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DOL Guidance for Notices in The New Remote Workplace

Jan. 27, 2021

Running a business has many pitfalls, but 2020 may be the biggest pitfall of all. Many workplaces transitioned entirely out of the office, something that may have never even been contemplated. Many of these employers may have wondered if their required employee notice requirements changed as well. And, to answer that question, the U.S. Department of Labor released new guidance.

Federal Requirements

Currently, several federal laws (Fair Labor Standards Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, etc.) require permanent postings in high-traffic areas of employee rights. Others, like the Service Contract Act, require individual notices to employees directly.

New DOL Guidance

So, the answer on how to comply with these employment law requirements, will break down to how much a workplace has transitioned to remote work. For hybrid workplaces, where employees still come into the office, even if only sporadically, the current notice requirements remain unchanged. Those notices required to be in high-traffic areas, like break rooms, are sufficient, and employee handout notice given directly to employees are still compliant.

For those offices that have transitioned 100% to telework though, the rules have changed. For these workplaces, e-mails can now be used for individualized notices, and website postings can be used for permanent postings that would normally be in high-trafficked areas. These cannot be on websites that require an employee to request access, third-party websites or little-used or never-used websites. Instead, these must be webpages where notices and important information or normally utilized.

The Takeaways

While this guidance was designed to be helpful, it some ways it made our new remote workplaces a bit more confusing for Atlanta, Georgia, businesses. This is why it is so important to contact an attorney when significant changes happen to our offices. Employers have enough on their mind without having to worry about non-compliance.