January 18, 2024

DOL Announces Increases to OSHA's Civil Penalty Amounts

A final rule published by the Department of Labor adjusts for inflation the civil monetary penalties it assesses or enforces, effective Jan. 15, 2024. The adjustments for 2024 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 DOL’s Wage and Hour Division.

OSHA’s maximum penalty for serious violations is now $16,131, and the maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations is $161,323 per violation. The agency’s maximum penalty for failure to abate violations increased to $16,131 per day beyond the abatement date. A table detailing the updated penalty amounts is available on the agency’s website.

In 2016, OSHA’s maximum civil penalties increased by 78 percent. Those adjustments stemmed from legislation enacted by Congress in 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.