A number of states require employers to distribute certain notices or policies to employees annually. Notices may be required at the beginning of the year, and at other times as well, such as upon of hire or request of the employee. Employers may also be required to display notices in the workplace.
Here are seven types of notices or policies that employers may need to distribute annually, depending on the jurisdiction.
Earned income tax credit:
Several states require employers to provide employees with notices about the state and/or federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For example, California employers are required to notify all employees of the federal and state EITCs. Employers must furnish the notice within one week before or after, or at the same time, they provide employees with an annual wage summary (W-2 or 1099). Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, and Texas have their own annual EITC notice requirements.
Leave of absence:
Some states have leave of absence laws that include requirements for providing annual notice to employees. Here are four examples:
- California: Generally, California employers that maintain an employee handbook and have five or more employees must either: 1) include in the handbook a notice with a description of pregnancy-disability leave and other pregnancy rights under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, or 2) provide the notice to employees at least annually.
- Connecticut: Effective July 1, 2022, all employers must provide written notices to employees at the time of hire and annually thereafter about their rights to paid family and medical leave and family violence leave under state law.
- District of Columbia. Employers must inform their employees about the District of Columbia’s paid family leave program annually. The annual notice is due to existing employees at least once between February 1, 2020 and February 1, 2021, and at least once per year every following year.
- New York. The state of New York requires employers with 20 or more employees to notify employees in writing of their right to blood donation leave. Employers can satisfy this requirement by posting a notice in a prominent spot in an area where employees congregate or by providing notice to employees directly. If the notice is provided directly to employees, it must be delivered annually no later than January 15.
Harassment, discrimination, and whistleblower protections:
Depending on your state, you may be required to provide annual notices to employees about harassment discrimination, and whistleblower laws. Here are some examples:
- Massachusetts and Maine require employers to distribute their sexual harassment policy to employees annually. New York requires that employers furnish a notice during annual sexual harassment training.
- New Jersey employers with 10 or more workers must provide employees with the Conscientious Employee Protection Act ("Whistleblower Act") notice annually. New Jersey employers with 50 or more employees must also provide a notice advising employees of their right to gender equality annually.
State-run retirement programs:
A growing number of states are creating state-run retirement programs that workers in the private sector can join. Even though these programs are run by the state and don't require (or even allow) employers to contribute to them, they typically still impose some notice and other obligations on employers. For example, Connecticut requires employers with five or more employees that don’t offer a retirement plan to provide employees with informational materials regarding the state’s program within 30 days of hiring and annually thereafter.
Annual changes to state and local minimum wages and to state minimum salary requirements for exemption from overtime can trigger obligations to distribute notices to impacted employees. For example, Minnesota, whose minimum wage will increase on January 1, 2022, requires that employers furnish each employee with a written notice of any change in pay before the change takes effect.
Some states have annual notice requirements related to workplace safety, health, and/or benefits. For example:
- Connecticut requires employers to post a list of carcinogenic substances used or produced in the manufacture of any item at the workplace, or used or produced for purposes of research, experimentation, or treatment. The list must be shared annually with current employees on January 1.
- In Illinois, employers that provide group health insurance coverage must provide employees a written list of covered benefits upon hire and annually thereafter.
Several local jurisdictions have their own annual notice requirements. Check your local laws and regulations for details.
Employers should make sure they understand the annual notice requirements that apply to their business and ensure compliance.