Company executives woke up this week to the ringing of a cash register. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the sound of higher earnings, it was the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) counting more and more corporate dollars. The DOL recently published the annual increases in civil money penalties required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Improvements Act of 2015. Because the DOL enforces a broad range of employment laws regulating immigration, occupational safety and health, wage and hours, tip credit and child labor violations, the impact is significant. The increases became effective on January 16, 2023.
The DOL said the civil monetary penalties increased by 7.7% to account for inflation.
For occupational safety and health violations, the maximum penalty for a “willful” or “repeated” violation is now $156,259 – up from $145,027. The minimum fine for a willful violation is $11,162. The maximum fine for serious, other-than-serious, failure-to-correct and posting requirement violations increases to $15,565 from $14,502. Failure-to-correct penalties are charged per day.
For violation of child labor standards that cause the serious injury or death of a minor, the maximum penalty increases to $68,801 from $63,885; for willful or repeated violations, the maximum penalty increases to $137,602 from $127,710.
In a labor environment where there is a renewed focus on enforcement and the threat of increasing monetary penalties by the federal government, it is essential for companies to be in compliance.
If you have questions about how this development may affect your organization, please contact Johnson & Bell Employment attorneys, Christopher J. Carlos, Caroline K. Vickrey and Michael R. Sherer.