On Jan. 23, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) increased the civil penalty amounts that may be imposed on employers under the following federal laws:
- The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA);
- The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA);
- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); and
- The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act).
To maintain their deterrent effect, the DOL is required to adjust these penalties for inflation, no later than Jan. 15 of each year. The DOL’s civil penalty adjustments for 2019 were delayed due to the federal government shutdown.
These increased amounts apply to civil penalties that are assessed after Jan. 23, 2019.
Employers should become familiar with the new penalty amounts and review their pay practices, benefit plan administration and safety protocols to ensure compliance with federal requirements.
2019 Penalty Amounts
|REQUIREMENT||2018 PENALTY AMOUNT||2019 PENALTY AMOUNT|
|Wage and Hour|
|Repeated or willful violations of minimum wage or overtime requirements (FLSA)||Up to $1,964 for each violation||Up to $2,014 for each violation|
|Violations of child labor laws||Up to $12,529 for each employee subject to the violation||Up to $12,845 for each employee subject to the violation|
|Violations of child labor laws that cause death or serious injury to an employee under age 18||Up to $56,947 for each violation (doubled to $113,894 if the violation is repeated or willful)||Up to $58,383 for each violation (doubled to $116,766 if the violation is repeated or willful)|
|Willful failure to post FMLA general notice||Up to $169 for each separate offense||Up to $173 for each separate offense|
|Violations of the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)||Up to $20,521 for each violation||Up to $21,039 for each violation
|Failure to file an annual report (Form 5500) with the DOL (unless a filing exemption applies)||Up to $2,140 per day||Up to $2,194 per day|
|Failure of a multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) to file an annual report (Form M-1) with the DOL||Up to $1,558 per day||Up to $1,597 per day|
|Failure to furnish plan-related information requested by the DOL
*Under ERISA, administrators of employee benefit plans must furnish to the DOL, upon request, any documents relating to the employee benefit plan.
|Up to $152 per day, but not to exceed $1,527 per request||Up to $156 per day, but not to exceed $1,566 per request|