January 11th, 2019
Recently our office received this slip of official-looking mail marked “2019 Update Notice” urging us to purchase a labor law poster to avoid potential penalties for non-compliance with federal and state posting regulations. Sounds pretty bureaucratic, right? And yet the “notice” does not come from the government.
The sender is Personnel Concepts, a company that makes labor law posters that has for years stuffed the mailboxes of employers with solicitations that are designed to look like they come from Uncle Sam. In the letter we received, the only clear indication that it was not from the government was this sentence, buried in the middle of a long column of text:
Our firm is a non-government publisher of copyrighted compliance poster compilations that are intended to help employers meet their legal obligations under labor law posting regulations.
Below this, there is the following disclaimer: “This is not an invoice. (Sure looks like one, see above.) You are under no obligation to pay.”
In fact, several have paid and been billed more than what they were expecting to pay. Three complaints to the BBB in just the last 30 days allege overcharging by Personnel Concepts, including one involving an order for three posters for $60 that ballooned to $600. More than 400 complaints against Personnel Concepts have been filed with the BBB in the last three years. Consumers have also complained about harassing phone calls.
Shipping and processing included, a laminated labor law poster from Personnel Concepts would have cost us around $20 (we think). But we quickly found several federal and state labor law posters available to download for free on our home state’s department of labor website. And who can argue with free?
Find more of our coverage on government imposters here.