Kate Risa

If you remind employers that they are obligated to post certain notices in their workplace, you might be told by many of them that it’s old news. For those that have 15 or more employees, it’s likely they are already well aware of the many agencies that regulate their operations and the notices that accompany compliance. 

What you might not know is the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission quietly updated and replaced its “Equal Employee Opportunity (EEO) is the Law” poster on Oct. 20, 2022, replacing it with the “Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal” poster.

So, what is different about the “Know Your Rights” poster?

Like the “EEO is the Law” poster, the new “Know Your Rights” poster describes certain parts of employment that can be challenged as forms of discrimination and details that discrimination can be based on an employee’s:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Sex
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Age (≥40 years old)
  • Equal pay
  • Disability
  • Genetic information
  • Retaliation for filing a charge

As far as enhancements, I like that the new “Know Your Rights” poster uses more straightforward language so we can clearly (and quickly) see and understand a basic summary of the laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace. I also appreciate the updated formatting with a QR code for ease of use and a clear explanation to employees and job applicants on how they can file a charge with the EEOC if they believe they have experienced discrimination. 

While no compliance deadline was noted by the EEOC when it released the “Know Your Rights” poster, covered employers should update their poster as soon as possible and use the “Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal” poster, marked “Revised 10/20/2022,” in their workplace. 

While it’s not as common to see an agency come onsite exclusively to monitor compliance with notice posting requirements, failing to comply with this requirement can make you an easy target if an agency does visit your facility

A willful failure to post the updated poster could cost you a fine of up to $612 per offense per location, and you may not just be limited to financial penalties. You should also consider noncompliance has, at times, been considered a sign of “bad faith,” which has the potential to impact claims litigation and could increase the amount of damages awarded to a plaintiff or eliminate your “good-faith” defense argument altogether. 

Finally, failure to post the applicable EEO poster has also been a basis to extend the statute of limitations due to the lack of notice on applicable time limits. In short, don’t wait to post the updated poster — you can download it from the EEOC’s website.

Kate Risa has over 20 years of Human Resources experience and has specialized in the senior living PEO industry for the last 10 years at Paychex.

The opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News guest submissions are the author’s and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News or its editors.