The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued updated posters under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA). These revised posters, which the DOL published on July 26, 2016, and which took effect on August 1, 2016, are available here:
The impetus for the DOL to revise these posters is the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (IAA), which requires the DOL and other federal agencies to adjust penalties periodically to reflect inflation. By way of example, under the IAA, the civil monetary penalty for a willful or repeated violation of the FLSA rose from $1,100 to $1,894 per violation, effective August 1, 2016. The IAA did not make any substantive changes to the FLSA, including to the federal minimum wage, or to the EPPA.
To eliminate the need to reprint posters each time the amount of civil monetary penalties changes due to inflation, the primary change in the posters is the removal of the specific amount of civil monetary penalties per violation. Both revised posters contain only a general statement that civil monetary penalties may be assessed for violations.
In a reflection of the DOL’s enforcement priorities, the updated FLSA Minimum Wage poster includes a statement about the significance of properly classifying workers as independent contractors or employees. The updated FLSA poster also adds a section on the rights of nursing mothers to receive reasonable break time to express breast milk. This reference to lactation breaks is based on a revision to the FLSA that was enacted in 2010, after the DOL last revised the FLSA Minimum Wage poster in 2009.
What This Means for Employers
Employers subject to the FLSA and the EPPA may want to post the updated posters now if they have not already done so. It may also be an opportune time for employers to ensure that they are up to date on the myriad other posters they are required to post in their workplaces under federal, state or local law.