Seyfarth Synopsis: OSHA finalized a 78% increase to per violation penalties.

In a an interim final rulemaking published last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) finalized amendments to adjust the maximum civil penalty dollar amounts for OSHA violations. 81 Fed. Reg. 43430 (July 1, 2016).

We previously blogged about potential increases in OSHA penalties on November 3, 2015 and November 18, 2015.

According to OSHA, its maximum penalties, “which have not been raised since 1990, will increase by 78 percent” as follows:

  • Other than Serious violations: $12,471
  • Serious violations: $12,471
  • Repeat violations: $124,709
  • Willful violations: $124,709
  • Failure to abate: $12,471 per day beyond the abatement date

Both Repeat and Willful violations will have a statutory minimum of $8,908 per violation. The new OSHA penalty amounts are applicable to OSHA citations issued after Aug. 1, 2016, whose associated violations occurred within the six month statute of limitations. Hence, employers with ongoing OSHA inspections should expect to wait until August 1, 2016 or after to receive citations using the higher penalties, as long as the inspection commenced on or after February 1, 2016.