On January 23, 2019, the U.S Department of Labor (DOL) announced adjustments in monetary fines for employee benefits, protection and safety violations at workplace. The increased penalties mainly apply to four policy areas governed under:
- Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act)
Let’s take a quick look at them one by one.
Revised penalty for EPPA non-compliance
EPPA prohibits companies from using polygraph tests for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment. The previous penalty for violating the EPPA was $20,521. However, following the announcement, the penalty has been increased to $21,039.
Revised penalty for FLSA non-compliance
FLSA protects employees, both full time and part time, against unfair pay practices and work regulations by specifying laws for minimum wage, overtime pay, youth employment etc. As per the recently revised directives issued by the DOL, the maximum penalty for minimum wage or overtime violations has been set to $2,014. For violations of child labor laws, the penalty has been increased to a maximum of $12, 845 per underage employee.
Revised penalty for FMLA non-compliance
FMLA—a federal law covering provision of leaves for family or medical reasons—requires employers to post a notice at their facilities advising employees of their rights under the statute. Failure to post this notice makes employers liable to fine. According to the latest instructions provided by the DOL, the penalty for the fine has been increased to $173 from $169.
Revised penalty for OSH Act non-compliance
OSH Act establishes guidelines for workplace safety standards. Any employer that violates these guidelines is subject to heavy fines. The adjusted penalties for OSH Act non-compliance are as follows:
- Minimum penalty for willful violations is $9,472
- Maximum penalty for willful violations is $132, 598
- Maximum penalty for repeated violations is $132,598
- Maximum penalty for failure to abate violations is $13,260 per day
To read the DOL’s final rule for all violations, click here.
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