Like many other dimensions of labor law compliance, labor law posters and workplace posting requirements are frequently updated, leaving businesses to negotiate shifting federal, state, and municipal protocols. We’re here to help you simplify the process, understand which laws apply to your business, and provide actionable recommendations so your business can remain compliant and focused on its core operations. In this article, we’ll explore which states mandate Spanish-language labor law posters and outline requirements for posting in other non-English languages based on workforce or location.
States That Mandate Spanish Labor Law Posters
Before we offer the practical steps that your business can take to ensure labor law poster compliance, we’ll first discuss which states explicitly require Spanish-language labor law posters/posting.
In sum, 19 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington D.C., have passed legislation that requires one or more labor law posters to be displayed in Spanish, regardless of whether your employees are Spanish-speaking. These states include all of the following:
Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington D.C.
To explore a few specific examples, in California, Notice to Employees - UI & DI & Paid Family Leave and Notice to Employees and Notice to Employees - Injuries Caused by Work, must both be posted in Spanish and English. In New York, Minimum Wage Information posters must be posted in Spanish and English, and in Arizona, Worker’s Compensation Insurance must be posted in Spanish and English (in one consolidated bilingual poster). Meanwhile, Texas uniformly requires that all labor law posters be posted in Spanish and English.
Bear in mind that three states (not yet mentioned) require one or more posters to be displayed in Spanish if an employer has a designated number of employees who are not literate in English. The designated number or percentage varies by state. These policies impact employers in Colorado, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.
As your business adapts to labor law poster policies at a federal and state level, remember that some local municipalities (counties and cities) have additional foreign language requirements for labor law posters.
Accommodating Non-English Languages Other Than Spanish
Labor law poster protocols in certain states and local municipalities require display in languages other than Spanish and English.
For example, in Illinois, certain industry-specific posters must be displayed in Polish (in addition to English and Spanish). Other posters like the Pregnancy Rights Notice and the Day and Temporary Services Labor Act are required in Polish if it is a “language generally understood in the locale of the agency.” Explore our related article on labor law poster protocols in Illinois to learn more about these state and municipal requirements.
Similarly, in New York, the Minimum Wage Information poster should be provided in languages other than English or Spanish if the workforce is primarily or moderately composed of speakers of those languages (whether Chinese, Somali, or another non-English or non-Spanish language).
Practical Guidance & Suggestions
With so many distinct labor law poster policies in place at federal, state, county, and local levels, many businesses are predictably (and fairly) left with questions about how to proceed.
Since the overall goal of posting requirements is to ensure clear and equitable communication of labor law policies to all employees, many legal experts recommend displaying posters in English and Spanish, regardless of whether a federal, state, or municipal agency mandates posting in Spanish. With nearly 50% of all states in the US designating some requirements regarding bilingual or multilingual labor law posters, this legal trend towards mandated posting in English and Spanish is likely to continue.
This approach is further validated as businesses consider federal regulations like the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which requires posting in Spanish if a “significant portion” of employees is not English-literate. The issue with mandates like these is that the FMLA does not quantitatively define “significant portion,” leaving many employers to err on the side of caution in order to ensure clear communication of labor law policies and to avoid a potential legal dispute due to misinterpretation of terms. Additionally, since almost twenty states already require bilingual posting irrespective of workforce demographics, adopting a proactive approach is advisable.
The same logic applies in considering posting for languages other than English or Spanish. Closely consider whether your workforce demographics warrant posting in languages other than English and Spanish, and stay attuned to any county or local labor law poster requirements that may mandate posting in other languages. In the end, a proactive strategy protects your business against employee complaints or legal actions that could be linked to labor law poster infractions.
Ensure Labor Law Poster Compliance with CAVU HCM
CAVU HCM is led by experts in state and federal labor law policies, who can help your business achieve full compliance with labor law poster requirements and a host of other human capital management needs. Are you looking for a complete payroll solution that is custom-built for your business? Let us help you focus on your business’ essential operations while we manage your entire payroll process, including time and attendance, yearly filings, application of tax credits, and more, to stay compliant with all of the latest labor law updates. Contact us today to start our collaboration.