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Labor Law

Labor Law: “Know Your Rights-Workplace Discrimination” poster gets a facelift from EEOC

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20150817_MBZ_KAREN

RTD Metro Business law columnist, Karen Michael.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has updated its “Know Your Rights — Workplace Discrimination is Illegal” poster.

Covered employers (generally those with 15 or more employees) must replace their current posters and prominently display the new one, which was updated last month, at their worksites.

Employers can download the new poster for free at eeoc.gov.

The posters should be placed in a “conspicuous location in the workplace where notices to applicants and employees are customarily posted,” according to the EEOC’s guidance.

In addition to the physical posting, “covered employers are encouraged to post the notice digitally on their websites in a conspicuous location. In most cases, electronic posting supplements the physical posting requirement. In some situations (for example, for employers without a physical location or for employees who telework or work remotely and do not visit the employer’s workplace on a regular basis), it may be the only posting.”

Furthermore, consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the posters must be accessible to all applicants and employees, including those with limited mobility.

According to the EEOC, “printed notices should also be made available in an accessible format, as needed, to persons with disabilities that limit the ability to see or read. Notices can also be recorded on an audio file, provided in an electronic format that can be utilized by screen-reading technology or read to applicants or employees with disabilities that limit seeing or reading ability. A screen-readable electronic format is available.”

By way of the update, the new poster includes a QR code providing applicants or employees a direct link to instructions for how to file a charge of workplace discrimination with the EEOC.

The poster shares information about discrimination based on:

  • Race, color, sex (including pregnancy and related conditions, sexual orientation, or gender identity), national origin, religion
  • Age (40 and older)
  • Equal pay
  • Disability
  • Genetic information (including family medical history or genetic tests or services), and includes
  • Retaliation for filing a charge, reasonably opposing discrimination, or participating in a discrimination lawsuit, investigation, or proceeding.

The EEOC says it updated the poster to provide “plain language and bullet points” to make it easier to understand the rights of employees. The poster is more straightforward, and includes information that harassment is a prohibited form of discrimination. It also clarifies that sex discrimination includes discrimination based on pregnancy and related conditions, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Finally, the update includes information about equal pay discrimination and its applicability to federal contractors.

The poster is available in English and Spanish and will eventually be available in additional languages.

Employers should immediately replace their old posters with the updated one.

This poster does not supplement or change any posting requirements for employment laws governed by various state laws.

Karen Michael is an attorney and the president of Richmond-based Karen Michael PLC and author of “Stay Hired.” She can be reached at stayhired@stayhired.net.

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