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- Recordkeeping, Reporting & Notices Advisor

Recordkeeping, Reporting and Notice Requirements

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  • You want Recordkeeping, Reporting and Notice Requirements
  • The nature of your business or organization is: U.S. Postal Service

Based on the information you provided in response to the questions in the Advisor, the following employment laws administered by the Department of Labor (DOL) likely apply to your business or organization. Please note that the Advisor covers only the major employment laws administered by DOL. In addition, the Advisor does not identify laws administered by other Federal agencies that might be applicable to your business or organization. The recordkeeping, reporting and notice requirements, if any, are provided for each of these laws.

In addition to posters of general application, certain organizations may be required to display posters that can only be obtained from DOL's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP). More information on these posters is available. Links to Federal employment posters are always available on the Poster Page. Please note that some localities have workplace poster requirements, as do some other Federal agencies such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development which requires certain businesses to post its Equal Housing Opportunity poster.

Note that Governmental retirement and health plans are not subject to Title I of ERISA.  Generally, a governmental plann means a plan established or maintained for its employees by the Government of the United States, by the government of any state or political subdivision thereof, or by any agency or instrumentality of the foregoing. A governmental plan also includes any plan to which the Railroad Retirement Act of 1935 or 1937 applies and which is financed by contributions required under that act. It also includes any plan of an international organization which is exempted from taxation under the International Organizations Immunities Act.

Federal government plans may be subject to similar provisions. For more information see U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  NonFederal governmental plans (e.g., state and local) may be subject to provisions in the Public Health Service Act. For more information see U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Thank you for using the Department of Labor's FirstStep Recordkeeping, Reporting and Notice Requirements Advisor. If you need information on state recordkeeping, reporting and notice requirements, including state poster requirements, please contact your state labor office. For information on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's recordkeeping requirements, see their recordkeeping and reporting Web page. Please visit the FirstStep Employment Law Overview Advisor if you are interested in all the provisions of a Federal employment law.


Consumer Credit Protection Act

Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits the amount of an individual's earnings that may be garnished for certain types of debts. It also protects an employee from being fired because the employee's pay is garnished for only one debt.

Title III is administered by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Department of Labor. Questions over issues other than the amount being garnished or termination should be referred to the court or agency initiating the withholding action.

There are no poster, notice, recordkeeping or reporting requirements under Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act.

Compliance Assistance Available

More detailed information, including copies of explanatory brochures and regulatory and interpretative materials such as the Federal Wage Garnishment Law Fact Sheet(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs30.pdf), may be obtained from the Wage and Hour Division’s Web site(http://www.dol.gov/whd/) or by contacting a local Wage and Hour Division office(http://www.dol.gov/whd/america2.htm).

DOL Contacts

Wage and Hour Division(http://www.dol.gov/whd/)
Contact WHD(http://www.dol.gov/whd/contactform.asp)
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243); TTY: 1-877-889-5627


The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act

The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA) applies to certain contracts with the federal government or the District of Columbia that require or involve the employment of laborers or mechanics, including watchmen and guards. Contracts covered by CWHSSA include certain federal service contracts and federally funded and assisted construction contracts.

The CWHSSA is enforced by the Wage and Hour Division.

Hour Division.

Notices/Posters

The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA) does not have its own posting requirement. However, if the contract to which CWHSSA applies is subject to the Davis-Bacon and related Acts’ requirements, the Notice to all Employees Working on Federal or Federally Financed Construction Projects (PDF)for Davis-Bacon contracts poster must be posted. If the contract to which CWHSSA applies is subject to the Service Contract Act’s requirements, the “Employee Rights on Government Contracts” poster must be posted. The appropriate poster(s) must be posted at the site of the work in a prominent and accessible place where it may be easily seen by employees. There is no size requirement for these posters but they must be easily readable.

Recordkeeping

The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act’s (CWHSSA) recordkeeping requirements include maintaining payroll records that provide the following information for each covered worker:

  • Name;
  • Address;
  • Social Security number;
  • Correct classifications;
  • Hourly rates of wages paid;
  • Daily and weekly number of hours worked;
  • Deductions made; and
  • Actual wages paid.

Records must be maintained during the course of the work and for a period of three years from the completion of the contract. They also must be made available to the contracting agency and the Department of Labor.

Depending on the type of federal contract involved, the recordkeeping requirements of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts or the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act may also apply to contracts subject to the CWHSSA.

Reporting

Weekly payroll statement.On contracts to which the labor standards provisions of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) apply, each contractor and subcontractor is required by the DBRA to provide the federal agency a weekly statement of the wages paid to each of its employees engaged in covered work. Each payroll submitted must be accompanied by a Statement of Compliance using page 2 of Form WH-347 Payroll (For Contractors Optional Use), or any form with identical wording, certifying compliance with applicable requirements. The statement is to be signed by the contractor or subcontractor or by an authorized officer or employee of the contractor or subcontractor who supervises the payment of wages. The statements must be delivered to a representative of the federal or state agency in charge. This must be submitted within seven days after the regular pay date for the pay period.

Compliance Assistance Available

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act.

DOL Contacts

Wage and Hour Division(http://www.dol.gov/whd/)
Contact WHD(http://www.dol.gov/whd/contactform.asp)
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243); TTY: 1-877-889-5627


The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA)

The Davis-Bacon and related Acts (DBRA) require contractors and subcontractors to pay locally prevailing wages to laborers and mechanics employed on certain federal and federally assisted construction projects. The Davis-Bacon Act applies to contractors and subcontractors performing work on Federal Government and District of Columbia contracts in excess of $2,000 for construction of public buildings and public works. In addition to the Davis-Bacon Act, Congress has added Davis-Bacon prevailing wage provisions to numerous laws – “related Acts” – under which federal agencies fund or assist construction projects through grants, loans, loan guarantees, and insurance. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) publishes Davis-Bacon wage determinations that list wage rates and fringe benefits found to be prevailing for laborers and mechanics employed on projects of a similar character in the relevant geographic area. The wage determinations are included in DBRA-covered contracts.

The Department of Labor is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the DBRA, and provides guidance concerning the DBRA to contracting agencies. Federal contracting agencies also have administrative and enforcement responsibilities. See Reorganization Plan No. 14.

Notices/Posters

Every employer performing work covered by the labor standards of the DBRA must post the WH-1321 “Employee Rights Under the Davis-Bacon Act” poster at the site of the work in a prominent and accessible place where it may be easily seen by workers. The applicable wage determination must be similarly posted.

Recordkeeping

Under the Davis-Bacon and related Acts, covered contractors must maintain payroll and basic records for all covered laborers and mechanics during the course of the work and for a period of three years thereafter. Records to be maintained include:

  • Name, address, and social security number of each worker
  • Each worker’s work classifications
  • Hourly rates of pay, including rates of contributions or costs anticipated for fringe benefits or their cash equivalents
  • Daily and weekly numbers of hours worked
  • Deductions made
  • Actual wages paid
  • Detailed information regarding bona fide fringe benefit plans and programs, including records that show that the plan or program has been communicated in writing to the laborers and mechanics affected
  • If applicable, detailed information regarding approved apprenticeship or trainee programs

Some of the records required to be kept under the law are also required under the Fair Labor Standards Act. See Wage and Hour Division Fact sheet #21: Recordkeeping Requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) .

