Federal agencies Fines/penalties

OSHA civil penalties set to increase in August


Photo: Eldad Carin/iStock/Thinkstock

Washington – The Department of Labor has announced a pair of interim final rules that allow OSHA to adjust its civil penalties to account for inflation.

The first rule pertains to the majority of civil penalties, while the second rule covers penalties associated with the H-2B temporary guest worker program. DOL also published a fact sheet on the rules.

OSHA’s maximum penalty for serious violations will increase to $12,471 from $7,000. The agency’s top penalty for willful or repeated violations will jump to $124,709 from $70,000. OSHA’s maximum penalties have not increased since 1990.

“Civil penalties should be a credible deterrent that influences behavior far and wide,” Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said in a press release. “Adjusting our penalties to keep pace with the cost of living can lead to significant benefits for workers and can level the playing field [for] responsible employers who should not have to compete with those who don’t follow the law.”

The interim final rules were announced June 30 – one day before the required deadline under the 2015 Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act. Comments on the interim final rules will be due 45 days after the rules are published in the Federal Register.

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