor law posters.
New Rule on Family Leave
The U.S. Department of Labor on Feb. 5 marked the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Family and Medical Leave Act by extending its benefits to military families and airline flight crews. The department estimates that 381,000 companies and government agencies, which employ 91.1 million workers, will be affected by the new rule.
As a result, employers must display an updated Family and Medical Leave Act poster companywide by March 8. This applies to private businesses with 50 or more employees and all public agencies. The poster can help smaller businesses address employee concerns and answer questions about the legislation, because the document clearly states who is and isn’t eligible to take FMLA-protected leave.
Even if the new federal rule does not pertain to your business, keep in mind that state legislators may choose to respond with similar laws that do
. State laws governing family medical leave typically apply to smaller employers and trigger mandatory state poster changes.
E-Verify for All Employers?
All U.S. employers should keep a watchful eye on proposed federal legislation regarding employee eligibility verification that could lead to another, more inclusive posting requirement.
The Senate recently introduced a bill that would make E-Verify, an internet-based system that compares an employee’s Form I-9 to federal databases to confirm employment eligibility, mandatory for all employers. Should the Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act of 2013 pass, all employers will be required to confirm the legal status of employees through E-Verify within one year of the bill’s enactment.
More than 400,000 employers currently use E-Verify, which is voluntary for most businesses but mandatory for employers with federal contracts or certain subcontracts. If the proposed legislation passes, all employers would be required to post E-Verify and Right to Work posters in English and Spanish.
Beyond meeting federal requirements, employers must comply with the state rules in every state in which they operate. And the pace of state updates is brisk, with an average of 75 mandatory state changes total per year.
Take minimum wage, for example. Ten states raised their minimum wages on Jan. 1 — and others are poised to do so this year. Every time a state’s minimum wage changes, affected employers must update their state minimum wage posting.
Again, with the state/federal connection, some legal analysts anticipate the momentum surrounding the state minimum wage hikes to prompt the federal government to reevaluate the current federal minimum wage. President Obama in his recent State of the Union address proposed raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour. This, like the E-Verify proposal, would lead to a federal posting requirement affecting nearly every employer.
Intuit’s Compliance Service
Keeping up with the latest posting requirements is a daunting, time-consuming task for most businesses. The government does not provide a one-stop shop for information, nor does it notify you when posting laws change. But Intuit’s Poster Compliance Service does — and sends you the posters. Sign up to take the hassle out of worrying about whether your posters are current.