Reporting

Each covered contractor and subcontractor must, on a weekly basis, provide the contracting agency a copy of all payrolls providing the information listed above under “Recordkeeping” for the preceding weekly payroll period, except that that full social security numbers and home addresses shall not be included on weekly transmittals, and instead the payrolls only need to include an individually identifying number for each worker (e.g., the last four digits of the worker’s social security number). Each payroll submitted must be accompanied by a “Statement of Compliance” using page 2 of Form WH-347 Payroll (For Contractors Optional Use), or any form with identical wording, certifying compliance with applicable requirements. The statement is to be signed by the contractor or subcontractor, or by an authorized officer or employee of the contractor or subcontractor who supervises the payment of wages, and delivered to a representative of the federal or state agency in charge. This must be submitted within seven days after the regular pay date for the pay period

.

From time to time, contractors may also be asked to submit, via survey, wage data from construction projects on which they have employed laborers and mechanics for use by WHD in determining the locally prevailing wage rates that will apply to Davis-Bacon and related Acts-covered projects in the future. The submission of wage data is encouraged, but voluntary. When new surveys are conducted to enable WHD to reflect the locally prevailing wages, contractors and others may use the WD-10 Form, Report of Construction Contractor’s Wage Rates.

Compliance Assistance Available

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the DBRA, such as the DOL Prevailing Wage Resource Book and the DBRA Forms page. Other compliance assistance related to the DBRA is available on the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) Web Page. Also, the Wage Determinations OnLine (WDOL) Web site provides a single location for federal agency officials to obtain Davis-Bacon wage determinations for use in covered contracts. The WDOL Web site library provides a variety of links that relate to compliance with the prevailing wage laws that apply to federal and federally assisted contracts

.

DOL Contacts

Wage and Hour Division(http://www.dol.gov/whd/)
Contact WHD(http://www.dol.gov/whd/contactform.asp)
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243); TTY: 1-877-889-5627


The Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)

The Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 (EPPA) generally prevents private sector employers from using lie detector tests, either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment, with certain exceptions.  Employers generally may not require or request any employee or job applicant to take a lie detector test, or discharge, discipline, or discriminate against an employee or job applicant for refusing to take a test or for exercising other rights under the Act.

EPPA excludes Federal, state and local government agencies from the Act's coverage, with respect to public employees.  Lie detector tests may also be administered by the Federal Government to employees of Federal contractors engaged in national security intelligence or counterintelligence functions.

EPPA includes limited exemptions that allow for the administration of polygraph tests (but no other lie detector tests) by private sector employers:

Subject to restrictions, the Act permits polygraph (a type of lie detector) tests to be administered to certain job applicants of security service firms (armored car, alarm, and guard) and of pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors, and dispensers.

Subject to restrictions, the Act also permits polygraph testing of certain employees of private firms who are reasonably suspected of involvement in a workplace incident (theft, embezzlement, etc.) that resulted in specific economic loss or injury to the employer.

Where polygraph examinations are permitted under the Act, they are subject to strict standards concerning the conduct of the test, including the pre-test, testing, and post-test phases of the examination.

The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) enforces the EPPA.

Notices/Posters

Poster.  Every employer subject to EPPA shall post and keep posted on its premises a notice explaining the Act. The notice must be posted in a prominent and conspicuous place in every establishment of the employer where it can readily be observed by employees and applicants for employment. There is no size requirement for the poster. 

The EPPA poster is available in English(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/eppa.htm) and Spanish(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/eppaspan.htm). Posting of the EPPA poster in Spanish is optional.

Notices.  There are specific notices that must be given to examinees and examiners in instances where polygraph tests are permitted:

When a polygraph test is administered pursuant to the economic loss or injury exemption, the employer is required to provide the examinee with a statement prior to the test, in a language understood by the examinee, which fully explains the specific incident or activity being investigated and the basis for testing particular employees. The statement must contain, at a minimum, the following information:

  • An identification with particulars of the specific economic loss or injury to the business of the employer
  • A description of the employee’s access to the property that is the subject of the investigation
  • A detailed description of the basis of the employer’s reasonable suspicion that the employee was involved in the incident or activity under investigation
  • The signature of a person (other than the polygraph examiner) authorized to legally bind the employer

Every employer who requests an employee or prospective employee to submit to a polygraph examination pursuant to the ongoing investigation, drug manufacturer, or security services EPPA exemptions must provide:

  • Reasonable written notice of the date, time, and place of the examination and the examinee’s right to consult with legal counsel or an employee representative before each phase of the test
  • Written notice of the nature and characteristics of the polygraph instrument and examination
  • Extensive written notice explaining the examinee's rights, including a list of prohibited questions and topics, the examinee's right to terminate the examination, and the examinee's right to file a complaint with the Department of Labor alleging violations of EPPA

Employers must also provide written notice to the examiner identifying the persons to be examined.

Recordkeeping

In the limited instances where EPPA permits the administration of polygraph tests, recordkeeping requirements apply both to employers and polygraph examiners. Employers and polygraph examiners must retain required records for a minimum of three years from the date the polygraph examination is conducted (or from the date the examination is requested if no examination is conducted). 

Employers investigating an economic loss or injury must maintain a copy of the statement that sets forth the specific incident or activity under investigation and the basis for testing that particular employee and proof of service of that statement to the examinee.

Employers who manufacture, distribute, or dispense controlled substances must maintain records specifically identifying the loss or injury in question and the nature of the employee’s access to the person or property that is the subject of the investigation.

Every employer who requests an employee or prospective employee to submit to a polygraph examination pursuant to the ongoing investigation, drug manufacturer, or security services EPPA exemptions must maintain:

  • A copy of the written statement that sets forth the time and place of the examination and the examinee’s right to consult with counsel
  • A copy of the written notice provided by the employer to the examiner identifying the persons to be examined
  • Copies of all opinions, reports, or other records furnished to the employer by the examiner relating to such examinations

All polygraph examiners must maintain all opinions, reports, charts, written questions, lists, and other records relating to polygraph tests of such persons, as well as records of the number of examinations conducted during each day, and the duration of each test period.

All exempt private sector employers and polygraph examiners retained to administer examinations to persons identified by employers must keep the required records safe and accessible at the place or places of employment or business or at one or more established central recordkeeping offices where employment or examination records are customarily maintained. If the records are maintained at a central recordkeeping office, other than in the place or places of employment or business, such records must be made available within 72 hours following notice from the Secretary of Labor or an authorized representative such as Wage and Hour Division personnel.

Reporting

There are no reporting requirements under EPPA.

Compliance Assistance Available

More detailed information, including copies of explanatory brochures and regulatory and interpretative materials, may be obtained from a local Wage and Hour office(http://www.dol.gov/whd/america2.htm).

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the Employee Polygraph Protection Act. Compliance assistance material related to the Act, may be found on the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) Fact Sheet(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs36.pdf).

DOL Contacts

Wage and Hour Division(http://www.dol.gov/whd/)
Contact WHD(http://www.dol.gov/whd/contactform.asp)
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243); TTY: 1-877-889-5627


EEOC Poster Requirement

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These laws cover all private employers, state and local governments, and education institutions that employ 15 or more individuals. These laws also cover private and public employment agencies, labor organizations, and joint labor management committees controlling apprenticeship and training.

Notices/Posters

Employers with 15 or more employees must post notice describing the Federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, equal pay, disability and genetic information. The “EEO is the Law” poster summarizes these laws and explains how an employee or applicant can file a complaint if s/he believes that s/he has been the victim of discrimination. The notice must be posted prominently, where it can be readily seen by employees and applicants for employment, e.g., personnel office, work-out facility, lunchroom, or company bulletin board. There is no particular size requirement.

The “EEO is the Law” poster is also available in Spanish and Chinese. Posting of the notice in other languages is not required.


The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in Federal, state, and local governments. The FLSA requires employers to pay covered nonexempt employees a minimum wage of not less than $7.25 per hour. For more information, see the Wage and Hour Basic Information Fact Sheet.

