Under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 OSHA was required to adjust civil penalties for violations of safety and health standards on or before July 1, 2016.  The Bipartisan Budget Act allowed OSHA  a one time “catch-up” to adjust for inflation since 1990. On July 1, 2016, OSHA announced the new maximum civil penalties which will take effect August 1, 2016.    According to OSHA, the new maximum penalty structure for any citations issued after August 1, 2016 will be as follows:

Type of Violation                   Current Maximum Penalty New Maximum Penalty
Serious
Other-Than-Serious
Posting Requirements

 

$7,000 per violation $12,471 per violation
Failure to Abate

 

$7,000 per day beyond the abatement date $12,471 per day beyond the abatement date
Willful or Repeated $70,000 per violation $124,709 per violation

On an annual basis the maximum penalties will be adjusted for inflation based on the Consumer Price Index.  Additionally, state plans (those states that operate their own occupational safety and health program) will be required to be raise their maximum penalty amounts to align with Federal OSHA.

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Photo of Tressi L. Cordaro Tressi L. Cordaro

Tressi L. Cordaro is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She is co-leader of the firm’s Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group. She advises and represents employers on occupational safety and health matters before federal and state…

Tressi L. Cordaro is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She is co-leader of the firm’s Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group. She advises and represents employers on occupational safety and health matters before federal and state OSHA enforcement agencies.

Ms. Cordaro has advised employers faced with willful and serious citations as the result of catastrophic events and fatalities, including citations involving multi-million dollar penalties. Ms. Cordaro’s approach to representing an employer cited by OSHA is to seek an efficient resolution of contested citations, reserving litigation as the option if the client’s business objectives cannot otherwise be achieved. As a result, she has secured OSHA withdrawals of citations without the need for litigation.

Ms. Cordaro’s unique experience with government agencies involved in OSHA enforcement enables her to provide employers with especially insightful guidance as to how regulators view OSHA compliance obligations, and evaluate contested cases.

Ms. Cordaro served as the Presidentially-appointed Legal Counsel and Special Advisor to the past Chairman and Commissioner Horace A. Thompson, III at the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission (OSHRC) in Washington, DC, the agency that adjudicates contested federal OSHA citations. As the Commissioner’s chief counsel, Ms. Cordaro analyzed all cases presented to the OSHRC and advocated the Commissioner’s position during decisional meetings.

In addition, Ms. Cordaro worked at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration developing OSHA standards, regulations and enforcement and compliance policies, with emphasis on the construction industry. She has in-depth experience on technical issues including, in particular, issues related to cranes and derricks in construction.