On October 19, 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released the "Know Your Rights" poster, which officially supersedes the previous "EEO is the Law" poster. Numerous federal laws enforced by the EEOC require covered employers to post notices describing different forms of prohibited workplace discrimination. The new poster summarizes these laws and informs employees about how they can file a charge of discrimination. For example, the "Know Your Rights" poster includes information about discrimination based on:
- Race, color, sex, national origin, and religion
- Age (40 and older)
- Equal pay
- Genetic information
Like the prior poster, the new "Know Your Rights" poster is mandatory for all employers within the EEOC's jurisdiction. This includes most private sector employers with at least 15 employees, state and local government agencies, unions, and educational institutions.
While the "Know Your Rights" poster is not a fundamental change from the previous version of this mandatory notice, there are some important updates for an employer's radar. The new "Know Your Rights" poster includes several significant updates, such as:
- Specifically stating that harassment is a prohibited form of discrimination.
- Clarifying that "sex" discrimination includes discrimination based on pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
- Adding a QR code for employees to scan that directly links to instructions for filing a charge of workplace discrimination with the EEOC.
As with the prior poster, employers who fail to display the EEOC's "Know Your Rights" posters may face noncompliance penalties. While no specific deadline has been set for displaying the updated poster, new FAQ guidance from the EEOC instructs employers to do so "within a reasonable amount of time." Furthermore, an EEOC spokesperson has specifically directed that employers should put up the new poster "as soon as possible." Given that compliance merely requires employers to download and print a two-page PDF, employers are advised to move quickly.
Additionally, the EEOC requires that employers display the poster "in a conspicuous location in the workplace where notices to applicants and employees are customarily posted." In addition to this physical posting requirement, the EEOC also encourages employers to post a notice digitally on their websites. If your company or organization has any questions regarding compliance with EEOC poster requirements, or federal discrimination law generally, please contact the authors of this article or any attorney in Venable's Labor and Employment Group.