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Compliance Bulletin: DOL Increases Civil Penalty Amounts for 2020

February 11, 2020

Highlights

Annual Updates

The DOL must adjust its civil penalty amounts for inflation each year.

Possible Penalties

The DOL may assess these penalties on employers that violate federal laws that the DOL enforces, such as the FLSA, ERISA, the FMLA and the OSH Act.

Compliance Review

To minimize potential liability, employers should review their compliance with laws enforced by the DOL.          

Effective Date

Jan. 15, 2020

The increased amounts apply to civil penalties that are assessed after Jan. 15, 2020 (for violations occurring after Nov. 2, 2015).

On Jan. 15, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) released its 2020 inflation-adjusted civil monetary penalties that may be assessed on employers for violations of a wide range of federal laws, including:  

·      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. Key penalty increases include the following:

·      The maximum penalty for violations of federal minimum wage or overtime requirements increases from $2,014 to $2,050 per violation;

·      The maximum penalty for failing to file a Form 5500 for an employee benefit plan increases from $2,194 to $2,233 per day.

·      The maximum penalty for violations of the poster requirement under the FMLA increases from $173 to $176 per each offense.

Action Steps

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.

2020 Penalty Amounts

This Compliance Bulletin is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. ©2020 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.