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OSHA Penalties Up To Adjust for Inflation

OSHA is beginning the New Year with higher penalties. Effective today, civil penalties for violations of OSHA standards and regulations increased to adjust for inflation. In a Federal Register notice issued today, the U.S. Department of Labor increased civil penalties for a variety of regulated areas, such as Immigration, Child Labor, Wage and Hour, MSHA and OSHA.  “The U.S. Department of Labor (Department) is publishing this final rule to adjust for inflation the civil monetary penalties assessed or enforced in its regulations, 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). The Inflation Adjustment Act requires the Department to annually adjust its civil money penalty levels for inflation no later than January 15 of each year.”

OSHA penalties for other-than-serious, serious and failure to abate violations increased by $319 from $12,615 per violation to $12,934 per violation.  The penalty for willful and repeat violations increased from $126,749 to $129,336, an increase of $2, 587.  The new penalty increase is effective today and will apply to any citations issued today or through the remainder of 2018.

The 2018 maximum penalties are as follows:

  • Other-than-Serious: $12,934

  • Serious: $12,934

  • Repeat : $129,336

  • Willful: $129,336

The penalty increase applies to Federal OSHA states, however, OSHA expects that states operating their own occupational safety and health program will align penalty structures with Federal OSHA so that such programs are equally effective as Federal OSHA.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2018

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About this Author

Tressi Cordaro, Occupational safety health attorney, Jackson Lewis, enforcement agency lawyer, labor litigation legal counsel
Principal

Tressi L. Cordaro is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She advises and represents employers on occupational safety and health matters before federal and state OSHA enforcement agencies.

Ms. Cordaro has advised employers faced with willful and serious citations as the result of catastrophic events and fatalities, including citations involving multi-million dollar penalties. Ms. Cordaro’s approach to representing an employer cited by OSHA is to seek an efficient resolution of contested...

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