The Department of Labor (DOL) has released its inflation-adjusted monetary civil penalty amounts for 2021 that may be assessed on employers for violations of a wide range of federal laws, including:
This Compliance Bulletin is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice.
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- The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA);
- The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA);
- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); and
- The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act).
To maintain their deterrent effect, the DOL is required to adjust these penalties for inflation, no later than Jan. 15 of each year. Key penalty increases include the following:
- The maximum penalty for violations of federal minimum wage or overtime requirements increases from $2,050 to $2,074 per violation.
- The maximum penalty for failing to file a Form 5500 for an employee benefit plan increases from $2,233 to $2,259 per day.
- The maximum penalty for violations of the poster requirement under the FMLA increases from $176 to $178 per offense.
The DOL must adjust its civil penalty amounts for inflation each year.
The DOL may assess these penalties on employers that violate federal laws that the DOL enforces, such as the FLSA, ERISA, the FMLA and the OSH Act.
To minimize potential liability, employers should review their compliance with laws enforced by the DOL.
Jan. 15, 2021
The increased amounts apply to civil penalties that are assessed after Jan. 15, 2021 (for violations occurring after Nov. 2, 2015).
Employers should become familiar with the new penalty amounts and review their pay practices, benefit plan administration and safety protocols to ensure compliance with federal requirements.
Civil Penalty Amounts for 2021
|REQUIREMENT||2020 PENALTY AMOUNT||2021 PENALTY AMOUNT|
|WAGE AND HOUR|
|Repeated or willful violations of minimum wage or overtime requirements (FLSA)||Up to $2,050 for each violation||Up to $2,074 for each violation|
|Violations of child labor laws||Up to $13,072 for each employee subject to the violation||Up to $13,227 for each employee subject to the violation|
|Violations of child labor laws that cause death or serious injury to an employee under age 18||Up to $59,413 for each violation (doubled to $118,826 if the violation is repeated or willful)||Up to $60,115 for each violation (doubled to $120,230 if the violation is repeated or willful)|
|Willful failure to post FMLA general notice||Up to $176 for each separate offense||Up to $178 for each separate offense|
|Violations of the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)||Up to $21,410 for each violation||Up to $21,663 for each violation|
|Failure to file an annual report (Form 5500) with the DOL (unless a filing exemption applies)||Up to $2,233 per day||Up to $2,259 per day|
|Failure of a multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) to file an annual report (Form M-1) with the DOL||Up to $1,625 per day||Up to $1,644 per day|
|Failure to furnish plan-related information requested by the DOL *Under ERISA, administrators of employee benefit plans must furnish to the DOL, upon request, any documents relating to the employee benefit plan.||Up to $159 per day, but not to exceed $1,594 per request||Up to $161 per day, but not to exceed $1,613 per request|
|Failure to provide the annual notice regarding CHIP coverage opportunities *This notice applies to employers with group health plans that cover residents of states that provide a premium assistance subsidy under a Medicaid or CHIP program.||Up to $119 per day for each failure (each employee is a separate violation)||Up to $120 per day for each failure (each employee is a separate violation)|
|For 401(k) plans, failure to provide blackout notice or notice of right to divest employer securities||Up to $141 per day||Up to $143 per day|
|Failure to provide summary of benefits and coverage (SBC)||Up to $1,176 per failure||Up to $1,190 per failure|
|EMPLOYEE SAFETY – OSH ACT|
|Violation of posting requirement||Up to $13,494 for each violation||Up to $13,653 for each violation|
|Other-than-serious violation||Up to $13,494 for each violation||Up to $13,653 for each violation|
|Serious violation||Up to $13,494 for each violation||Up to $13,653 for each violation|
|Willful violation||Between $9,639 and $134,937 per violation||Between $9,753 and $136,532 per violation|
|Uncorrected violation||Up to $13,494 per day until the violation is corrected||Up to $13,563 per day until the violation is corrected|
We can help you to become more familiar with these Civil Penalty Amounts for 2021. For more information, visit our Contact Us page or call (855) 874-4677 to talk to a specialist. You can also check out our Commercial Insurance offerings!