October 25, 2022Newsletter

“EEO is [Still] THE LAW” But EEOC Gives Workplace Poster a Facelift

At long last, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has replaced its “Equal Employment Opportunity is THE LAW” poster with an updated version titled “Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal.” According to the EEOC, the new poster clarifies its position on several topics and uses “plain language and bullet points” to make it “easier for employers” and workers to understand their rights and obligations. According to the EEOC’s October 25, 2022 FAQs, employers should begin using the new poster “within a reasonable amount of time.”

The new poster’s updates include:

  • rewriting the poster in simpler language and bullet points to make it easier for employees to understand, better highlighting who is protected by federal employment discrimination laws, and what types of conduct constitute unlawful discrimination;
  • identifying harassment as a type of unlawful discrimination;
  • providing more information to employees on how to obtain assistance from the EEOC in the event they believe their rights are being violated, including a QR code that links directly to an EEOC website with instructions for employees on how to file a charge of workplace discrimination with the EEOC;
  • clarifying that sex discrimination includes discrimination based upon pregnancy and related conditions, as well as gender identity and sexual orientation;
  • providing information about equal pay discrimination for federal contractors; and
  • identifying union members and applicants for membership in a union as among individuals protected by federal discrimination laws, as well as unions as organizations covered by the laws.

Employers subject to Title VII (generally those with 15 or more employees) must place the poster in their physical work locations in “a conspicuous location where notice to applicants and employees are customarily posted.” The EEOC also “encourages” employers to include the poster on their internal and external websites, noting that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that notice of federal discrimination laws be made available in a location that is accessible to applicants and employees with limited mobility. Reading between the lines, the EEOC seems to be taking the position that electronic posting is required for applicants who do not come into the physical worksite and employers with no physical worksite (e.g., all employees telework), and possibly those with only some remote workers who rarely, if ever, come into the office. Covered government contractors and subcontractor must put at least a link to the poster in a conspicuous location on their career sites and also their intranet if they have any remote employees.

Several versions of the Know Your Rights poster are available on the “Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal” Poster website, including a Spanish version, one optimized for screen readers, and one in HTML for posting digitally. Versions in other languages will be added as the EEOC finishes the translations.

Of course, in addition to the Know Your Rights poster, a number of other federal agencies require employment-related workplace postings. The Department of Labor has a webpage for Federal Workplace Posters  with links and frequently asked questions. Various states and localities also have employment related postings. Employers should confirm annually that their postings are up to date in all their work locations and on any digital formats.

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