OSHA Increases 2020 Citation Penalty Amounts

The adjustments are made each year to maintain the “deterrent effect” of a citation, according to the DOL.

Stefanie Valentic

 

Effective Jan. 15, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has increased the maximum allowable penalty amounts for OSHA violations in federally-mandated states.

The new numbers are based on the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, which former President Barack Obama signed in November 2015 in an effort to drive the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties and “maintain their deterrent effect,” according to a memorandum posted through Loren Sweatt, the DOL’s principal deputy assistant secretary for occupational safety and health.

Increases are required by January 15 of each year going forward.

The 2020 numbers are a result of a cost-of-living adjustment multiplier based on the Consumer Price Index, which was calculated at 1.101764 as of October 2019. The most recent penalty amount for each level of violation was multiplied by this number and rounded to the nearest dollar.

 

Maximum Civil Penalty Amounts 2018 2019 2020
Willful or Repeat $126,749 $132,598 $134,937
Serious or Other-than-Serious $12,675 $13,260 $13,494
Per Day Failure to Abate (limited to 30 days maximum) $12,675 $13,260 $13,494