An employee may be covered by the FLSA in two ways: "enterprise coverage" and "individual coverage." For more detail on FLSA coverage, see Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #14: Coverage Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #14A; Nonprofit Organizations and the Fair Labor Standards (FLSA).

Special rules apply to state and local government employment involving fire protection and law enforcement activities, volunteer services, and compensatory time off instead of cash overtime pay.

Some employees are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirements or both the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. Because exemptions are generally narrowly defined under the FLSA, an employer should carefully check the exact terms and conditions of any exemption that may be applicable. Detailed information is available from the local Wage and Hour Division office.

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor administers and enforces the FLSA with respect to private employment, state and local government employment, and Federal employees of the Library of Congress, U.S. Postal Service, Postal Rate Commission, and Tennessee Valley Authority. The U.S._Office_of_Personnel_Management administers the provisions of the FLSA with respect to any person employed by a Federal agency.

Notices/Posters

Every employer of employees subject to the FLSA’s minimum wage provisions must post, and keep posted, a notice(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsa.htm) explaining the Act in a conspicuous place in all of their establishments. Although there is no size requirement for the poster, employees must be able to readily read it. The FLSA poster is also available in Spanish(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsaspan.htm), Chinese(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/minwagecn.pdf), Russian(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/FLSAPosterRuss.pdf), Thai,(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/MinWageThai.pdf) Hmong,(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/MinWageHmong.pdf) Vietnamese(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/minwageViet.pdf), and Korean(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/minwageKorean.pdf).  There is no requirement to post the poster in languages other than English(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsa.htm).

Covered employers are required to post the general Fair Labor Standards Act poster. However, certain industries have posters designed specifically for them. Employers of Agricultural Employees (PDF)(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/wh1386Agrcltr.pdf) and State & Local Government Employees (PDF)(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/wh1385State.pdf) can either post the general Fair Labor Standards Act poster(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsa.htm) or their specific industry poster. There are also posters for American Samoa (PDF)(http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/americanSamoa/ASminwagePoster.pdf) and Northern Mariana Islands (PDF)(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/cnmi.pdf)

Every employer who employs workers with disabilities under special minimum wage certificates is also required to post the Employee Rights for Workers with Disabilities/Special Minimum Wage Poster(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/disab.htm).

Recordkeeping

Every employer covered by the FLSA must keep certain records for each of its covered employees. Employers must keep records on wages, hours, and other information as set forth in the Department of Labor's regulations. Most of this data is the type that employers generally maintain in ordinary business practice.

There is no required form for the records. However, the records must include accurate information about the employee and data about the hours worked and the wages earned. The following is a listing of the basic payroll records that an employer must maintain:

  • Employee's full name, as used for Social Security purposes, and on the same record, the employee's identifying symbol or number if such is used in place of name on any time, work, or payroll records
  • Address, including zip code
  • Birth date, if younger than 19
  • Sex and occupation
  • Time and day of week when employee's workweek begins
  • Total wages paid each pay period
  • Date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment

The following is a listing of some additional information that an employer must maintain unless the employee is an executive, administrative, or professional employee (including teachers and academic administrative personnel in elementary and secondary schools) or outside sales employee who is exempt from the Act’s minimum wage and overtime requirements:

  • Hours worked each day and total hours worked each workweek
  • Basis on which employee's wages are paid (e.g., "$9 per hour", "$440 a week", "piecework")
  • Regular hourly pay rate
  • Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings
  • Total overtime earnings for the workweek
  • All additions to or deductions from the employee's wages

For a full listing of the basic records that an employer must maintain, see the Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #21: Recordkeeping Requirements Under the FLSA. Employers are required to preserve for at least three years payroll records, collective bargaining agreements, and sales and purchase records. Records on which wage computations are based should be retained for two years. These include time cards and piecework tickets, wage rate tables, work and time schedules, and records of additions to or deductions from wages.

Reporting

The FLSA does not contain any specific reporting requirements; however, the above referenced records must be open for inspection by the Wage and Hour Division's representatives, who may ask the employer to make extensions, computations, or transcriptions. The records may be kept at the place of employment or in a central records office.

Compliance Assistance Available

More detailed information about the FLSA, including copies of explanatory brochures and regulatory and interpretative materials, is available on the Wage and Hour Division's Web site(http://www.dol.gov/whd/), or by contacting a local Wage and Hour Division office(http://www.dol.gov/whd/america2.htm). Another compliance assistance resource, the elaws Fair Labor Standards Act Advisor(/elaws/flsa.htm), helps answers questions about workers and businesses that are subject to the FLSA.

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the FLSA. Among the many resources available are:

DOL Contacts

Wage and Hour Division(http://www.dol.gov/whd/)
Contact WHD(http://www.dol.gov/whd/contactform.asp)
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243); TTY: 1-877-889-5627


The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) / Child Labor

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in Federal, state, and local governments. For nonagricultural operations, the FLSA prohibits children under the age of 14 from performing most types of work, restricts the hours and types of jobs that children ages 14 to 16 can work, and forbids the employment of children under age 18 in certain jobs deemed "hazardous" by the Secretary of Labor. For agricultural operations, it prohibits the employment of most children under age 16 during school hours and in certain jobs deemed "hazardous" by the Secretary of Labor.

Section 14(b) of the FLSA authorizes certain types of employers to pay subminimum wages — wages less than the Federal minimum wage — to full-time students, but only after applying for and receiving a certificate from the Department of Labor.

A full-time student for purposes of this exception is an individual who:

  • Receives primarily daytime instruction at the physical location of a bona fide educational institution, in accordance with the institution’s accepted definition of a full-time student.
  • Retains that status during the student’s holiday recess, summer, and other vacations if local law requires attendance at the end of the vacation period. If attendance is not mandatory, full-time student status is determined by the student’s intention stated to the employer.
  • Has graduated from high school and informs the employer of plans to attend a college or university on a full-time basis at the end of the vacation period.

Full-time students may be employed under the subminimum (below minimum) wage provisions of Section 14(b) in retail or service establishments or in agriculture. An institution of higher education may also employ its full-time students at subminimum wages after making proper application. Such employment is permitted to the extent necessary so that employment opportunities for full-time students will not be curtailed.

Employers with proper certification must pay full-time students at least 85 percent of the applicable statutory minimum wage. There are restrictions of the number of hours that an individual full-time student may be employed at subminimum wages.

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor administers and enforces the FLSA with respect to private employment, state and local government employment, and Federal employees of the Library of Congress, U.S. Postal Service, Postal Rate Commission, and Tennessee Valley Authority.

Notices/Posters

Every employer of employees subject to the FLSA’s minimum wage provisions must post, and keep posted, a notice(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsa.htm) explaining the Act in a conspicuous place in all of their establishments. Although there is no size requirement for the poster, employees must be able to readily read it. The FLSA poster is also available in Spanish(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsaspan.htm), Chinese(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/minwagecn.pdf), Russian(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/FLSAPosterRuss.pdf), Thai,(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/MinWageThai.pdf) Hmong,(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/MinWageHmong.pdf) Vietnamese(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/minwageViet.pdf), and Korean(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/minwageKorean.pdf).  There is no requirement to post the poster in languages other than English(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsa.htm).

Covered employers are required to post the general Fair Labor Standards Act poster; however, certain industries have posters designed specifically for them.  Employers of Agricultural Employees (PDF)(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/wh1386Agrcltr.pdf) and State & Local Government Employees (PDF)(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/wh1385State.pdf) can either post the general Fair Labor Standards Act poster(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsa.htm) or their specific industry poster.  There are also posters for American Samoa (PDF)(http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/americanSamoa/ASminwagePoster.pdf) and Northern Mariana Islands (PDF)(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/cnmi.pdf)

Every employer who employs workers with disabilities under special minimum wage certificates is also required to post the Employee Rights for Workers with Disabilities/Special Minimum Wage Poster(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/disab.htm).

