America’s SBDC Blog

A “Forbes 100 Best Websites for Entrepreneurs”

Employee Handouts: A Workplace Requirement You May Not be Aware of – but Should Be!

By ComplyRight –

Employee Handouts GuideDid you know you must distribute certain handouts to employees? This may be news to many small business employers, but it shouldn’t be because ignoring this responsibility carries some pretty hefty fines.

Along with year-long labor law posting compliance, you’re also required by federal, state and local laws to provide written notices under specific circumstances. It’s an additional compliance requirement that is more easily managed with the right resources.

What You Need to Know About Handouts

If this is the first time you’re hearing about employee handouts, here are some quick facts to get you up to speed:

  • Nationwide, there are more than 400 potential federal and state notices, based on specific employee-related events
  • In addition to the 12 federal notices, each state has its own requirements; in a single state, this could mean more than 30 employee notifications
  • Depending on the underlying state or federal law, some notices are necessary for all newly hired employees
  • Other notices are triggered by specific incidents, such as: employee benefits open enrollment, requests for leave, workplace injuries, pregnancy and termination

As you can see, mandatory employee handouts function similar to labor law postings, with the same challenges for time-strapped employers. They vary from state to state, they change frequently, they must be researched and tracked down through various agencies, and they can lead to costly penalties and legal complications if you don’t comply.

That last point is a big deal, especially for small businesses with tight budgets. As with labor law postings, the penalties for noncompliance with these regulations can be severe. Federal penalties can add up to $20,521 per violation, just for failing to provide required notices or using outdated notices. Daily fines can also apply when notices are not provided within the timeframe specified by law, ranging from $100-$500 per violation at the state level.

While fines can be costly, the bigger danger with notice violations is the risk of employee lawsuits. Under some laws, you can lose certain defenses if you fail to notify your employees of their rights. The statute of limitations, for example, limits the timeframe in which an employee can sue an employer for a particular offense. But in recent years, courts have increasingly extended the statute of limitations in cases where an employer did not give proper notice of employee rights. This can also lead to larger judgments, just because certain workplace notices were not distributed at the right times.

Failure to comply with required employee notices can also be used as evidence of bad faith, which can increase the damages awarded in an employment-related lawsuit. All of these facts point to the importance of staying on top of the notice requirements and getting them into the hands of employees according to the law.

Get Expert Help with Exclusive, Attorney-Developed Service

Fortunately, all of these concerns can be managed! The Mandatory Employee Handout Service is an annual service that provides immediate digital access to all required employee notifications, federal, state, and city/county too.

The notification files may be downloaded and printed unlimited times throughout the year via the member web portal, You’re covered by 365 days of continual legal monitoring by our in-house legal team, as well as automatic updates whenever requirements change. You’ll receive email communications about any updates – and you can take advantage of online instructions and filters to identify which handouts to use and when.

For additional information and practical guidance, you can also check out the free e-guide, Mandatory Labor Law Handouts: What Employers Need to Know.


ComplyRightAbout ComplyRight: ComplyRight’s mission is to free employers from the burden of tracking and complying with the complex web of federal, state and local employment laws, so they can stay focused on managing and growing their businesses. ComplyRight tracks federal, state and local regulatory activity, creates practical, affordable solutions that streamline essential tasks, and complements these solutions with educational content and actionable guidance. From hiring and training, to time tracking and recordkeeping, to labor law posting and tax information reporting, ComplyRight’s innovative products and services address the real-world challenges employers face every day.

Subscribe to our Blog

Monthly Archives