Final Rule Adjusts Civil Penalties Under DOL Regulations

Effective January 2, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule to adjust the amounts of civil penalties assessed or enforced under its regulations. The adjustments apply to amounts pertaining to regulations enforced by the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, Employee Benefits Services Association (EBSA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and other agencies.

The Inflation Adjustment Act (IAA) provides increased penalty levels for any penalties assessed after January 2, 2018. Thereafter, the IAA requires the DOL to annually adjust its civil money penalty levels for inflation no later than January 15 of each year. It also provides a cost-of-living formula for adjustment. For 2018, the adjustments are minimal. For example:

  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): The penalty for each willful violation of FMLA’s posting requirements increased from $166 to $169 for each separate offense.
  • Retirement Notice of Blackout: Failure to provide notices of blackout periods and of right to divest employer securities, up to $136 from $133.
  • Health Plan Summary of Benefits and Coverage, up to $1,128 per failure, from $1,105.

More information on the individual penalty adjustments can be found here.