New Year, New Posting Requirements: What Changed in 2016, What to Watch in 2017

By Shanna Wall, Compliance Attorney for ComplyRight, Inc. 

Today’s posting compliance environment is more fast-paced and complex than ever. Not only do you need to keep a close eye on potential changes, but you must be prepared to replace and/or update postings any time there’s a change.

As we get ready to ring in the new year, now is the perfect time to take stock of the situation. What happened this past year – and what can you expect in 2017?

Necessary Postings for Every Business

Before we get into the different posting changes, let’s touch on the fundamentals. All U.S. businesses with paid employees, including retailers, are required to post specific federal and state labor law postings in the workplace. Why? Because as an employer, you are required to inform employees of their rights under the law.

On a federal level, every U.S. employer must have these six mandatory posters:

  1. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) poster
  2. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) poster
  3. Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) poster
  4. Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) poster
  5. Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Right Act (USERRA) notice
  6. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) poster (if you’re a larger retailer, or have multiple locations, with 50 or more employees)

On a state level, you may need to display up to 15 additional posters, depending on your business location. The state posters cover topics such as state minimum wage rates, fair employment, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, rules around smoking in the workplace, paid sick leave, child labor … as well as new areas like human trafficking, expanded family care rights and electronic cigarettes. Every state has its own posters and no two states are alike.

Lastly, a new area of compliance for businesses is city/county postings, which are on the rise across the country. Like state postings, these local postings cover employee rights and benefits that are more generous or specific than federal-level coverage.

A Busy Year of Posting Changes 

The past year was especially active for federal posting changes. On July 27, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) Issued two mandatory changes – one to the FLSA poster and one to the EPPA posters.  This is a big deal because these posters apply to virtually all U.S. employers, regardless of employee size and industry. Both revised posters became effective August 2016. If you did not update your federal postings, your business is out of compliance and should obtain replacement posters as soon as possible.

On the state level, a handful of states updated their state posters to incorporate the new federal OSHA rule. This rules requires employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation. The states were North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia and Wyoming.

Several states passed laws in 2016 targeting pregnancy discrimination and clarifying employer responsibilities to provide reasonable accommodations: Colorado, Utah and West Virginia.

Finally, certain states increased their minimum wages in 2016 that resulted in poster changes.  Several states have also announced their minimum wage increases for 2017 and released their updated posters.

2016 updates:

Colorado – $8.31

Michigan – $8.50

Minnesota – $9.50

New York – $9.00

Oregon – $9.75

Rhode Island – $9.60

2017 updates:

Arkansas – $8.50

Connecticut – $10.10

District of Columbia – $12.50

Florida – $8.10

Hawaii – $9.25

Maryland – $9.25

Massachusetts – $11.00

Michigan – $8.90

Missouri – $7.70

Montana – $8.15

New Jersey – $8.44

Ohio – $8.15

Vermont – $10.00

(Note: South Dakota also had an increase in 2016 but didn’t require a minimum wage posting.)

If your business is located in one of these states, you are required by law to display updated posters.

A Glimpse Into the New Year

If 2017 is anything like the past year, the rate of change will be brisk. There are several legal/regulatory developments underway that could have a direct impact on federal and state posting requirements.

All employers should stay tuned for these potential federal-level changes:

  • EEO Federal poster change and/or Federal Contractor EEO/VEVRAA poster change – based on March 24, 2014, law expanding veteran protections
  • EEO Federal poster change and/or Federal Contractor EEO/Sexual Orientations and Gender Identity poster change – based on final regulations, effective April 8, 2015
  • Change to three Federal Contractor posters – based on January 1, 2017, minimum wage increase (announced by the DOL September 10, 2016)

At the state level, here’s what also should be on your radar:

  • Alaska – Minimum Wage poster, effective January 1, 2017
  • Arizona – Minimum Wage poster, effective January 1, 2017
  • Colorado – Minimum Wage poster, effective January 1, 2017
  • Maine – Minimum Wage poster, effective January 1, 2017
  • New York – Minimum Wage poster, effective December 31, 2016
  • California – Minimum Wage poster, effective January 1, 2017
  • Oregon – Minimum Wage poster, effective July 1, 2017
  • Vermont – Paid Sick poster, effective January 1, 2017

A Step Ahead of Posting Compliance

Keeping your business compliant with the latest federal and state labor law postings requires awareness and action. For many employers, relying on a dedicated posting compliance service is a smart way to keep up – and gain peace of mind that you’re 100% compliant. Explore the service that’s best for you … and ring in the new year without posting worries!

About ComplyRight, Inc.

ComplyRight, Inc., creates practical solutions to help employers streamline administrative tasks and simplify compliance with federal, state and local labor laws. From hiring and training, to employee recordkeeping and time tracking, to labor law posting and tax information reporting, our products and services give employers confidence that they are doing the right things, the right way.  

The ComplyRight Family of Brands includes HRdirect, the trusted source of practical solutions for smart employers; Poster Guard® Compliance Protection, the nation’s leading labor law poster compliance service; TrackSmart, a suite of web apps that streamlines time-off requests, payroll time tracking & shift scheduling; and, the fastest and safest way to file and deliver 1099, W-2 and 1095 (ACA) forms. Our latest innovation, the HRdirect Smart App Center, provides an affordable alternative to expensive HRIS systems for the small-business employer. 


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