HR Management Compliance

DOL Addresses Posting Necessities for Digital Workplaces

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In recognizing that distant work is right here to remain for a lot of workers, the U.S. Division of Labor (DOL) not too long ago issued steering on how employers can use digital means to distribute and preserve the varied posters required by federal employment legal guidelines.

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Editorial credit score: Andriy Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

Background

A number of federal legal guidelines, together with the Honest Labor Requirements Act (FLSA), the Household and Medical Go away Act (FMLA), and the Worker Polygraph Safety Act (EPPA), require employers to publish a discover of worker rights in a conspicuous location.

The FLSA, for instance, requires employers to publish a DOL-issued discover “in each institution the place such workers are employed in order to allow them to look at readily a replica.” The FMLA goes even additional, mandating the discover be “posted prominently the place it may be readily seen by workers and candidates for employment.

Historically, employers have glad the varied discover necessities by putting posters on bulletin boards in well-trafficked places resembling break rooms or lobbies. As a result of lots of the legal guidelines have been handed a long time earlier than the primary moveable pc (the FLSA dates again to 1938), few of them particularly deal with the idea of distributing notices via digital means.

Key Takeaways from DOL’s New 5-Web page Bulletin

In late December 2020, the DOL issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2020-7, which offers steering to the company’s subject workers on implementing posting necessities in circumstances when there’s no conventional office. In response to the bulletin, discover necessities usually seem as both (1) a one-time discover or (2) steady posting.

It’s possible you’ll fulfill one-time discover necessities (e.g., as required by the Service Contract Act) by e-mail supply if workers usually obtain such messages from you. For continuous-posting necessities (e.g., the FLSA, the FMLA, the EPPA, and the Davis-Bacon Act), the steering makes a distinction between employers with just some distant workers and employers with a wholly distant workforce.

For employers with some distant employees, bodily posters are required for on-site workers, and the DOL “encourages” digital posting for the teleworking people. If in case you have an fully distant workforce, it’s possible you’ll fulfill the continuous-posting obligations via electronic-only means should you meet the next necessities:

  • All workers solely work remotely.
  • They usually obtain info from you by way of digital means.
  • All workers have “available entry” to the digital posting always, e.g., by way of an inside or exterior web site or a shared community drive or file system. The DOL notes that whether or not entry is available is fact-specific and requires, for instance, that workers can get to the discover with out having to request permission.
  • You will need to take steps to tell workers of the place and the right way to entry the discover(s) electronically.

If in case you have a number of teams of workers to whom totally different notices apply, the people should have the ability to “simply decide” which posting is relevant to them.

For legal guidelines that require posters be seen to candidates (e.g., the EPPA), virtual-only posting is permitted if (1) the hiring course of is itself performed remotely and (2) the candidates have prepared entry to the digital posting always.

The DOL’s steering applies solely to federal posting necessities enforced by the company. It doesn’t deal with posting guidelines enforced by different federal companies—e.g., the Equal Employment Alternative Fee (EEOC)—or the states.

Sensible Issues

For employers embracing distant work as a part of a long-term technique, the DOL’s steering is welcome information. Listed here are some sensible issues for companies taking the method:

  • Contemplate designing an simply accessible area in your organization intranet or worker portal for federal and state posters.
  • Take into consideration making your organization intranet/portal robotically seem on workers’ computer systems upon logging in.
  • If in case you have a number of teams of workers coated by totally different legal guidelines (e.g., a bunch concerned in authorities contracts or different items in numerous states), guarantee every group can inform which posters are relevant.
  • For assist in figuring out which federally mandated posters are relevant to your workforce, go to the DOL’s FirstStep Poster Advisor device. 
  • Think about using your worker handbook (and even the handbook acknowledgment web page) to tell workers concerning the digital location of the postings.
  • If hiring is performed remotely, incorporate all required notices into your applicant portal/monitoring system.
  • Test relevant state (and municipal) companies for steering on the digital posting of state and regionally mandated notices.

Sami Asaad is an lawyer with FordHarrison LLP. You may attain him at sasaad@fordharrison.com.

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