Recordkeeping

Every employer covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must keep certain records for each covered(/elaws/whd/flsa/overtime/glossary.htm?wd=covered), nonexempt(/elaws/whd/flsa/overtime/glossary.htm?wd=non_exempt) worker.

There is no required form for the records. However, the records must include accurate information about the employee and data about the hours worked and the wages earned. The following is a listing of the basic payroll records that an employer must maintain:

  • Employee's full name, as used for Social Security purposes, and on the same record, the employee's identifying symbol or number if such is used in place of name on any time, work, or payroll records
  • Address, including zip code
  • Birth date, if younger than 19
  • Sex and occupation
  • Time and day of week when employee's workweek begins
  • Hours worked each day and total hours worked each workweek
  • Basis on which employee's wages are paid (e.g., "$9 per hour", "$440 a week", "piecework")
  • Regular hourly pay rate
  • Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings
  • Total overtime earnings for the workweek
  • All additions to or deductions from the employee's wages
  • Total wages paid each pay period
  • Date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment

For a full listing of the basic records that an employer must maintain, see the Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #21: Recordkeeping Requirements under the FLSA(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs21.pdf). Employers are required to preserve for at least three years payroll records, collective bargaining agreements, and sales and purchase records. Records on which wage computations are based should be retained for two years. These include time cards and piecework tickets, wage rate tables, work and time schedules, and records of additions to or deductions from wages.

Reporting

The FLSA does not contain any specific reporting requirements; however, the above referenced records must be open for inspection by the Wage and Hour Division's representatives, who may ask the employer to make extensions, computations, or transcriptions. The records may be kept at the place of employment or in a central records office.

Compliance Assistance Available

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the FLSA. Among the many resources available are:

Additional compliance assistance, including explanatory brochures, fact sheets, and regulatory and interpretive materials, is available on the Wage and Hour Division Home Page(http://www.dol.gov/whd).

DOL Contacts

Wage and Hour Division(http://www.dol.gov/whd/)
Contact WHD(http://www.dol.gov/whd/contactform.asp)
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243); TTY: 1-877-889-5627


The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) provides a means for employees to balance their work and family responsibilities by taking unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons. The FMLA provides that eligible employees are entitled to:

  • Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:
    • the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth; the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
    • to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
    • a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his or her job; and
    • any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” and
  • Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of the servicemember (Military Caregiver Leave).

The FMLA also requires that the employee's group health insurance coverage be maintained under the same terms and conditions during the leave as if the employee had not taken leave.

The Wage and Hour Division administers and enforces the FMLA for all private, state and local government employees, and some Federal employees. Most Federal and certain congressional employees are also covered by the law and are subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management or the Congress.

Notices/Posters

Poster.  All covered employers are required to display and keep on display a poster explaining the provisions of the FMLA and telling employees how to file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of violations of the Act. The poster must be displayed prominently where employees and applicants for employment can see it .The poster and all the text must be large enough to be easily read and contain fully legible text.  Covered employers must display the poster even if no employees are eligible for FMLA leave.  

Where the employer’s workforce is comprised of a significant portion of workers who are not literate in English, the employer is required to provide the notice in a language in which the employees are literate.  To meet the posting requirements, employers may use the prototype poster prepared by the Department or may use another format so long as the information provided includes, at a minimum, all of the information contained in that notice.  Electronic posting is permitted as long as it meets all of the posting requirements.

The Department’s FMLA prototype poster is available in English(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/fmla.htm) and Spanish(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/fmlaspan.htm)

General notice.  If a covered employer has any eligible employees, it must also provide general notice to each employee by including the notice in employee handbooks or other written guidance to employees concerning benefits or leave rights if such written materials exist.  If such written materials do not exist, the employer may accomplish this by distributing a copy of the general notice to each new employee upon hire.  In either case, distribution may be accomplished electronically. 

An employer may duplicate the text of the Poster to meet this general notice requirement, or may use another format so long as the information provided includes, at a minimum, all of the information contained in that notice.  Where an employer’s workforce is comprised of a significant portion of workers who are not literate in English, the employer must provide the general notice in a language in which the employees are literate.

Eligibility notice.  When an employee requests FMLA leave or the employer acquires knowledge that an employee’s leave may be for an FMLA-qualifying reason, the employer must notify the employee of the employee’s eligibility to take FMLA leave within five business days, absent extenuating circumstances. The eligibility notice must state whether the employee is eligible for FMLA leave, and if the employee is not eligible, must state at least one reason why the employee is not eligible.

The Department of Labor makes available a Prototype Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities Notice(http://www.dol.gov/whd/forms/wh-381.pdf) (Form WH-381), which employers may adapt as appropriate for their use to meet their eligibility and rights and responsibilities (see below) notice requirements.

Rights and Responsibilities notice. Each time the eligibility notice is provided, the employer is also required to provide a written notice detailing the specific expectations and obligations of the employee and explaining any consequences of a failure to meet these obligations. If leave has already begun, the employer should mail the notice to the employee’s address of record. The employer must translate this notice in any situation where it is obligated to translate the general notice into a language in which employees are literate. The written notice must also include information on:

  • Leave may be designated and counted against the employee’s annual FMLA leave entitlement if it qualifies as FMLA leave
  • The applicable 12-month period for the FMLA entitlement
  • Requirements for the employee to furnish certification of a serious health condition, serious injury or illness, or qualifying exigency arising out of active duty or call to active duty status, and the consequences of failing to do so
  • Employee’s right to substitute paid leave, whether the employer will require the substitution of paid leave, the conditions related to any substitution, and the employee’s entitlement to take unpaid FMLA leave if the employee does not meet the conditions for paid leave
  • Requirement for the employee to make any premium payments to maintain health benefits, the arrangements for making such payments, and the possible consequences of the failure to make such payments on a timely basis
  • Employee’s status as a “key employee” and the potential consequence that restoration may be denied following FMLA leave, explaining the conditions required for such denial
  • Employee’s rights to maintenance of benefits during the FMLA leave and to restoration to the same or an equivalent job upon return from leave
  • Employee’s potential liability for payment of health insurance premiums paid by the employer during the employee’s unpaid FMLA leave if the employee fails to return to work after taking FMLA leave

The specific notice may include other information such as whether the employer will require periodic reports of the employee’s status and intent to return to work, but is not required to do so. The notice of rights and responsibilities may be accompanied by any required certification form.

If the specific information provided by the notice changes, the employer must provide written notice referencing the prior notice and setting forth any of the information that has changed. This notice of changes should be provided within five business days of receipt of the employee's first notice of need for leave subsequent to any change.

The Department makes available a Prototype Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities Notice(http://www.dol.gov/whd/forms/WH-381.pdf) (Form WH-381), which employers may adapt as appropriate for their use to meet their eligibility and rights and responsibilities notice requirements.

Designation notice. The employer is responsible in all circumstances for designating leave as FMLA-qualifying and giving notice of the designation to the employee. When the employer has enough information to determine whether the leave is being taken for an FMLA-qualifying reason, such as after receiving a certification, the employer must notify the employee whether the leave is designated and will count as FMLA leave within five business days, absent extenuating circumstances. Only one designation notice for each FMLA-qualifying reason per applicable 12-month leave year is required. The employer must also notify the employee if it determines that the leave is not FMLA-qualifying and will not be designated as FMLA leave.

