It is time to update your workplace signage. On October 19, 2022, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a new workers’ rights poster, which it quickly revised and re-issued on October 20, 2022. The new “Know Your Rights” poster replaces the EEOC’s “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law” poster, which had been in place for more than a decade, and it features several substantive changes.
By law, employers covered under the federal equal employment opportunity laws enforced by the EEOC, i.e., the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Equal Pay Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) (collectively, “EEO laws”), must prominently post a notice summarizing employees’ rights and protections under the EEO laws at the employers’ work sites.
The updated poster includes new language explaining that the definition of sex discrimination covers discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy, including related conditions (which was affirmed by the Supreme Court in 2021). The new design also calls attention to the types of employment practices that could be subject to a challenge, providing a bulleted list of various forms of unlawful discrimination, including harassment and failure to provide a reasonable accommodation.
As before, the poster advises that employees and job applicants can file a charge if they believe an employer subjected them to unlawful discrimination or retaliation, but the new design makes this information more prominent. In addition, a new feature is a QR code, which provides digital access to an EEOC web page geared toward employees, instructing on How to File a Charge of Employment Discrimination.
What Should Employers Do?
As explained by the EEOC, the posters:
should be placed in a conspicuous location in the workplace where notices to applicants and employees are customarily posted. In addition to physically posting, covered employers are encouraged to post the notice digitally on their web sites in a conspicuous location. In most cases, electronic posting supplements the physical posting requirement. In some situations (for example, for employers without a physical location or for employees who telework or work remotely and do not visit the employer’s workplace on a regular basis), it may be the only posting.
Of additional note, the ADA requires employers to make notices of federal laws prohibiting job discrimination available in a location accessible to applicants and employees with disabilities that limit mobility. According to the EEOC’s “Frequently Asked Questions” bulletin, employers should post the new version “within a reasonable amount of time,” and any employers that have already posted the October 19, 2022 notice must replace it with the one marked “(Revised 10/20/2022).”
Printable versions of the poster are currently available in English and Spanish and will also be published in other languages. Versions designed for electronic publishing are also available in English and Spanish as well as in a format optimized for screen readers. Many employers meet their posting obligations by purchasing an “all in one” poster from a reputable supplier and subscribing for updates. Employers who do this should promptly post the update upon receipt.