- FirstStep Poster Advisor
You have indicated that:
- You want Poster Requirements
- The nature of your business or organization is: State or local government
- Your establishment is located in: Massachusetts
Based on the information you provided in response to the questions in the Advisor, the following Federal laws which have poster requirements likely apply to your business or organization. Please note the Advisor does not identify all the poster requirements of other Federal agencies but it does include the poster required by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, if applicable.
- The Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)
- The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
- Whistleblower Protections
In addition, 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 all Federal employment posters are always available on the Poster Page as are answers to frequently asked questions.
Thank you for using the Department of Labor's FirstStep Poster Advisor. If you need information on state poster requirements, please contact your state labor office or visit the state poster page at business.usa.gov. Also 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.
Please visit the FirstStep Employment Law Overview Advisor if you are interested in all the provisions of a particular Federal employment law.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Tel.: 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742); 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.