Conducting business in the Virgin Islands poses unique challenges not often encountered in the states, but also unique opportunities. This 20-part blog series will offer tips for doing business in the U.S. Virgin Islands, covering a broad array of topics affecting employers. Part two of this series addresses required employment law posters.
Tip 2: U.S. Virgin Islands Enacts Legislation Mandating Required Employment Law Posters
On January 18, 2020, Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. signed into law Act No. 8252. This law requires certain employers to post in a conspicuous place inside each site of operation (or include in a handbook distributed to all employees, if posting inside the business is not possible) certain mandated posters. Covered entities are those licensed to conduct business in the Virgin Islands that employ five or more persons. The relevant posters describe:
- employee rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act;
- employee rights under U.S. Virgin Islands law;
- the Employee Polygraph Protection Act;
- the Family and Medical Leave Act;
- the Equal Employment Opportunity Act;
- the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act; and
- job safety and health requirements pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
Violations are punishable by an administrative fine of not less than $25 and not more than $5,000, as determined by a four-member administrative hearing board. Decisions of the hearing board are final, except if vacated or otherwise modified by the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands at the conclusion of an appeal. The act specifies that the commissioner of labor is to formulate rules and regulations governing the administrative review process.
In addition to displaying posters, employers with operations in the U.S. Virgin Islands may wish to create a photographic or other record of the display of such information in order to have available as part of the response to any alleged violation of the posting requirement, or any alleged violation of the substantive laws addressed in these posters. Employers also may wish to evaluate other mechanisms for ensuring compliance with applicable law, including training managers, supervisors, and human resource professionals about the laws applicable to the workplace.
Ogletree Deakins will post additional tips for employers doing business in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2020 on the firm’s U.S. Virgin Islands blog.