By Tim Leeds
Local businesses have recently been receiving offers from various companies to sell them postings required by state and federal law.
The offers fail to tell the businesses that most of the required postings are available free of charge.
For example, a mailing from Personnel Concepts Limited in San Dimas, Calif., states that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has replaced its safety and health poster with a new version that's required to be posted.
It states "The law requires you to comply with updated Montana and federal labor law requirements." It warns that failure to comply with these requirements can result in fines or civil penalties of up to $7,000.
The mailing offers to sell the business a space saver/OSHA information poster for $49.95, or a laminated version for $59.95.
The mailing neglects to tell businesses that the same poster is available from the Havre Job Service Center free of charge, and is also available to be downloaded in PDF format from OSHAs web site, or preprinted copies can be ordered free of charge from the website.
The mailing also neglects to tell employers that, under OSHA requirements, the current workplace poster continues to meet requirements and does not need to be replaced.
As supplies of the current poster diminish it will simply be replaced with the new version.
Another mailing from The Montana Mandatory Poster Agency out of Helena tells employers that "our records indicate that most companies may not be in compliance with State and Federal regulations to post mandatory labor posters."
It warns of civil and criminal liabilities penalties, lists four postings required by state regulations and five required by federal regulations, and offers to sell the postings.
All of the federal requirements and the state minimum wage posting are on the new OSHA poster mentioned above.
The other state postings are sent to the business as they enroll in the programs, and replacements are available free of charge.
Bob Soper of the Havre Job Service said while there is nothing illegal about the offer to sell these free posters, there is no need to pay for them. Especially, he said, since your state and federal taxes have already paid for them once.
"There's some companies out there love to sell those," he said, "but we have them for free."
For more information about requirements and how to obtain required postings, contact Havre Job Service Business Advisor Barry Remus at 265-5847.
OSHA on the Net: