Executive Summary: The EEOC is increasing the penalty for failure to post the required workplace notices under Title VII, the ADA, and GINA by 150 percent. This increase means the maximum penalty for notice violations will increase to $525 per violation effective July 5, 2016. The increase will only apply to penalties issued after the July 5theffective date.  

Background

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), which are enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), require employers to post notices describing relevant statutory provisions. Notices must be posted in conspicuous locations where notices to employees, applicants, and members are customarily maintained. The requirement applies to private employers, state and local governments, and educational institutions employing 15 or more individuals, as well as to federal contractors and subcontractors. Employers covered by these laws who fail to post the required notice are subject to a fine.  

The EEOC has adjusted the penalty twice before. The EEOC first adjusted the penalty for violations in 1997, when it raised the maximum penalty per violation from $100 to $110. The EEOC again adjusted the penalty in 2014, raising the maximum penalty per violation from $110 to $210.

2016 Increase

With the passage of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Act Improvements Act of 2015, the EEOC and other federal agencies are now required to adjust maximum civil penalties on a yearly basis. This 2015 law specifies that the initial inflation-adjusted amount must be capped at 150 percent of the penalty in effect when the law was enacted. Using the formula specified under the law, the agency calculated the annual inflation adjustment for the maximum penalty to be $765. However, this amount is greater than a 150 percent, so the agency adjusted the maximum penalty to $525 per violation.

Employers' Bottom Line

The EEOC is increasing penalties for failure to post notice violations under Title VII, the ADA, and GINA by 150 percent, meaning that the maximum penalty for a notice posting violation will increase from $201 to $525 per violation effective July 5, 2016. Additionally, because the law requires agencies to adjust penalties on a yearly basis, employers can expect to see an annual increase in the maximum penalty amount. Employers should review their current postings, both for placement and content, and update them as needed to ensure compliance with this rule and reduce the possibility of a posting violation.