By James L. Curtis, Benjamin D. Briggs, and Craig B. Simonsen

Seyfarth Synopsis: The DOL has published its 2019 OSHA civil penalties.

We had blogged previously about the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) 2018 adjustments to the maximum civil penalty dollar amounts for OSHA violations. The DOL has now finalized the 2019 inflation adjustments which again nudges the penalties even higher.  84 Fed. Reg. 213 (Jan. 23, 2019).

Under the 2019 rule, the maximum OSHA civil penalties will be:

2018 Penalties

2019 Penalties
Other than Serious violations: $12,675 $13,260
Serious violations: $12,675 $13,260
Repeat violations: $126,749 $132,598
Willful violations: $126,749 $132,598
Failure to abate (per day): $12,675 $13,260

The new OSHA penalty amounts are applicable to OSHA citations issued after January 23, 2019, whose associated violations occurred within the six month statute of limitations.

Going forward, DOL is required to adjust maximum OSHA penalties for inflation by January 15 of each new year.

For more information on this or any related topic please contact the authors, your Seyfarth attorney, or any member of the Workplace Safety and Health (OSHA/MSHA) Team.

By James L. Curtis, Patrick D. Joyce, and Craig B. Simonsen

Seyfarth Synopsis: The DOL has published its 2018 OSHA civil penalties.

We had blogged previously about the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) 2017 adjustments to the maximum civil penalty dollar amounts for OSHA violations. The DOL has now finalized the 2018 inflation adjustments which will nudge the penalties even higher.  83 Fed. Reg. 7 (Jan. 2, 2018).

Under the 2018 rule, the maximum OSHA civil penalties will be:

2017 Penalties 2018 Penalties
Other than Serious violations: $12,675 $12,934
Serious violations: $12,675 $12,934
Repeat violations: $126,749 $129,336
Willful violations: $126,749 $129,336
Failure to abate (per day): $12,675 $12,934

The new OSHA penalty amounts are applicable to OSHA citations issued after January 12, 2018, whose associated violations occurred within the six month statute of limitations.

Going forward, DOL is required to adjust maximum OSHA penalties for inflation by January 15 of each new year.

For more information on this or any related topic please contact the authors, your Seyfarth attorney, or any member of the Workplace Safety and Health (OSHA/MSHA) Team.

By James L. Curtis, Patrick D. Joyce, and Craig B. Simonsen

Seyfarth Synopsis: The DOL has published its 2017 OSHA civil penalties.

We had blogged previously about the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) 2016 adjustments to the maximum civil penalty dollar amounts for OSHA violations. The DOL has now finalized the 2017 inflation adjustments which will nudge the penalties even higher.  92 Fed. Reg. 5373 (Jan. 19, 2017).

Under the 2017 rule, the maximum OSHA civil penalties will be:

                                                                2016 Penalties            2017 Penalties

  • Other than Serious violations:             $12,471                       $12,675
  • Serious violations:                               $12, 471                      $12,675
  • Repeat violations:                               $124,709                     $126,749
  • Willful violations:                               $124,709                     $126,749
  • Failure to abate (per day):                   $12, 471                      $12,675

The new OSHA penalty amounts are applicable to OSHA citations issued after January 13, 2017, whose associated violations occurred within the six month statute of limitations

Going forward, DOL is required to adjust maximum OSHA penalties for inflation by January 15 of each new year.

For more information on this or any related topic please contact the authors, your Seyfarth attorney, or any member of the Workplace Safety and Health (OSHA/MSHA) Team.

By Andrew H. Perellis and Craig B. Simonsen

EPA has amended its Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule. 78 Fed. Reg. 66643 (Nov. 6, 2013).

Under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (DCIA), the EPA is required to amend its regulations for adjusting for inflation the statutory civil monetary penalties that are imposed under the environmental laws. The purpose of the adjustments is to maintain the deterrent effect of civil penalties and to further the policy goals of the underlying statutes. The DCIA requires adjustments to be made at least once every four years following the initial adjustment. Where required under the DCIA, this rule, and specifically Table 1 of 40 CFR section 19.4, adjusts for inflation the maximum and, in some cases, the minimum amount of the statutory civil penalty that may be imposed for violations of EPA administered statutes and regulations.

According to the Agency, the regulatory penalty table was last adjusted for inflation in 2008. Multiplying the applicable 4.87 percent cost-of-living adjustment to the statutory civil penalty amount of $37,500, the raw inflation increase equals only $1,827.40.  The DCIA rounding rule requires a raw inflation increase increment to be rounded to the nearest multiple of $5,000 for penalties greater than $10,000 but less than or equal to $100,000. Because this raw inflation increase is not sufficient to be rounded up to a multiple of $5,000, in accordance with the DCIA’s rounding rule, this rule does not increase the $37,500 penalty amount.

Because of the low rate of inflation since 2008, coupled with the application of the DCIA’s rounding rules, only 20 of the 88 statutory civil penalty provisions (such as the maximum penalties) implemented by EPA are being adjusted for inflation under this amendment to the rule.

The increase in penalties only applies to violations which occur after December 6, 2013.