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Are you required to post Spanish labor notices?

November 12, 2013

Barran Liebman
Oregon Law Firm

DOL Issues the Spanish Version of the Family Medical Leave Act Notice;
Is Your Company Required to Use it?

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a covered employer (generally one with at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius) is required to provide notice to employees of their benefits and leave rights. The notice must be posted “prominently where it can be readily seen by employees and applicants for employment.” The employer must post the notice at any location where it has employees, even if those employees would not be FMLA-eligible.

In February 2013, the Department of Labor revised their English version of the required FMLA notice. Now, the Department of Labor has issued the Spanish version.

FMLA regulations provide that where the “employer’s workforce is comprised of a significant portion of workers who are not literate in English, the employer is required to provide the general notice in the language which the employees are literate.” The regulation, however, does not define a “significant portion of workers.” Such ambiguity can lead, and in certain related instances has led, to employers finding themselves in hot water for not providing adequate notice in a language employees can understand. Accordingly, where a covered employer has employees whose primary language is not English, the employer should err on the side of caution and include a notice in those employees’ primary language.

To help you get started, here is a link to the DOL’s Spanish Version of the required notice.

  
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