May 25, 2022

Volume XII, Number 145

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Recent Inflation Increase Pushes Up OSHA and Other Labor Law Penalties

The recent spike in inflation has now caused a 6.2 percent rise in penalties for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and other labor laws.

On January 14, 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and several other labor agencies, acting under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, announced that to account for inflation, penalties would rise. The announcement is published at 87 Fed. Reg. 2328.

The following table shows the rise in OSHA penalties, as stated in the amendment to OSHA’s regulation at 29 C.F.R. § 1903.15(d):

Type

Minimum

Maximum

Willful

$10,360

$145,027

Repeated

none

$145,027

Serious

$1

$14,502

Other-Than-Serious

none

$14,502

Failure to Abate

none

$14,502 per day

Posting

none

$14,502

The announcement also covered civil penalties under other labor laws, including the Construction Safety Act, Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, Immigration and Nationality Act, Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act, Employee Polygraph Protection Act, United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act, Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), and the Black Lung Benefits Act.The U.S. Department of Labor pointed out that, under section 18 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, states administering OSHA-approved state plans must have maximum and minimum penalty levels that are at least as effective as federal OSHA’s. A rise in penalties in-state plan states can therefore soon be expected.

© 2022, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 18
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About this Author

Arthur Sapper, Administrative and Regulatory Attorney, Ogletree Deakins, Law Firm
Of Counsel

Arthur G. Sapper is Senior Counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of Ogletree Deakins, where he practices administrative and regulatory law. Art focuses his practice on all areas of occupational safety and health (OSHA) law and mine safety and health (MSHA) law, including inspections, discrimination investigations, litigation, rulemaking, counseling and lobbying.

Art litigates regularly before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, the federal appellate courts and various...

202-263-0270
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