If the employer is requiring the employee to submit a fitness-for-duty certification to be restored to his or her job, the employer must provide notice of the requirement with the designation notice. If the employer will require that the fitness-for-duty certification address the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of the employee’s position, the employer must indicate so in the designation notice and include a list of the essential functions. If the employer handbook or other written documents describing the employer's leave policies clearly provide that a fitness-for-duty certification will be required in specific circumstances, the employer is not required to provide written notice of this requirement, but must provide at least oral notice no later than at the time off the designation notice.

The designation notice must be in writing. The Department of Labor makes available a prototype Designation Notice(http://www.dol.gov/whd/forms/WH-382.pdf) (Form WH-382) for employer’s use. If the leave is not designated as FMLA leave because it does not meet the requirements for FMLA protection, the notice that the leave is not designated FMLA may be in the form of a simple written statement. If the information provided by the employer to the employee in the designation notice changes, the employer must provide written notice of the change within five business days of receipt of the employee’s first notice of need for leave subsequent to the change.

Additionally, the employer must notify the employee of the amount of leave counted against his or her FMLA entitlement. If known at the time the leave is designated, the employer must notify the employee of the number of hours, days, or weeks that will be counted against the employee’s FMLA entitlement. If it is not possible to provide the hours, days, or weeks that will be counted against the entitlement (such as in the case of unforeseeable, intermittent leave), then the employer must provide notice of the amount of leave counted against the FMLA leave entitlement at the request of the employee, but no more often than once in a 30-day period and only if leave was taken in that period. Notice of the amount of leave taken may be oral, but if oral, must be confirmed in writing, generally by no later than the following payday; such written notice may be in any form, including a pay stub notation.

Recordkeeping

Employers are required to make, keep, and preserve records pertaining to their obligations under FMLA in accordance with the recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FMLA does not require that employers keep their records in any particular order or form, or revise their computerized payroll or personnel records systems to comply.

Employers must keep the records for no less than three years and make them available for inspection, copying, and transcription by Department of Labor representatives upon request. Records kept in computer form must be made available for transcription and copying.

Covered employers who have eligible employees must maintain records that must disclose the following:

  • Basic payroll and identifying information (including name, address, and occupation)
  • Rate or basis of pay
  • Terms of compensation
  • Daily and weekly hours worked per pay period
  • Additions to or deductions from wages
  • Total compensation paid

In addition, covered employers who have eligible employees must also maintain records detailing:

  • Dates of FMLA leave taken by FMLA eligible employees. Leave must be designated in records as FMLA leave, and may not include leave required under state law or an employer plan which is not also covered by FMLA.
  • Hours of FMLA leave taken by FMLA eligible employees, if leave is taken in increments of less than one full day
  • Copies of employee notices of leave furnished to the employer
  • Copies of all written notices given to employees as required under FMLA
  • Documents describing employee benefits or employer paid and unpaid leave policies and practices
  • Premium payments of employee benefits
  • Records of disputes between the employer and the employee regarding FMLA

Records and documents relating to medical certifications, re-certifications or medical histories of employees or employees’ family members, created for purposes of FMLA, are required to be maintained as confidential medical records in separate files/records from the usual personnel files. If the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies, then these records must comply with the ADA confidentiality requirements. Supervisors and managers may be informed regarding necessary restrictions on the work or duties of an employee and necessary accommodations. First aid and safety personnel may be informed, where appropriate, if the employee’s physical or medical condition might require emergency treatment. Government officials investigating compliance must be provided access to relevant information.

Reporting

There are no reporting requirements under FMLA.

Compliance Assistance Available

More detailed information, including copies of explanatory brochures, may be obtained by contacting the local Wage and Hour Division office(http://www.dol.gov/whd/america2.htm). Compliance assistance information is also available from the Wage and Hour Division's Web site(http://www.wagehour.dol.gov). For additional assistance, contact the Wage and Hour Division at 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act. Among the many resources available are:

DOL Contacts

Wage and Hour Division(http://www.dol.gov/whd/)
Contact WHD(http://www.dol.gov/whd/contactform.asp)
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243); TTY: 1-877-889-5627


The McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act (SCA)

The McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) covers contracts entered into by federal government and the District of Columbia where the principal purpose of the contract is to furnish services in the U.S. through the use of "service employees." The term "service employee" includes any employee engaged in performing services on a covered contract other than an individual employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity as those terms are defined in in 29 CFR Part 541

.

The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) enforces the Service Contract Act.

Notices/Posters

Every employer performing work covered by the SCA is required to provide each employee commencing work on a covered contract notice of the compensation due them under the wage and fringe benefits provisions of the SCA and to deliver to the employees, or post, the “Employee Rights on Government Contracts” notice (including any applicable wage determination) at the site of the work in a prominent and accessible place where it may be easily seen by employees. There are no size requirements for the poster. The Employee Rights on Government Contracts poster is available in Spanish as well.

If the contractor employs workers with disabilities under special minimum wage certificates, the “Notice to Workers with Disabilities/Special Minimum Wage (PDF) poster” must also be posted. This poster explains the conditions under which special minimum wages may be paid. It must be posted in a conspicuous place on the employer’s premises where it can be readily seen by employees and the parents or guardians of workers with disabilities.

Recordkeeping

Some of the records required to be kept under the SCA are also required under the Fair Labor Standards Act (see Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #21: Recordkeeping.

Under the SCA, contractors and subcontractors are required to maintain certain records for each employee covered by the SCA. Basic records, such as the name, address, and Social Security number of each employee must be maintained for three years from completion of the work. In addition, the following records must be maintained for three years from completion of the work:

  • The work classification(s), wage rate(s), and fringe benefits provided (or cash equivalent payments provided in lieu of fringe benefits)
  • The total daily and weekly compensation of each employee
  • The number of daily and weekly hours worked by each employee
  • Any deductions, rebates, or refunds from each employee’s compensation
  • Any list of a predecessor contractor’s employees furnished to the successor contractor showing the employees’ length of service information
  • A list of wages and fringe benefits for those classes of workers conformed to the wage determination attached to the contract

The contractor shall also make available a copy of the contract upon request from the Wage and Hour Division.

Reporting

There are no reporting requirements under the Service Contract Act.

A government contracting agency may request a wage determination for contracts in excess of $2,500 by filing an e-98 or obtaining a wage determination from the Wage Determination On Line.

Compliance Assistance Available

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the SCA. Among the resources available to help comply with the SCA are:

Additional compliance assistance, including explanatory brochures, fact sheets, and regulatory and interpretive materials, is available on the Compliance Assistance “By Law” Web page.

DOL Contacts

Wage and Hour Division(http://www.dol.gov/whd/)
Contact WHD(http://www.dol.gov/whd/contactform.asp)
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243); TTY: 1-877-889-5627


The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act

The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act was enacted to "assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women" by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, outreach, education and compliance assistance. The OSH Act created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at the Federal level and provided that states could run their own safety and health programs as long as those programs were at least as effective as the Federal program.

Enforcement and administration of the OSH Act in states under Federal jurisdiction is handled primarily by OSHA. Safety and health standards related to field sanitation and certain temporary labor camps in the agriculture industry are enforced by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) in states under Federal jurisdiction.

Notices/Posters

Poster. All covered employers are required to display and keep displayed the OSHA “Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law” poster. Employers in states with an OSHA-approved state plan may be required to post a state version of the OSHA poster. There is a separate poster for Federal agencies. The OSHA poster must be displayed in a conspicuous place where employees can see it. Copies of the poster shall be at least 8 1/2 by 14 inches with 10 point type. This poster is also available in Spanish and other languages. Posting of the notice in languages other than English is not required, but OSHA encourages employers with workers that speak other languages to also display the other relevant versions of the poster.

