January 20, 2022

DOL Announces Annual Adjustments to OSHA's Civil Penalties

A final rule published by the Department of Labor adjusts for inflation the civil monetary penalties assessed or enforced in its regulations, effective Jan. 15, 2022. The adjustments for 2022 apply to OSHA as well as MSHA, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Employment and Training Administration, the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, the Office of the Secretary, and the Wage and Hour Division.

OSHA’s maximum penalty for serious violations is now $14,502, and the maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations is $145,027 per violation. The agency’s maximum penalty for failure to abate violations increased to $14,502 per day beyond the abatement date. A table detailing the updated penalty amounts is available on the agency’s website.

In August 2016, OSHA’s maximum civil penalties increased by 78 percent. Those adjustments stemmed from legislation enacted by Congress in November 2015 that required federal agencies to adjust their civil penalties to account for inflation. The law also directed agencies to publish “catch-up” rules to make up for lost time since the penalties were last adjusted. According to DOL’s press release about those changes, OSHA’s maximum penalties had not been raised since 1990.

More information about the inflation adjustments for this year is available in a Federal Register notice.