What Is the Difference Between a Notice and a Poster?

Date Posted: 11/05/2021

A state, federal, or local law may require employers to give employees information about that law. An employer may be required to post the information or provide the information in a notice.

While these requirements are similar, there are some important differences between a notice and poster.


A notice is given directly to an employee. It is not posted on the wall.

A law may specify how a notice is be distributed. It may be:

  • Given directly to an employee.  
  • Mailed or emailed to the employee.
  • Included in an employee handbook.

If a law does not detail the method of distribution, giving the notice directly the employee will ensure that the employee receives it.

Article Where Posters Needed


Labor law posters are posted on the wall of the workplace.

They must be placed in a conspicuous location, where they are clearly visible to all employees. They may be placed in an employee break room or near a common entrance, for example.

Labor law posters must be displayed at all physical workplaces. When employees work remotely, electronic posters are highly recommended. These posters can be placed on a company’s intranet site or in a shared folder that is accessible to all employees.

Common posting and notice requirements

Commonly required federal posters include:

  • Employee Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Employee Rights Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Employee Rights: Employee Polygraph Protection Act
  • Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law
  • Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law!

Required notices may include:

  • IRS Notice 797: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires employers to notify employees of the Earned Income Credit (EIC) when an employer does not withhold income tax. Employers send the notice to covered employees.
  • COBRA notices: Group health plans must provide notices explaining COBRA rights to covered employees and their families.
  • Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notices: Employers must provide written notice at least 60 calendar days in advance of covered plant closings and mass layoffs.
  • State notices: Examples of state notices include:
    • Missouri Notice to Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence Leave Time Allowed
    • New York Blood Donation Leave Notice
    • New York Nursing Mothers Rights Notice
    • California Disability Insurance Provisions, DE 2515, Notice

The notices listed above must be provided to covered employees when required.

Post or provide notice?

In a few cases, a law allows an employer to choose how to make employees aware of a law. Employers could display a poster or provide employees with a notice of the law, such as by including information in an employee handbook or emailing the information to employees.

For example, the federal “Your Rights Under USERRA” (Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act) poster can be displayed or the full text of the notice can be emailed or distributed to employees.

When a law gives employers this option, the poster is included on the all-in-one labor law posters from J. J. Keller & Associates. This allows employers to fulfill the requirement by posting the information.

For additional information on required postings, see the Labor Law Poster Information Report.