Cinco de Mayo gives us the opportunity to highlight one sometimes-overlooked aspect of employment law compliance — Spanish labor law postings. In honor of the Mexican holiday, here are five things to know about labor law postings in Spanish.
Uno – Why Spanish?
An estimated 41 million Americans, about 13.5 percent, speak Spanish.
As of May 2020, GovDocs researchers were tracking more than 1,600 Spanish labor law postings across the U.S. Typically, states with more Spanish-speaking residents — California, Texas, etc. — have more of these postings.
But in recent years, there has been rise in the number of labor law postings available in Spanish, as well as those required to be displayed. (Labor law postings in other languages have also grown lately.)
Spanish Labor Law Poster Program
Dos – Posting Requirements
Out of those 1,600-plus Spanish labor law postings, most are optional for employers to display.
And those that are required to be displayed are often tied to the number of Spanish-speaking workers an employer has on the payroll.
For example, California’s posting related to family care and medical leave and pregnancy disability leave is required for employers with 50 or more workers with at least 10 percent of the workforce speaking Spanish only. However, other postings must be displayed regardless of the composition of the workforce. The state’s barbering and cosmetology posting is required for all such businesses licensed by the state.
Employers should also note that many cities across the U.S. require all employers to display certain types of Spanish labor law postings, minimum wage being a good example.
Lastly, many states require these postings for laws related to human trafficking and discrimination.
Tres – E-Verify
One area where Spanish labor law postings are often required is for E-Verify.
E-Verify — the federal system used to confirm employees are authorized to work in the U.S. — is a voluntary program for most employers, but mandatory for some, including federal contractors, several states and a city in Nebraska.
Quatro – Recommended
As mentioned above, many labor law postings are not required to be posted in Spanish.
However, most government agencies recommend businesses display Spanish versions of labor law postings, often making them available to employers. There are many reasons why doing so may be prudent:
- Workplace safety
- Liability considerations
- Defense against potential litigation
- Creating an inclusive workplace
At least 43 states provide agency-translated postings.
Cinco – Puerto Rico
Last on our list of things to know about Spanish labor law postings is that Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory where most of the population speaks Spanish, does not have requirements that postings must be displayed in English.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!