Notices. Employees, former employees and their representatives have the right to review the OSHA Form 300, Log of Work-related Illnesses and Injuries, in its entirety. Employers are required to post the Summary of Work-related Injuries and Illnesses (Form300A) in a visible location so that employees are aware of the injuries and illnesses that occur in their workplace. Employers are required to post the Summary Form (300A) by February 1 of the year following the year covered by the form and keep it posted until April 30 of that year.

Recordkeeping

OSHA-approved state plan states must adopt occupational injury and illness recording requirements that are substantially identical to the Federal OSHA requirements. Since each state plan’s requirements may differ slightly, the Federal OSHA requirements are described below.

Records for employers with 10 or fewer employees. Employers with 10 or fewer employees at all times during the last calendar year do not need to keep OSHA injury and illness records unless OSHA or the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) informs them in writing that records must be kept. However, all employers covered by the OSH Act must report to OSHA any workplace incident that results in a fatality, an amputation, the loss of an eye, or the in-patient hospitalization of one or more employees.

Records for employers in certain industries. If an employer’s business is in an industry that is classified as low hazard, the employer does not need to keep records unless OSHA or the BLS asks them to do so in writing. The partial industry classification exemption applies to individual establishments. If a company has several establishments engaged in different classes of business activities, some of the company’s establishments may be required to keep records, while others may be exempt. Industries currently designated as low-hazard include:

  • Certain retail stores
  • Eating and drinking places
  • Most finance, insurance, and real estate industries
  • Certain service industries, such as personal and business services, medical and dental offices, and legal, educational, and membership organizations

Business establishments classified in agriculture, mining, utilities, construction, manufacturing, or wholesale trade are not eligible for the partial industry classification exemption.

All other employers. Employers are required to use the Form 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses to classify work-related injuries and illnesses and to note the extent and severity of each case. When an incident occurs, the Log is used to record specific details about what happened and how it happened.

If the employer has more than one establishment or site, separate records for each physical location that is expected to remain in operation for one year or longer must be kept.

Employers are required to keep a separate Log (Form 300) and Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (Form 300A) for each physical location that is expected to be in operation for one year or longer. The Injury and Illness Incident Report (Form 301) is filled out when a recordable work-related injury or illness has occurred. Together with the Form 300 and Form 300A, these forms help the employer and OSHA develop a picture of the extent and severity of work-related incidents.

Employers must record work-related injuries and illnesses that result in:

  • Death
  • Days away from work
  • Restricted work activity or job transfer
  • Medical treatment beyond first aid
  • Loss of consciousness

Employers must record any significant work-related injuries and illnesses that are diagnosed by a physician or other licensed health care professional, such as any work-related case involving cancer, chronic irreversible disease, a fractured or cracked bone or a punctured eardrum.

Employers must record the following conditions when they are work-related:

  • Any needle-stick injury or cut from a sharp object that is contaminated with another person’s blood or other potentially infectious material
  • Any case requiring an employee to be medically removed under the requirements of an OSHA health standard
  • Work-related cases involving hearing loss under certain conditions
  • Tuberculosis infection as evidenced by a positive skin test or diagnosis by a physician or other licensed health care professional after exposure to a known case of active tuberculosis

Employers do not have to record certain injury and illness incidents such as a visit to a doctor solely for observation and counseling or those requiring first aid treatment only. For more information see the full list of Non-recordable Injury and Illness Incidents.

Reporting

OSHA-approved state plan states must adopt occupational injury and illness reporting requirements that are substantially identical to the Federal OSHA requirements. Since each state plan’s requirements may differ slightly, the Federal OSHA requirements are described below.

Employers must report to OSHA work-related fatalities within 8 hours of finding out about it.

For any in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss employers must report the incident to OSHA within 24 hours of learning about it.

Only fatalities occurring within 30 days of the work-related incident must be reported to OSHA. Further, for an inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye, the incidents must be reported to OSHA only if they occur within 24 hours of the work-related incident.

Employers have three options(https://www.osha.gov/report.html) for reporting the event:

  • By telephone to the nearest OSHA Area Office during normal business hours.
  • By telephone to the 24-hour OSHA hotline (1-800-321-OSHA or 1-800-321-6742).
  • Report online on OSHA’s website.

Compliance Assistance Available

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Among the many resources available are:

  • OSHA Publications: Provides fact sheets, booklets, and other publications sorted by topic, publication type, and language.
  • Compliance Assistance Quick Start: Provides introductory step-by-step instruction to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance assistance resources.
  • OSHA eTools: Provides links to e-tools and Expert Advisors
  • OSHA Safety and Health Topics Pages: Provide information on specific safety and health hazards, and specific hazard information on different industries. These pages provide information on hazard identification and control and applicable OSHA standards.
  • OSHA’s Help for Employers Page: Provides a portal to OSHA's compliance assistance resources.
  • OSHA Frequently Asked Questions: Highlights topics and specific questions that are often asked of OSHA.

Because states with OSHA-approved job safety and health programs adopt and enforce their own standards under state law, copies of these standards can be obtained from the individual states. Many are available through state Web sites, which are linked from OSHA's State Occupational Safety and Health Plans Web page.

Cooperative Programs. OSHA offers a number of opportunities for employers, employees, and organizations to work cooperatively with the Agency. OSHA’s major cooperative programs are the Voluntary Protections Program (VPP), the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP), OSHA Challenge, the Alliance Program, and the OSHA Strategic Partnership Program (OSPP). For further information on OSHA’s cooperative programs, visit the Cooperative Programs section of OSHA’s Web site.

Voluntary Protection Programs: The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) are aimed at extending worker protection beyond the minimum required by OSHA standards. The VPP is designed to:

  • Recognize the outstanding achievements of those who have successfully incorporated comprehensive safety and health programs into their total management systems;
  • Motivate others to achieve excellent safety and health results in the same outstanding way; and
  • Establish a relationship between employers, employees, and OSHA that is based on cooperation rather than coercion.

An employer may apply for VPP at the nearest OSHA regional office. OSHA reviews an employer's VPP application and visits the worksite to verify that the safety and health program described is in effect at the site. All participants must send their injury information annually to their OSHA regional offices. Sites participating in the VPP are not scheduled for programmed inspections. However, OSHA handles any employee complaints, serious accidents/catastrophes, or fatalities according to routine procedures.

The VPP is available in states under federal jurisdiction. Additionally, all OSHA-approved state plans that cover private-sector employees in the state operate similar programs. Interested companies in these states should contact the appropriate state agency for more information.

Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP): This program recognizes small employers who operate an exemplary safety and health management system. Employers who are accepted into SHARP are recognized as models for worksite safety and health. Upon receiving SHARP recognition, the worksite will be exempt from programmed inspections during the period that the SHARP certification is valid. To participate in SHARP, an employer must contact its state’s Consultation Program and request a free consultation visit that involves a complete hazard identification survey.

OSHA Challenge: This program provides opportunities for employers to work with OSHA and qualified volunteers (Challenge Administrators) to develop safety and health management systems (SHMS) on par with VPP and SHARP. OSHA Challenge breaks down SHMS implementation in three stages. For each stage, the participants identify actions, documentation, and outcomes. Unique aspects of OSHA Challenge include: no application prerequisites for participants except for a letter of commitment stating that they will follow the program and strive for safety and health excellence; no time constraints to complete the stages, which allows participants to work at their own level and pace; and the use of Challenge Administrators experienced in SHMS to assist participants, which limits the OSHA resources needed to manage the program.

Alliance Program: Through the Alliance Program, OSHA works with businesses, trade and professional organizations, unions, educational institutions, and other government agencies. Alliance Program participants work with OSHA to leverage resources and expertise to help develop compliance assistance tools, training opportunities, and other information to help employers and employees prevent on-the-job injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. OSHA’s Alliances with organizations in industries such as plastics, healthcare, maritime, chemical, construction, paper and telecommunications, among others, are working to address safety and health hazards with at-risk audiences, such as youth, immigrant workers, and small business.

