Penalty Increase for EEOC Positing Violations Now in Effect

Date Posted: 03/31/2023

Penalty goes up for EEOC posting violation

As of March 23, 2023, the penalty for failing to post the “Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal” poster from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is $659 for each separate offense.

The penalty increase was announced in the Federal Register. Employers with 15 or more employees must display the poster, which describes employee rights under anti-discrimination laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Posting updated in October 2022

The EEOC released the “Know Your Rights” posting in October 2022 as a replacement for the “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law” posting.

The updated posting clarifies that sex discrimination includes discrimination based on pregnancy and related conditions, sexual orientation, or gender identity and notes that harassment is a prohibited form of discrimination.

Know Your Rights

In addition, the “Know Your Rights” poster includes a quick response (QR) code that links to a webpage with information on how to file a charge of discrimination.

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to bring another change

Employers are currently required to display the “Know Your Rights” poster with an October 2022 revision date.

An updated version of the poster is expected to be released by June 27, 2023, when the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act takes effect.

The Act was signed in December as part of a spending bill and will provide employees with protections relating to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Information about these protections will be added to the poster, and employers will be required to display the updated version.

Annual increase required under law

Each year, the penalty for failing to post the EEOC’s mandatory poster increases. The adjustment for inflation is required under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.

Other federal agencies are required to increase penalties under the law as well, and the Department of Labor (DOL) announced its posting penalty increases in January. The DOL’s maximum posting violations are as follows:

  • Occupational Safety and Health Act: $15,625 for each violation
  • Family and Medical Leave Act: $204 for each separate offense
  • Employee Polygraph Protection Act: $24,793

Effective dates for updated penalties

The EEOC’s updated penalty applies to violations assessed after March 23, 2023, and the DOL’s updated penalties apply to penalties assessed after January 15, 2023.

To avoid penalties, post as required

Employers can avoid posting penalties by properly displaying all required labor law posters. To do this:

  • Display all postings required under federal, state, and local laws
  • Prominently place posters in an area that is easily accessible to employees
  • Keep posters up-to-date; make sure the October 2022 version of the “Know Your Rights” poster is on the wall
  • Make sure posters are readable and not defaced

If employees work remotely from their home, it is a best practice to make the posters electronically available.

Post for applicants as well

The “Know Your Rights” posting must be visible to applicants as well as employees.

If a workplace’s labor law posters are not displayed in an area where applicants are likely to view them, a copy the “Know Your Rights” posting should by placed in an interview room or another location where it is likely to be seen by job applicants.

Posting Penalties Summary