Every “employer, employment agency, labor organization, and joint labor management committee controlling an apprenticeship or other training program” covered by Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), or the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) must post notices describing the pertinent provisions of Title VII, ADA, or GINA. Such notices must be posted in “prominent and accessible places” where notices to employees, applicants, and members are customarily maintained.
With little fanfare, no preliminary notice, and no request for public comment, the EEOC issued a Final Rule on June 2, 2016 which raised the maximum penalty for violating that posting requirement from $210 to $525 per violation.
The Final Rule, which takes effect in 30 days, adjusts the penalty for inflation, pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the 2015 Act).
Under the 2015 Act, the EEOC, along with other federal agencies, is required to issue annual notices that adjust the maximum civil penalties that can be imposed for violations of certain regulations and laws. The 2015 Act specifies that if the initial inflation-adjusted penalty amount is larger than a 150 percent increase over the previous maximum penalty, then the increase will be limited to 150 percent.
According to the EEOC, the maximum penalty for a posting violation, adjusted for inflation since the initial penalty amount was set in 1997, should be $765. But because that amount exceeds a 150 percent increase, the penalty is capped at the 150 percent increase, or $525 per violation. That amount will be readjusted next year (and in each subsequent year) to account for further inflation.
According to the EEOC, because most employers covered by the regulations comply with the posting requirement, the economic impact of this Final Rule should be minimal, affecting only those who fail to post required notices in violation of the regulation and statue.
However, companies with multiple locations and multiple notices required should be aware of this $315 increase in penalty for each separate offense, and should check to assure that all posting requirements are met at every facility and in a way consistent with the regulation, to avoid unintended consequences.
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