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Ask the Attorney: Answering Your Questions about Remote Workers' Labor Law Posting Requirements

5/31/2017
Ashley Kaplan, Esq. addresses how employers can meet labor law posting requirements and properly notify remote workers in non-traditional work environments.

Ashley Kaplan, Esq., who heads up the expert legal team for Poster Guard® Compliance Protection, answers your questions about labor law posting requirements for remote workers. She addresses how employers can comply with posting laws and properly notify workers in non-traditional work environments:

Q: In general, what are the posting obligations for remote workers?

Ashley: By law, you’re required to provide mandatory notices to ALL employees. Although the regulations don’t specify the format — paper or electronic — you’re responsible for communicating the same information to your home-based workers as those onsite.

Without legal specifics on how to address this area of posting compliance, you’ll need to use your best judgment. If your remote employees come to your office a few times a month — and current labor law postings are displayed there — that should be sufficient. However, if these employees visit less frequently, you should consider making the notices available via email or the Internet in a format they can access any time.

Q: If we have remote employees who work in different states, which posting requirements do we follow? Those from the state where our company headquarters are located, or those where the employee works?

Ashley: Unfortunately, it’s not always clear which state laws apply in this instance. Most basic employment rights — such as minimum wage, overtime and safety issues — are governed by the laws where an employee works, not lives. However, depending on how your company is structured, your out-of-state employees may be covered by both states’ laws. Because it depends on so many factors, we recommend you provide both sets of state-specific postings to remote staff in this situation.

Q: How do we inform employees of posting laws if they work at home and rarely, if ever, visit the home office?

Ashley: You must communicate the information included in the employee postings to all employees, including those who work off-site or at home. The law is unclear, however, on the format for doing this.  We recommend electronic delivery of postings, where workers can download, view and acknowledge receipt of all required postings. This satisfies your obligation to communicate their rights, as covered in the mandatory federal and state notices.

Q: What are the requirements for a company that has consultants at multiple client sites?

Ashley: If your clients properly display up-to-date posters, their compliance with the government requirement extends to your employees. However, if your clients don’t post the notices, you may be held legally responsible. The bottom line: You need to determine if the appropriate notices are posted at your clients’ locations, and, if not, work with them to get it done. You may also supplement the wall postings by providing the appropriate postings to your consultants electronically.

Q: Some of my employees work from home but report to the office headquarters occasionally. Do we still need to send posters electronically to the remote worker?

Ashley: The law isn’t 100 percent definitive on how frequently a remote employee must access the physical wall posters to be covered. However, FAQs published by the U.S. Department of Labor suggest that, if an employee reports to a company’s physical location at least three to four times a month, the physical postings at the business are adequate. If not, the DOL recommends electronic delivery.