Magazine article HRMagazine

Must Employers Provide Labor Law Posters in Languages Other Than English?

Magazine article HRMagazine

Must Employers Provide Labor Law Posters in Languages Other Than English?

Article excerpt

Most federal and state labor law posters are not required to be posted in languages other than English, but some are. Employers must check each poster requirement carefully. Some agencies simply state that employees should be able to "readily read" the posters. In general, posters in multiple languages are recommended for multilingual workplaces. Federal or state regulations can specify everything from the wording of the poster to the size and font used.

While English remains the primary language required, several regulations dictate when posters must also appear in other languages. For example, federal Family and Medical Leave Act regulations state, "Where an employer's workforce is comprised of a significant portion of workers who are not literate in English, the employer shall provide the general notice in a language in which the employees are literate."

No similar regulation exists for the minimum wage poster required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, but the U.S. Labor Department advises, "Although there is no size requirement for the poster, employees must be able to readily read it." The department provides the poster in eight languages, including English, but it states on its website that "There is no requirement to post the poster in languages other than English."

Likewise, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states on its website, "OSHA regulations do not specify or require employers to display the OSHA poster in a foreign language. …

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