Everybody has seen posters in the break room where they work, right? The ones that talk about workplace safety and minimum wage. They look like this.
Earlier this month my director asked me make sure the minimum wage poster we display at work is up to date. She advised that I could download a pdf of the newest version from the Kansas Department of Labor (KDoL) website.
The website is http://www.dol.ks.gov/Laws/Posters.aspx and I when I visited, I was surprised at how many posters are available as free pdfs to download and print.
If you are considering paying for workplace posters, I would encourage you to consider printing your own as a less expensive alternative.
These posters all concern the rules and regulations of employment and contain information from government agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD), and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Some of the posters apply to every employee, such as the ones mentioned above. Other posters only apply to certain types of employees such as minors, workers with disabilities, or members of the armed services.
The number of posters was so many, that I asked myself “How many of these do I need to hang up?”
There are two questions to consider here. First, what are we required to post? Libraries are employers and we must provide certain informational posters where our employees can access them.
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) at https://www.sba.gov/managing-business/running-business/human-resources/workplace-posters “every employer covered by non-discrimination and EEO laws is required to post on its premises the poster, ‘Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law.’” These are federal laws, so they apply to everyone in the country. This is also true of the “Fair Labor Standards Act” poster and the “Occupational Safety and Health Act” poster. Since these federal acts apply to all of us, displaying the posters for them is required.
The Kansas Department of Labor website helpfully provides a list of each state and federal poster that Kansas employers are required to display.
The state posters required are:
- Child Labor (if employing persons under the age of 18)
- Unemployment Insurance
- Worker’s Compensation
- Equal Opportunity
- No Smoking
- Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
- The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPT)
- Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
The second question we should consider is, “how can we as librarians provide access to government information? “ Aside from our role as employers, we are also information professionals with a responsibility to encourage civic participation. Our library members may be in employment situations completely different from the library setting where we are employed. We have the chance to encourage participation in democracy by providing information about what rights are protected by the government.
For this reason, I encourage you to know about all the posters available, even the ones you are not required to post for your employees.
The answer to a crucial reference question for one of your library members might be on one of these posters!