Blog Post New Year, New Penalties | Houston Benefit Advisors


Jan

5

2018

New Year, New Penalties | Houston Benefit Advisors

Department of Labor Publishes Updated Penalties for OSHA Violations

On January 2, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published updated, inflation-adjusted penalties for violations of various laws regulated by the DOL and its internal components or divisions, including the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). The DOL is required to adjust the level of civil monetary penalties for inflation by January 15 each year pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Inflation Adjustment Act).

Because of the Inflation Adjustment Act, rates for OSHA penalties have increased three times in the last 17 months (August 1, 2016, January 13, 2017, and January 2, 2018). Therefore, for violations occurring after November 2, 2015, the penalty amounts incurred by employers will depend on when the penalty is assessed, as follows:

•If the penalty was assessed after August 1, 2016 but on or before January 13, 2017, then the August 1, 2016 penalty level applies. If the penalty was assessed after January 13, 2017 but on or before •January 2, 2018, then the January 13, 2017 penalty level applies.
•If the penalty was assessed after January 2, 2018, then the current penalty level applies.

The applicable January 2, 2018 penalty levels for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) are as follows:

Willful violations: $9,239 – 129,936 (up from $9,054 – $126,749 after January 13, 2017 and $8,908 – $124,709 after August 1, 2016)
•Repeated violations: $129,936 (up from $126,749 after January 13, 2017 and $124,709 after August 1, 2016)
Serious violations: $12,934 (up from $12,675 after January 13, 2017 and $12,471 after August 1, 2016)
Other-than-serious violations: $12,934 (up from $12,675 after January 13, 2017 and $12,471 after August 1, 2016)
•Failure to correct violations: $12,934 (up from $12,675 after January 13, 2017 and $12,471 after August 1, 2016)
Posting requirement violations: $12,934 (up from $12,675 after January 13, 2017 and $12,471 after August 1, 2016)

These increases apply to states with federal OSHA programs and states with OSHA-approved state plans. Violations occurring on or before November 2, 2015 are assessed at pre-August 1, 2016 levels.

Employers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these increased penalties and consult counsel if they have questions about the penalty level applicable to a potential violation.

By Nicole Quinn-Gato

Originally posted by www.ThinkHR.com

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