Starting a business requires hard work. As an employer, you must accommodate the needs of your employees and clients as well as comply with the regulations set by the government. You must juggle these responsibilities while maintaining the profitability of your venture.

One aspect of workplace compliance includes putting up labor law posters in your office, such as the break room. It may seem like additional work on your end, especially since you should update the prints when new regulations are approved. Nonetheless, it’s a way for the government to protect employee rights.

The three significant reasons why you need to have labor laws posters in your break room are listed below:

  1. Comply with Government Mandates

As mentioned above, the government creates these posters and regulations to ensure that employees aren’t abused by their employers. Putting up these materials on your break room is mandatory because it’s relatively easy to overlook their importance. With this, the Department of Labor (DOL) must take the necessary measures to ensure compliance.

It can be tempting to reduce the clutter on your announcement boards. However, you must remember that you may end up being fined for not complying with the federal government and your state’s labor law mandates.

For small business owners, these are the six mandatory federal posters that you should put up if you have at least one full-time employee:

1. Equal Employment Opportunity Act – The EEO encompasses anti-discrimination provisions as well as characteristics that are protected by the law. The employer can be sued if they’re found to have discriminated against an employee based on race, color, religion, gender, or national origin.

2. Occupational Safety and Health Act – The OSH Act ensures that employees aren’t exposed to dangerous working conditions. It also includes conducting the necessary education and training on workplace safety.

3. Family and Medical Leave Act – The FMLA covers employee leave eligibility and benefits, one of which is job-protected, unpaid leave to care for an immediate family member. Mishandling employee leave is a common employment law mistake, so, you must be aware of the provisions in this act.

4. Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act – The USERRA promotes the employment rights of people in military service. It facilitates the search and retention of service members’ civilian jobs.

5. Fair Labor Standards Act – The FLSA is a regulation passed to protect workers against abuses, such as low wages and long hours. Employees are categorized into exempt and non-exempt, with the latter eligible for overtime wage at around one to five times their regular pay rate when they work for more than 40 hours in a week.

6. Employee Polygraph Protection Act – The EPPA prevents employers from breaching potential employees’ privacy by using lie detector tests for pre-employment screening. The practice is also not allowed even when job candidates have been hired by the organization. This poster should be displayed prominently where employees and applicants can see it.

  1. Inform Employees of Their Rights 

Another significance of posting labor law materials in places, such as your break room, is so that your employees can be reminded of their rights. While you may have gone through these regulations during the new-hire orientation, most workers forget about them as they learn the tasks and processes that entail their new roles.

Your break room is an ideal place to display these posters so that they can read them during their downtimes. Plus, having a central location for these resources enables your employees to go back to them when they feel that their rights have been violated.

  1. Promote Workplace Safety

When all employees know about their rights, it increases the workplace safety. This aspect isn’t only about your staff’s physical protection, but also their mental and emotional well-being.

For instance, in situations where a manager abuses their power, like singling out a team member to work overtime without pay, the worker has grounds to report their supervisor to the Human Resources Department. The case may even get to court, but the ideal step should be to resolve the issue within the company.

Labor law posters also have provisions against workplace harassment and other safety risks. Making your employees aware of these regulations can help foster a secure working environment for everyone.


The government has mandated all businesses to display labor law posters in prominent areas, like break rooms. It’s part of workplace compliance and should be followed by companies. The resources are intended to inform employees about their rights so that they won’t be subject to maltreatment from colleagues or bosses. Do let us know whether you have the labor law posters in your breakroom and how do they make you feel?

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to [email protected].