The days of labor law posters in the break room are not over, but as more employees log in from home everyday, physical posters may no longer be sufficient. Employers have the same obligation to provide labor law posters to remote employees as they do for those on-site. Are electronic copies acceptable?
Do Electronic Posters Count?
Most laws and statutes with poster requirements were written long before remote and online work became a significant part of the employer/employee experience. Are electronic posters a sufficient adaptation?
Certain agencies, including DOL, suggest notification via electronic means is an acceptable form of notification for fully remote employees - if certain requirements are met.
How to Use Electronic Posters
The DOL stated, “Where an employer has employees on-site and other employees teleworking full-time, the employer may supplement a hard-copy posting requirement with electronic posting.” Additional DOL requirements include:
- For posters where “continuous posting” is required, an email containing a PDF or link is not sufficient. Employees must be able to easily locate and review notices.
- All posters and notices must be provided to employees: directly, or through an internal location. Employees should not have to ask for electronic notices or additional labor law information.
- Electronic posters should be used in a common and widely used location for internal information. Posting in a rarely used internal company website is not sufficient.
Exceptions by State
States will generally follow precedent set by the federal department of labor, or set by their peers, and there are already examples where states accept electronically distributed notices. Two examples are:
- California Pregnancy Disability Leave poster requirements, indicating: “Electronic posting is sufficient to meet this posting requirement as long as it is posted electronically in a conspicuous place or places where employees would tend to view it in the workplace.”
- California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave poster requirements, such as, “If a hiring entity’s covered workers do not frequent a workplace, the hiring entity may satisfy the notice requirement by disseminating notice through electronic means.”
Law professionals advise that the best way to comply with state and federal posting requirements for fully remote employees is by distributing electronic notices. Easily accessible electronic notices also mitigate compliance risk.
Businesses may be able to use proof of the electronic distribution to demonstrate good faith efforts to comply with the relevant laws and to share important employee rights information as required.
Electronic posters are a liability for employers in the event of a labor dispute, the burden of proof is on the employer to demonstrate that notices were properly distributed and employees were properly notified.
This is supported by the National Law Review, which recently stated, “Employers may want to consider providing a manner for employees to acknowledge receipt of the posted information to ensure they are fulfilling their obligations.”
With ePosterService(™), employers rely on an automated and intelligent system to provide mandatory labor law notices and posters to remote employees, based on their actual work location (not the company address.) The patented notification mechanism and certificate of employee acknowledgement help employers to be sure that they have properly distributed the notices. This system also demonstrates that employees have received, viewed, and acknowledged receipt of the notices.
Employees have their own account access, allowing them to visit the online service at any time to review applicable labor law posters. Companies that do not have a frequently trafficked website can usethe ePosterService(™) web-based approach as a simple, low-cost alternative.
Not Legal Advice
While we believe this information to be accurate, it should not be used as legal advice. It is the employer’s responsibility to consult attorneys and solicit legal advice to determine the most appropriate solution for their business circumstances in the jurisdictions within which they operate.
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