The Poster Post – DOL Updates to Your Employees’ Favorite Area of the Break RoomThe United States Department of Labor (DOL) has revised mandatory federal posters on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA). By law, employers must display official DOL posters where employees and job applicants can readily see them. Here’s a general overview of the applicable statutes and the specific updates:

FLSA Poster Updates

As we all know, the FLSA establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards for employees in the private sector and in federal, state, and local government. Covered non-exempt workers are entitled to a minimum wage (currently not less than $7.25 per hour). Overtime pay at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay is required after 40 hours of work in a workweek.

The updated FLSA poster has the following changes:

  • The posting requirement is now at the top of the poster, as opposed to within the “Additional Information” section.
  • The “Child Labor” section removed the specific hours and days in which 14- and 15-year- olds may work, as well as the hours when work must begin and end.
  • The “Tip Credit” section now reads: “Employers of ‘tipped employees’ who meet certain conditions may claim a partial wage credit based on tips received by their employees,” instead of “Certain other conditions must also be met.”
  • A “Nursing Mothers” section has been added: “The FLSA requires employers to provide reasonable break time for a nursing mother employee who is subject to the FLSA’s overtime requirements in order for the employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has a need to express breast milk. Employers are also required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by the employee to express breast milk.”
  • The poster removes the maximum amount of civil penalties from the “Enforcement” section. This is a result of the fact that agencies across the federal government must adjust their penalties for inflation each year. Currently, the maximum civil monetary penalties for violations are:
    • Violation of recordkeeping, monetary, certificate or other statutes, regulations or employer assurances: $1,005
    • Violation of child labor standards: $12,278
    • Violation of child labor standards that causes the serious injury or death of a minor: $55,808
    • Willful or repeated violation of child labor standards that causes the serious injury or death of a minor: $111,616
    • Repeated or willful violation of minimum wage and/or overtime laws: $1,925
  • In the “Additional Information” section, the following changes have been made:
    • The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has been added to the locations in which special provisions apply to workers.
    • The law regarding employees under 20 years of age being paid $4.25 per hour during their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment has been removed.
    • Statements regarding independent contractors have also been added. They state:
      • Some employers incorrectly classify workers as “independent contractors” when they are actually employees under the FLSA. It is important to know the difference between the two because employees (unless exempt) are entitled to the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime pay protections and correctly classified independent contractors are not.

EPPA Poster Updates

The EPPA generally prevents private sector employers from using lie detector tests, either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment, with certain limited exceptions.  Employers generally may not require or request any employee or job applicant to take a lie detector test, or take any action because an individual refuses to take a test or exercises other rights under the EPPA. The EPPA does not apply to federal, state, and local government agencies.

On the updated EPPA poster, the “Enforcement” section no longer includes the maximum amount of civil penalties (up to $10,000) because, as noted above, the penalties must be adjusted for inflation each year. Currently, the maximum civil monetary penalty is $20,111.

Where to Find Updated Posters

Don’t have your updated posters yet? Don’t worry. DOL provides the posters at no cost. All DOL posters can be viewed, downloaded, and ordered here. The EPPA poster can also be accessed here, and the FLSA poster can be accessed here.