DOL Adjusts Penalties for Overtime Violations
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently increased the civil penalties for violating federal overtime and minimum wage laws, For this reason, it is important going forward for employers to review their pay practices to ensure that they are in compliance with the new rules. If you have questions about how these changes could affect your own business practices or legal rights, it is important to consult with an experienced overtime violation lawyer who can address your questions and concerns.
A federal law passed in 1990 gives agencies the ability to make inflation-related adjustments to the civil monetary penalties that are assessed under the laws that they enforce. For the DOL this includes penalties assessed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). All adjustments are based on the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers, which measures annual changes in the price of goods and services.
Civil Monetary Penalties
Based on the new rules issued by the DOL earlier this year, employers who are found to have violated federal law related to employee pay or workplace safety will now be assessed a higher monetary fee for any violations that occurred after November of 2015. For instance, last year, the maximum penalty for willfully violating the FLSA’s overtime and minimum wage requirements was $1,964, but on January 23rd, that amount was increased to $2,014. These penalties are assessed on a per-employee basis, so liability can become extremely costly for employers if a number of employees are affected. The maximum penalty for violating the FMLA, however, is much lower at $173, which represents a mere four dollar increase over last year.
The recent inflation adjustments also changed the maximum penalties for OSHA violations. For example, the maximum fine for safety violations and failing to abate violations under OSHA was increased to $13,260 per violation. The minimum penalties for willful violations also increased from $9,239 to $9,472, while the maximum fine for this type of violation is now $132,598.
These penalties, especially in combination with potential damages awards can place an enormous financial strain on employers accused of violating federal minimum wage and overtime laws. For this reason, employers are strongly encouraged to review their employment policies and practices to ensure that they align with state and federal law. Taking this step could prevent a company from committing unintentional violations and saving all parties involved a significant amount of time and money.
Contact an Experienced Overtime Violation Attorney Today
If you have been accused of failing to pay employees for overtime hours, or according to minimum wage standards, or you are not being paid fairly for your work, you need the advice of an experienced employment law attorney who can explain your legal rights and options. To speak with a dedicated overtime violation attorney about your own case, please call Saady & Saxe, P.A. Attorneys at Law in Tampa at 813-909-8855 today or complete one of our brief online contact forms.