US Department of Labor Announces New Rules—Increasing OSHA Penalties

US Department of Labor has announced two interim rules to adjust its penalties for inflation based on the last time each penalty was increased. The Bipartisan Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015 requires agencies such as OSHA to adjust the levels of civil monetary penalties with an initial catch-up adjustment, followed by annual adjustments for inflation. The new civil penalty amounts are applicable only to civil penalties assessed after Aug. 1, 2016, whose associated violations occurred after Nov. 2, 2015. Businesses that are inspected before the effective date, but receive citations once these sanctions are in place will have the newly adopted penalties adjusted to their citation. Some of the rules published under the 2015 law will modernize some penalties that have long lost ground to inflation. OSHA’s maximum penalties, which have not been raised since 1990, will increase by 78 percent. The top penalty for serious violations will rise from $7,000 to $12,471. The maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations will increase from $70,000 to $124,709. Read more here.