Have you or your employees received an “urgent” letter stating your labor law posters are out of date? Or have you ever been subject to a surprise “audit” by a mysterious agency? You’re not alone.
After the flurry of updates to start the new year, unsavory characters may try to employ scams. Here are some of the most common labor law poster vendor scare tactics you and your location managers need to know about.
Poster Update Notice
This scam looks like an urgent poster update notification (email, mail, etc.) with legal jargon about fines for noncompliance. But, upon further investigation, it turns out to be an order form for a new labor law poster set.
The vendor’s intention is to trick you into ordering new (perhaps unnecessary) posters with the attached form. However, you and/or your locations should not purchase the new poster set, as the sender does not actually know any of your company details or compliance needs. Too often, those who receive these notifications will submit payment in fear of noncompliance and receive a poster that doesn’t meet their needs.
‘Open Immediately’ Letter to Individual Locations
Companies with many locations across U.S. are challenged with managing labor law poster updates across multiple jurisdictions, which can be further complicated by the “Open Immediately” scam.
This scare tactic starts with an individual company location receiving an urgent “open immediately” message with a noncompliance fine warning inside.
It’s common for location managers to fall for this scam, as these messages often attempt to mimic communication from the company’s corporate office. Locations believe the warning is valid and feel the need to purchase whatever poster is offered in the communication.
To prevent this from happening, make sure your location managers understand how your labor law poster program works, and that they should not respond to these types of notices.
The Fake Audit
In recent years, a few companies have mentioned a new type of labor law poster scare tactic – the fake audit.
Basically, this happens when an “auditor” visits an individual location, explaining he or she was sent from a “state agency” to inspect labor law posters. The individual then issues a poster-requirements form with a fake agency name and a list of posters the location needs to buy, along with an order form.
Many location managers fall for this seemingly legitimate scam. To prevent it, educate your location managers on your vendor and what is included in your labor law poster compliance program. Also, ask your location managers to inform your company’s corporate compliance team when a surprise audit occurs. That way, you can determine whether it is a legitimate or fake audit.
Compliance is challenging enough without the added fear that your location managers may be duped by scammers.
Employers should make sure processes are in place to address potential concerns, educate location staff about the potential for scams, and communicate your labor law poster vendor’s procedures.
This blog was originally posted in 2019.