Employers violating Department of Labor (DOL) regulations — including employee benefit, wage and hour, mine safety, occupational safety and health, and workers' compensation rules — could face stiffer penalties in 2019, thanks to new inflation adjustments. The higher rates apply for penalties assessed after Jan. 23, 2019, for violations occurring after Nov. 2, 2015. DOL rarely assesses the maximum and often waives penalties entirely for failures due to reasonable cause. But the penalty threat is an important enforcement and deterrent tool.
2019 adjustments for health and group benefits. The inflation increase for 2019 is 2.522%. The following chart shows the current maximum (and in some cases, minimum) penalties for certain health and welfare plan violations and the new amount that will take effect for penalties assessed after Jan. 23, 2019.
- DOL Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Annual Adjustments for 2019 (Federal Register, Jan. 23, 2019)