Maximum OSHA Penalties Increase for 2020

Maximum OSHA fines bumped up 1.76% as of January 16th, 2020, to adjust for inflation.

The new maximums are:

  • $134,494 for willful and repeat violations, up $2,339
  • $13,494 for serious and other-than-serious violations, up $234
  • $13,494 per day for failure-to-abate violations

The minimum for a willful violation has increased to $9,472.

Inflationary Change

This is the annual change under the Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015, which requires the Department of Labor to adjust monetary penalties no later than January 15 each year.

The DOL is required to calculate this adjustment based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. Annual adjustments are based on the percent change between the October index preceding the date of adjustment and the prior year’s October index.

Effective Dates

OSHA will apply the higher penalty amounts for violations that occurred any time after the inflation adjustment rule took effect on November 2, 2015, but were not assessed before the January 15, 2020, adjustment date.

Before the Inflation Adjustment Act was passed in 2015, for many years, OSHA fines had remained at a $70,000 maximum for willful and repeat violations and a $7,000 maximum for serious violations.