On October 19, 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released their new “Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal” poster. It replaces their old “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law” poster that had been in place for more than a decade.
The new “Know Your Rights” poster features some substantial changes. One of these new changes includes the use of new language which outlines the definition of sex discrimination which is also linked to gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy. A second change is the new design which focuses on employment practices that could also violate workplace discrimination laws. The poster enforces workers’ rights and explains that workplace discrimination is illegal.
What Is the EEOC’s “Know Your Rights” Poster? And Why Is It Important?
The mission of the EEOC is to advance equal opportunity as well as prevent and put right unlawful employment discrimination for all individuals in the workplace.
The new EEOC “Know Your Rights” poster is designed in such a way that it clearly presents the factors which employers cannot use to discriminate against employees in the workplace. These factors are presented in a bulleted list using simple language which is much easier for anyone reading the poster to understand.
The new poster clearly explains that workplace discrimination is illegal and harassment is also prohibited in the workplace. The poster states that harassment is a form of discrimination. An important feature of the new poster is that it clarifies that sex discrimination also includes discrimination based on pregnancy, discrimination based on gender identity, and discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Another important addition to the EEOC “Know Your Rights” poster is the QR code. This links applicants and current employees to instructions which show how they can file a complaint if they have been a victim of workplace discrimination or harassment.
The poster is currently available in English and Spanish, but more languages are to be added.
What’s New In the “Know Your Rights” Poster?
The new poster offers simpler, more accessible language and explanations of workplace discrimination and according to the EEOC Chair, Charlotte A. Burrows, “the new ‘Know Your Rights’ poster is a win-win for employers and workers alike because it uses plain language and bullet points.
This new ‘Know Your Rights’ poster makes it easier for employers to understand their legal responsibilities and for workers to understand their legal rights and how to contact the EEOC for assistance, if required. The poster advances the EEOC’s mission which is to prevent unlawful employment discrimination and remedy discrimination when it occurs.”
There are a number of key changes included in the new “Know Your Rights” poster. These include:
- using simple formatting and language;
- adding a QR code so that people can scan the code and be directed to the right webpage that explains how to file a charge;
- emphasizing that sex discrimination is based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy;
- emphasizing that harassment is also a form of discrimination that is prohibited;
- offering information on equal pay discrimination in relation to federal contractors.
What Does This Mean for Workers in the United States?
The EEOC’s goal with their new “Know Your Rights” poster is to make sure that workers’ rights were clearer and more accessible than ever before. The employers are told that the poster needs to be placed in all areas of the workplace while also considering anyone who has a disability. This is a breakthrough for workers as it makes them feel less intimidated to complain if they have been the subject of discrimination or harassment in the workplace.
This new poster is clearly beneficial to workers and their employers as it explains in simple language that discrimination and harassment are illegal in the workplace. However, if you believe you have been the victim of discrimination or harassment in your workplace, working with an attorney can help determine if you have a claim. Complete the Free Case Evaluation on this page to get connected with an independent participating attorney who subscribes to the website.