Strategic Partnership Program: In this program, OSHA enters into an extended, voluntary, cooperative relationship with employers, associations, unions, and/or councils. Partnerships often cover multiple worksites, and in some instances, affect entire industries. Partner worksites may be very large, but most often they are small businesses averaging 50 or fewer employees. Strategic Partnerships are designed to encourage, assist, and recognize efforts to eliminate serious hazards and achieve a high level of worker safety and health. All Partnerships emphasize sustained efforts and continuing results beyond the typical three-year duration of the agreement.

Training and education: OSHA has more than 70 full-service field offices (called Area Offices) that offer a variety of informational services, such as publications, technical advice, audio-visual aids on workplace hazards, and lecturers for speaking engagements. Most of these field offices have an OSHA Compliance Assistance Specialist (CAS). CASs provide general information about OSHA standards and compliance assistance resources, and are available for seminars, workshops, and speaking events. CASs promote OSHA’s cooperative programs and also encourage employers to take advantage of OSHA’s training resources and the tools available on the OSHA Web site.

The OSHA Training Institute in Arlington Heights, Illinois, provides basic and advanced training and education in safety and health for federal and state compliance safety and health officers; state consultants; other federal agency personnel; and private sector employers, employees, and their representatives. Course topics include electrical hazards, machine guarding, ventilation, and ergonomics, among others. The OSHA Training Institute has partnered with other training and education institutes to conduct Training Institute courses. These Education Centers, which are located throughout the country, provide additional opportunities for the public to receive training on safety and health topics.

The OSHA Outreach Training Program provides training for workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, abatement, and prevention of safety and health hazards in workplaces. The program also provides information regarding workers' rights, employer responsibilities, and how to file a complaint. This is a voluntary program and does not meet training requirements for any OSHA standards. Through this program, workers can attend 10-hour or 30-hour classes delivered by OSHA-authorized trainers. The 10-hour class is intended for entry level workers, while the 30-hour class is more appropriate for workers with some safety responsibility.

Consultation services: OSHA's On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential safety and occupational health advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs.

On-site OSHA consultation assistance includes an opening conference with the employer to explain the ground rules for consultation, a walk through the workplace to identify specific hazards and to examine those aspects of the employer's safety and health program that relate to the scope of the visit, and a closing conference. Later, the consultant sends a report of findings and recommendations to the employer. This process begins with the employer's request for consultation, which must include a commitment to correct any serious safety and health hazards identified. The consultant will not report possible violations of OSHA standards to OSHA enforcement staff unless the employer fails or refuses to eliminate or control worker exposure to any identified serious hazard or imminent danger. Should this occur, OSHA may investigate and begin enforcement action. The employer must also agree to allow the consultant to confer freely with employees during the on-site visit.

Additional information about consultation assistance, including a directory of OSHA funded consultation projects, can be found on OSHA's Consultation Program Web page.

Information sources: Information about state plans, VPPs, consultation programs, and inspections can be obtained from the nearest OSHA regional or area office. Area offices are listed in local telephone directories under the U.S. Department of Labor. Contact information for regional and area offices, as well as state plans and consultation programs can also be found on the OSHA Web site.

OSHA’s Office of Small Business Assistance administers OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program and serves as liaison and point of contact with the Agency for small businesses. OSHA offers many services designed to help small businesses and welcomes comments and suggestions from small business owners and their employees.

DOL Contacts

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (http://www.osha.gov)
Contact OSHA(http://www.osha.gov/html/Feed_Back.html)
Tel.: 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742); TTY: 1-877-889-5627


Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects service members' reemployment rights when returning from a period of service in the uniformed services, including those called up from the reserves or National Guard, and prohibits employer discrimination based on military service or obligation.

The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) enforces USERRA.

Notices/Posters

Employers are required to provide to persons covered by USERRA a notice of the rights, benefits, and obligations of the employees and employers under USERRA.  To do this, employers may post the notice entitled “Your Rights Under USERRA” where employer notices are customarily placed, mail it, or by distributing it via electronic mail. There is no size requirement for the poster version of the notice.

Recordkeeping

There are no required records under USERRA.

Reporting

There are no required reports under USERRA.

Compliance Assistance Available

Compliance assistance information is available on the VETS Web site(http://www.dol.gov/vets/). Specific compliance assistance materials available include: the Department of Labor USERRA regulations (20 CFR Part 1002)(http://www.dol.gov/vets/regs/fedreg/final/2005023961.htm), which implement the law for non-Federal employers; a fact sheet (http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/userra/userra_fs.htm) about USERRA; and the notice/poster(http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/userra/poster.htm) to employees of their rights, benefits, and obligations under USERRA. Copies of VETS publications, or answers to questions about USERRA, may also be obtained from a local VETS office(http://www.dol.gov/vets/aboutvets/nationaloffice.htm).

Another compliance assistance resource, the elaws Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) Advisor(/elaws/userra.htm), helps veterans understand employee eligibility and job entitlements, employer obligations, benefits, and remedies under the Act.

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. Among the many resources are Frequently Asked Questions for Reservists being Called to Active Duty(http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq_911_2.html), explanatory brochures, fact sheets, and regulatory and interpretive materials are available.

DOL Contacts

Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS)(http://www.dol.gov/vets/)
E-mail: contact-vets@dol.gov
Tel: 1-866-4USADOL (1-866-487-2365) or 1-202-693-4770; TTY: 1-877-889-5627


The Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act

The Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (Walsh-Healey or PCA) requires certain contractors to pay employees the Federal minimum wage for all hours worked, and time and one half their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. This Act applies to contractors with contracts in excess of $10,000 for the manufacturing or furnishing of materials, supplies, articles, and equipment to the U.S. government or the District of Columbia.  This Act covers employees who produce, assemble, handle, or ship goods under these contracts.

The Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (Walsh-Healey or PCA) is enforced by the Wage and Hour Division .

Notices/Posters

Every employer performing work covered by the PCA is required to post the “Employee Rights on Government Contracts”(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/sca.htm) notice (including any applicable wage determination) at the site of the work in a prominent and accessible place where it may be easily seen by employees.  There are no size requirements for the poster. The Employee Rights on Government Contracts poster is also available in Spanish(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/scaspan.htm).

If the contractor employs workers with disabilities under special minimum wage certificates, the "Notice to Workers with Disabilities/Special Minimum Wage (PDF) poster"(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/disab.htm) must also be posted. This notice explains the conditions under which special minimum wages may be paid.  The poster must be posted in a conspicuous place on the employer’s premises where it can be readily seen by employees and the parents or guardians of workers with disabilities.

Recordkeeping

Under the PCA, contractors and subcontractors are required to maintain certain records which must be available for inspection by the Wage and Hour Division. Records providing the following information for each covered employee must be kept on file for at least three years from their last date of entry:

  • Name, address, sex, and occupation
  • Date of birth of each employee under 19 years of age. If the employer has obtained a certificate of age, the following must be recorded: the title and address of the office issuing the certificate; the number of the certificate; the date of issuance; the name, address and date of birth of the minor as the name appears on the certificate
  • Wage and hour records, which include the rate of wages and the amount paid each pay period, the hours worked each day and each week, and the period during which the employee worked on a government contract, and the contract number

The employer must maintain records providing the following information for at least two years from their last date of entry, or their last effective date, if later:

  • Basic employment and earnings records such as daily time cards, time sheets, or records showing amounts of work accomplished
  • Wage rate tables
  • Work time schedules

Reporting

There are no reporting requirements. 

