Small businesses are required to post certain legal documents in a place where every employee may see them. These documents are free and available online, but some businesses may have purchased them from a deceitful third-party company. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has charged a Florida company with misrepresenting itself as a government affiliate and for requiring businesses to buy and display its labor law posters. The complaint asserts that the company sent notices to new businesses explaining they were required to pay a fee for its posters, but these posters are free and do not need to be replaced each year. Brandon Frere, CEO and seasoned business professional, reminds small business owners to do their own research on legal requirements like those surrounding labor law poster notices.
The complaint in Florida asserts that the allegedly fraudulent company sent notices to new businesses explaining that they were obligated to display labor law posters and required to pay the company a fee for the posters. Further, the notices said that failure to comply would result in fines up to $17,000. The notices also cited federal laws and even included statutes that have since been repealed.
When consumers called the company’s phone number after they did not receive posters, an automated response would inform callers that all lines were busy and there was no option to leave a message. Also, once a business purchased the labor law poster, the company would send a notice the following year that said relevant laws had changed and a new poster was needed for another fee. Despite their claims, the company was not affiliated with the government, and these types of posters are available for free and do not need to be replaced each year. According to the complaint, the scammers allegedly collected more than $800,000 from more than 9,000 consumers.
Many small business owners may feel obligated to add value to the lives of their clients and employees. That mindset may make them natural targets for scams like the labor law poster scam company. Brandon Frere recommends diligence in researching companies trying to bill them.