Blog & Legal Updates

Effective Today, the Cost of U.S. Department of Labor Fines and Penalties Is Increasing Significantly

By Rosemary M. Marin, Attorney & Shareholder; Chair, Labor & Employment Effective today, August 1, pursuant to the Inflation Adjustment Act that was passed by Congress in November, 2015, and with a pair of Final Rules that were finalized on July 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is implementing substantial, double-digit price increases for fines and penalties to keep up with inflation. These are the first increases in more than two decades. For example, under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the maximum fines are rising by 80%, from $7,000 to $12,600 for each serious violation; and from $70,000 to $126,000 for each willful violation.  Similarly, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the maximum fines are increasing more than 70%, from $1,100 to $1,894, for each violation.  Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), the maximum fines will rise 45%, from $35,000 to $50,800, for willfully displacing a U.S. worker with an H1B visa holder.  A complete, downloadable PDF list of all penalty adjustments is available at: DOL-related claims were already on an upward swing, but with recoverable penalties increasing substantially, Plaintiffs’ attorneys now have an even stronger incentive to bring individual and collective actions. The new DOL Final Rule on so-called White Collar Exemptions will take effect on December 1, 2016 and is expected to affect approximately 4 million American workers.  Additionally, health and welfare benefit plan audits are on the rise.  Now is the time for all employers, both large and small, to audit their overall practices, policies and training and take swift action to ensure compliance with the various DOL-related laws. If you need assistance in strategizing and implementing necessary changes, please call our Labor & Employment legal team at ScottHulse, P.C.  We are armed to tackle tough issues and ready to assist.  
Rosemary M. Marin Chair, Labor & Employment        915.546.8297
Francisco Ortega Attorney / Shareholder        915.546.8245
James Feuille Associate Attorney        915.546.8223
John Collins Associate Attorney        915.546.8201
M. Blake Downey Associate Attorney        915.546.8237
Javier Macias Associate Attorney        915.546.8243
      THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED AS A COURTESY – NOT AS LEGAL ADVICE. Please know that we are raising the above issues as a courtesy and for informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for legal advice concerning a particular situation that may be affecting your business. PASS IT ON If you know someone who would benefit from this information please share it. SIGN UP. Join our newsletter to receive this information in your inbox.