News & Announcements

Increased Penalties for Violations of FLSA, FMLA, HIOSH/OSHA

Posted Tuesday, January 21, 2020 6:25 am

Effective January 15, penalties are higher for violations of various statutes, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSHA”).

The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act requires the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) to annually adjust its civil monetary penalty levels for inflation.  On January 15, the DOL published a final rule adjusting the maximum penalty levels.  It includes an appendix with a chart summarizing the increases.

Some of these increases include:



Maximum Penalty


Maximum Penalty

(Eff. Jan 15, 2020)

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

29 CFR 578.3(a) (repeated or willful violations of minimum wage or overtime requirements)




29 CFR 579.1(a)(1)(i)(A)

& 29 CFR 570.140(b)(1)

(child labor violations)




29 CFR 579.1(a)(1)(i)(B) &

29 CFR 570.140(b)(2)

(Child labor violations that cause the death or serious injury of any minor)



Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)

29 CFR 801.42(a)



Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

29 CFR 825.300(a)(1)

(willful violation of posting requirement)



Penalties have also increased for OSHA/HIOSH violations, including:


Maximum Penalty


Maximum Penalty

(Eff. Jan 15, 2020)

29 CFR 1903.15(d)(3) (serious violation)

29 CFR 1903.15(d)(4) (other-than-serious violation)

29 CFR 1903.15(d)(6) (posting requirement)



29 CFR 1903.15(d)(1) (willful)

29 CFR 1903.15(d)(2) (repeated)



29 CFR 1903.15(d)(5) (failure to abate)

$13,260 per day

$13,494 per day

The DOL additionally made annual inflation adjustments to the civil monetary penalties for violations of certain requirements under:

  • Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
  • Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act
  • Immigration & Nationality Act
  • Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act
  • Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act
  • Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

The increased penalty levels will apply to any penalties assessed after January 15.

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Payment of Wages and Wage and Hour Laws Frequently Asked Questions

Employers often have questions about state and federal laws pertaining to the payment of wages and wage and hour laws. HEC has updated its frequently asked questions to include updates to the law and answers to additional questions.

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