There is no question that our workplaces look different today than last year. With the explosion of remote and hybrid workplaces though, some employers have wondered if the U.S. Department of Labor required notice requirements have changed. And, the DOL has released new guidance from the Wage and Hour Division.
The new guidance requirements relate to the notice and posting requirements for remote workers as federal law, including the Family and Medical Leave Act and Fair Labor Standards Act require the posting of notices of rights in conspicuous location. The new DOL bulletin clarifies when electronic forms are appropriate and legal to satisfy these federal requirements because traditionally, they were satisfied with posters and bulletin boards located in break rooms and lobbies.
For one-time notice requirements, the new guidance allows for e-mail delivery. For continuous-posting requirements, like those usually posted in high-traffic areas, it depends on whether the workplace is a hybrid or fully remote workplace. For a hybrid workplace, where employees are not 100% out of the office, the posting requirements remain the same.
For those workplaces that have transitioned entirely to remote work, the DOL now allows for electronic posting, like on a highly-trafficked webpage. This would likely be on the company’s primary “landing” page where employees begin their workday, but only if the company normally posts notices on a regular basis. These postings must be readily available though. This means that employees can access them without requesting them, and of course, employers must notify their employees how and where to access these new, electronic notices. Employers cannot simply post their notices to a little-known or unknown website.
This summary is by no means a legal consult or an exhaustive explanation of the new DOL guidelines for New York, New York, employers. This is why it is so important to contact an attorney immediately when workplace conditions substantially change. This is because, even when an employer was in compliance, when workplace conditions change compliance may change as well.