In response to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act passed in November 2015, the U.S. Labor Department announced on June 30, 2016 that it is increasing the monetary penalties for a number of different violations of labor and employment laws. The law, almost self-explanatory by its title, makes it so federal agencies have to adjust their penalties for inflation every year, although the amount of increase is capped at 150 percent of the existing penalty amount. The purpose of the act was to make the penalties as effective as possible while still maintaining their deterrent effect.
Among the most notable increases is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which will see about an 80% increase in maximum penalties. The top penalty for serious violations will rise from $7,000 to $12,471, and the maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations will rise from $70,000 to $124,709. OSHA has not raised its penalties since 1990. The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) will increase its penalty for willful violations of the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act from $1,100 to $1,894. There will also be penalty increases in the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, and others.
The new penalty amounts are applicable to civil penalties assessed after August 1, 2016, for violations that occurred after November 2, 2005.
Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at the Law Offices of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green Represent Clients in All Matters of Employment Law
If you suspect your employer is in violation of labor and employment laws, contact the Law Offices of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green to discuss your legal options. Contact us online or call 215-574-0600 to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our experienced Philadelphia employment lawyers.