Compliance Assistance Available

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act. Compliance assistance related to the Act includes the PCA Compliance Assistance Web page(http://www.dol.gov/whd/contracts/pca.htm).

DOL Contacts

Wage and Hour Division(http://www.dol.gov/whd/)
Contact WHD(http://www.dol.gov/whd/contactform.asp)
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243); TTY: 1-877-889-5627


Whistleblower Protection Provisions

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) and twenty-one other statutes with whistleblower provisions protect workers against retaliation for filing certain complaints with their employers, unions, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), or other government agencies. These protections cover complaints about workplace safety and health; the environment; pipeline safety; aviation safety; nuclear safety; asbestos in schools; corporate fraud; SEC rules or regulations; commercial motor vehicle safety, health, or security; public transportation safety or security; railroad safety or security; or fraud, waste, or abuse of public funds intended to be used for public transportation or railroad safety or security; as well as other related protected activities. Retaliation may include employment termination or layoff, reductions in pay or hours, demotion, discipline, blacklisting, denial of overtime or promotion, failure to hire or rehire, or denial of benefits.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration administers and enforces the whistleblowing provisions of the OSH Act and the twenty one other statutes.

Notices/Posters

Posters. Although there is no specific Whistleblower Poster, the Whistleblower Protection provisions have the following poster requirements under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) and the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (ERA):

All employers covered by the OSH Act are required to display and keep displayed the OSHA “Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law(http://www.osha.gov/Publications/poster.html)” poster. The poster is also available in Spanish(http://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3167.pdf). There is a separate poster for Federal agencies(http://www.osha.gov/Publications/fedposter.html). This poster informs employees of their right to file a retaliation or discrimination complaint with OSHA for making safety and health complaints or for exercising rights under the OSH Act.

The poster must be displayed in a conspicuous place where employees and applicants for employment can see it.  Reproductions or facsimiles of the poster shall be at least 8 1/2 by 14 inches with 10 point type.  Posting of the notice in languages other than English is not required.

Employers covered by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (ERA) must display the poster, “Your Rights Under the Energy Reorganization Act(http://www.whistleblowers.gov/acts/era_poster_2011.pdf),” where employees can readily see it.

Notices.  There are generally no notice requirements for employers under most of the Whistleblower Protection provisions administered and enforced by OSHA.  For other notice requirements under the OSH Act, see the OSHA Recordkeeping, Reporting, Poster, and Other Notice Requirements page(http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/osha.htm).

Notices. There are generally no notice requirements for employers under most of the Whistleblower Protection provisions administered and enforced by OSHA.  For other notice requirements under the OSH Act, see the OSHA Recordkeeping, Reporting, Poster, and Other Notice Requirements page.

Recordkeeping

There are generally no recordkeeping requirements for employers under most of the Whistleblower Protection provisions administered and enforced by OSHA. For other recordkeeping requirements under the OSH Act, see the OSHA Recordkeeping, Reporting, Poster, and Other Notice Requirements page.

Reporting

There are generally no reporting requirements for employers under most of the Whistleblower Protection provisions administered and enforced by OSHA.  For other reporting requirements under the OSH Act, see the OSHA Recordkeeping, Reporting, Poster, and Other Notice Requirements page.

Compliance Assistance Available

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the Whistleblower Protection provisions, including OSHA’s Whistleblower Program Web site.

DOL Contacts

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (http://www.osha.gov)
Contact OSHA(http://www.osha.gov/html/Feed_Back.html)
Tel.: 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742); TTY: 1-877-889-5627


Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN)

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) protects workers, their families, and communities by requiring most employers with 100 or more employees to provide notification 60 calendar days in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs.

WARN is enforced through private lawsuits in the Federal Courts. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) provides informal advice about WARN at the Federal level. Some states have plant closure laws of their own. A State Dislocated Worker Unit Coordinator can provide more information on notice requirements in a specific area.

Notices/Posters

There are no workplace poster requirements under the WARN Act.

Employers do have notice requirements under the WARN Act. 

If an employer orders a plant closing or mass layoff, it is required to provide notification to the employees or their representatives, the state dislocated worker units, (so that they can promptly offer dislocated worker assistance), and the chief elected officials of local governments.

Notices to employees or their representatives.  WARN requires employers to notify either the individual employees affected by a plant closing or mass layoff or their representatives at least 60 calendar days prior to any planned plant closing or mass layoff.  If employees are terminated on different dates, the date of the first individual termination within the statutory 30-day or 90-day period triggers the 60-day notice requirement.

Notices to representatives.  These notices must contain the following:

  • The name and address of the employment site where the plant closing or mass layoff will occur, and the name and telephone number of a company official to contact for further information
  • A statement about whether the planned action is expected to be permanent or temporary and, if the entire plant is to be closed, a statement to that effect
  • The expected date of the first separation and the anticipated schedule for making separations
  • The job titles of positions to be affected and the names of the workers currently holding affected jobs

Notices to individual employees.  If the affected employees do not have a representative, the notice is to be written in language understandable to the employees and is to contain:

  • A statement about whether the planned action is expected to be permanent or temporary and, if the entire plant is to be closed, a statement to that effect
  • The expected date when the plant closing or mass layoff will begin, and the expected date when the individual employee will be separated
  • An indication whether or not bumping rights exist
  • The name and telephone number of a company official to contact for further information

The notice may include additional information useful to the employees such as information on available dislocated worker assistance, and, if the planned action is expected to be temporary, the estimated duration.

Notices to State Dislocated Worker Units and the chief elected officials of local governments.  WARN requires employers to separately provide notices to the state dislocated worker unit and to the chief elected official of the unit of local government in which the affected plant is located.  The notice should contain:

  • The name and address of the employment site where the plant closing or mass layoff will occur, and the name and telephone number of a company official to contact for further information
  • A statement as to whether the planned action is expected to be permanent or temporary and, if the entire plant is to be closed, a statement to that effect
  • The expected date of the first separation, and the anticipated schedule for making separations
  • The job titles of positions to be affected, and the number of affected employees in each job classification
  • An indication as to whether or not bumping rights exist
  • The name of each union representing affected employees, and the name and address of the chief elected officer of each union

The notice may include additional information useful to the employees such as a statement of whether the planned action is expected to be temporary and, if so, its expected duration.  As an alternative, an employer may give notice to the state dislocated worker unit and to the unit of local government by providing them with a written notice stating:

  • The name and address of the employment site where the plant closing or mass layoff will occur
  • The name and telephone number of a company official to contact for further information
  • The expected date of the first separation
  • The number of affected employees

If the employer chooses the alternative notice, the information required for the longer form of notice must be maintained on-site where it is readily accessible to the state dislocated worker unit and to the unit of local government.

Recordkeeping

There are no recordkeeping requirements.

Reporting

There are no reporting requirements.

Compliance Assistance Available

For general information about WARN, a fact sheet, worker’s guide (PDF), and employer's guide (PDF) are available from the Employment and Training Administration’s Web site. Specific requirements of WARN may be found in the Act itself and the regulations at 20 CFR Part 639.

The Department of Labor provides employers, workers, and others with clear and easy-to-access information and assistance on how to comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Compliance assistance related to the Act, including the WARN e-laws Advisor is available on the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act Compliance Assistance Materials Web page.

DOL Contacts

Employment and Training Administration (ETA)(http://www.doleta.gov), Office of National Response, Division of Worker Dislocation and Special Response
Tel: 1-877-US2JOBS (1-877-872-5627) or 1-202-693-3500; TTY: 1-877-889-5627


For questions on other DOL laws, please call DOL's Toll-Free Help Line at 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365). Live assistance is available in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Additional service is available in more than 140 languages through a translation service.