On June 30, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced two interim final rules that adjust civil penalties for various violations as required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. The Act requires agencies to 1) adjust the level of civil monetary penalties with an initial "catch-up" adjustment through an interim final rulemaking (IPR); and (2) make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation. Agencies were required to publish interim final rules by July 1, 2016, and have the new penalty levels take effect no later than August 1, 2016.
The DOL penalties that are relevant to providers are within the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Wage and Hour Division (WHD). Specifically, the interim final rule means that:
- OSHA’s maximum penalties, which have not been raised since 1990, will increase by 78 percent. The top penalty for serious violations will rise from $7,000 to $12,471. The maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations will increase from $70,000 to $124,709.
- WHD’s penalty for willful violations of the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act will increase from $1,100 to $1,894.
The DOL's fact sheet on the rules in available here.