USDOL_Seal_circa_blue_2015On June 30, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued two interim final rules to adjust penalties for inflation (one relating to H-2B workers and the other regarding all others). The DOL will accept comments on these rules for 45 days before it finalizes the rules.

Important to my wage and hour followers, the Wage & Hour Division’s penalty for willful violations of the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act will increase from $1,100 to $1,894. In addition, OSHA’s maximum penalties will increase by 78% – the top penalty for serious OSHA violations will rise from $7,000 to $12,471, and the maximum penalty for willful or repeated OSHA violations will increase from $70,000 to $124,709.

These penalties will apply to civil penalties assessed by the DOL after August 1, 2016, for violations occurring after November 2, 2015.  A chart of all the penalty adjustments made under the Inflation Adjustment Act can be found here. Further, keep in mind that, pursuant to the Act, these penalties will, moving forward, be adjusted each year for inflation.