Employers might want to wander right now into their office break rooms to review the legal rights posters on display to be sure they are current and accessible. Failure to comply with posting requirements will cost employers more than double, starting next week.
Effective July 5, 2016, the maximum penalty for notice-posting violations under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act will jump from $210 to $525 per violation. Title VII, the ADA and GINA require covered employers to post notices explaining the pertinent provisions of those laws and summarizing employees’ rights under each law. In addition, the maximum penalty will automatically increase for inflation on an annual basis starting January 15, 2017. As a result, employers should review and, if necessary, update their postings or, if using an older poster, use the poster supplement available on the EEOC website. Remember, employers must ensure that the notices are made available in a location accessible to employees and applicants with disabilities that limit mobility. Employers are also advised to post electronic versions of the notices on their internal site.
The EEOC says that the heftier fines and the automatic, inflation-driven increases going forward are intended to “maintain the remedial impact of civil monetary penalties and promote compliance with the law.” The EEOC emphasized that “the great majority” of employers are already in compliance with the notice-posting requirements, so “the aggregate economic impact of these revised regulations will be minimal.” Indeed, in issuing the final rule, the EEOC mentioned that it has only increased the maximum penalty for notice-posting violations two other times: first in 1997 where the penalty was raised from $100 to $110 per violation; and second in 2014 where it was increased to $210.
In light of this development, employers should review their current postings to ensure compliance in terms of content and placement and make any necessary changes before July 5, 2016.