Electronic posting of federally-required notices

By Hani Khan
With most companies transitioned to a mandatory work from home policy due to the pandemic, organizations scrambled to figure out how to satisfy their posting requirements with a remote workforce.

In late December, the Department of Labor (DOL) published memos that give companies flexibility to remain in compliance during COVID-19. 

There are several federal laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which require employers to post a notice of rights in a conspicuous location.

Traditionally, these posters are placed on bulletin boards in common areas like break rooms or lobbies but with remote work, physical posters don’t serve an adequate purpose to employees. Employers have been given permission to satisfy a continous-posting obligation by using electronic-only means if all employees work remotely and have readily available access to the electronic posting at all times. 

Required Access

  • All employees have “readily available access” to the electronic posting at all times, such as on an internal or external website or a shared network drive or file system. The DOL notes that whether access is readily available is fact-specific and requires, for example, that employees be able to access the notice without having to request permission.
  • The employer must take steps to inform employees of where and how to access the notice(s) electronically.
  • If the employer has multiple groups of employees for whom different notices apply, the employees must be able to “easily determine” which posting applies to them.

In order to fall in with compliance, organizations may want to consider posting notices on the company intranet with federal and state-mandated posters. This method allows all employees to have easy and secure access to mandated posters whether in the office or working remotely. Organizations can send teams links back to the intranet when posted and update the link when the posters get renewed. By utilizing your intranet instead of email or instant messaging, companies are compliant by having “readily available access” to the posting at all times. 

Use your employee handbook to inform employees of the virtual location of postings and keep it updated on an annual basis. By having a dedicated virtual space, employees know exactly where they can go to gather state and federal information pertaining to FLSA or FMLA needs.

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