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Fines for Regulatory Violations Set to Increase Significantly

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Effective August 1, federal regulatory agencies will have the authority to significantly increase the amount of civil monetary penalties doled out to businesses and individuals that have violated federal regulations. The civil monetary penalty increases are a product of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Improvement Act of 2015 that requires the agencies to make such changes. Not only will the regulatory agencies institute upfront "catch up" amounts to bring civil monetary penalties up to present day adjustments, since many penalties are still at levels set in 1990, but will also tie the penalty amounts to "inflation each year based on the Consumer Price Index."

For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has already published in detail its penalty adjustments which highlight an initial 78% increase in the maximum allowable penalties. This jump equates to an increase from a previous maximum penalty of $7,000 per violation for a serious violation to now one of $12,471 per violation. For a willful or repeated violation, the penalty will rise from $70,000 per violation to $124,709 per violation.
Click here for more information on the changes for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Click here for more information on the changes for the Environmental Protection Agency. Click here and here for more information on the changes for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. You may also contact Kevin Walgenbach at

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