Labor Department increases fines for labor law violations

Labor Department increases fines for labor law violations
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Labor law violations are about to get steeper.

The Labor Department said Thursday that fines for violations of health and safety, worker’s compensation and wage and hour regulations are increasing to adjust for inflation.

The agency said maximum penalties from its Occupational Safety and Health Administration will increase by 78 percent, from $7,000 to $12,471, while penalties for willful violations of the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act will increase from $1,100 to $1,894.

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Penalties from the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs for failure to report termination of payments will also rise from $110 to $275.

The increases are required under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act Congress passed in 2015.

“Civil penalties should be a credible deterrent that influences behavior far and wide,” Labor Secretary Tom Perez said in a statement.

“Adjusting our penalties to keep pace with the cost of living can lead to significant benefits for workers and can level the playing field responsible employers who should not have to compete with those who don’t follow the law.”