Tag Archives: civil penalties

U.S. Department of Labor Boosts Penalties for Violating Labor and Employment Laws

On August 1, 2016, the Department of Labor increased civil money penalties for more than 60 kinds of violations of labor and employment laws, ranging across the board from wage-and-hour rules and occupational health standards to benefits requirements and immigration regulations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has seen the first increase to its civil penalties in 25 years, with maximum fines rising by nearly 80% to $12,471 for serious violations and $124,709 for willful or repeated violations. Other significant increases involve penalties for violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s prohibitions on displacing a U.S. worker with an H1B visa holder (rising from $35,000 to $50,758), as well as for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s prohibitions on child labor (rising to $12,080 per violation, $54,910 if serious injury or death occurs, and $109,820 if child labor violations are willful or repeated resulting in serious injury of death). Penalties for willful violations of the FLSA’s wage and overtime provisions have also increased from $1,100 to $1,894. The increase in fines for willful FLSA violations comes on the heels of the new DOL rule extending overtime protections to nearly 4 million more workers, which could drive more wage-and-hour litigation. The DOL began applying these new, increased rates to penalties assessed after August 1, 2016.

The DOL’s announcement of its new rules to adjust civil penalties may be found here: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/opa/opa20160630.

Lindsey L. Dunn

Increased Fines for Employers Failing to Comply with EEO Posting Requirements

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other civil rights statutes require that covered employers post notices describing equal employment opportunity laws and how employees and applicants can file a complaint for perceived violations of those laws. The required notice “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law” poster must be posted in a conspicuous place where other notices to employees and job applicants are customarily located. For those employers that are required to post the notice, generally those with 15 or more employees, the civil fines for failing to do so have been increased from $210 to $525 per violation.

The required notice for covered employers is available here:

Jennifer Fowler-Hermes