Department of Labor Increases Labor Penalties for 2018


While the Department of Labor is still waiting for the administration to fill a number of positions, it did not wait to announce an increase in penalties for employment law violations, and it is still enforcing federal labor laws.  Most employers will see penalties increase at 2%, as federal law requires agencies to adjust civil monetary penalties annually for inflation.

The new penalties will be as follows:

  • The maximum penalty for violating minimum wage and overtime rules has increased from $1,925 to $1,964.
  • Maximum penalties for violating child labor laws has increased from $12,278 to $12,529.
  • Maximum penalties for violating anti-retaliation and discrimination laws under visa programs has increased from $20,111 to $20,521.
  • Maximum penalties for workplace injuries or deaths of child workers has increased from $55,808 to $56,947.
  • Maximum penalties for the willful replacement of American workers under the H-1B visa program has increased from $51,588 to $52,641.

Misuse of Biometric Information Costs Corporations Millions

What do you need in your HR toolbox that Facebook, Google, United Airlines, Snapchat, and Shutterfly wish they would have had?  You may not know it yet, but a biometric information policy could be standing between you and millions of dollars in liability. 

Illinois passed the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) in 2008 to regulate the collection and use of biometric information.  Biometric information includes any personally unique physical characteristic used to identify an individual, including fingerprints, hand scans, and retinal scans.  BIPA permits an Illinois resident to sue any entity that collects his or her biometric information without following BIPA’s notice, disclosure, and consent provisions.  Washington and Texas have passed similar laws, and legislation in other states is on the horizon.

A grocery store chain and its timeclock manufacturer that used fingerprint-enabled time clocks without following BIPA’s disclosure and consent provisions are currently facing a lawsuit that could cost them up to $10 million in damages.  If you use or are considering using fingerprints, hand scans, or other biometric information to track or identify your employees, consult with myHRcounsel to ensure that you have an up-to-date, legally compliant policy that protects you and your employees.   

Remain Alert and Stay Diligent: Employer Shared Responsibility Provision Enforcement to Go into Effect by Late 2017

With all the confusion and ambiguity surrounding the current state of the ACA provisions and enforcement, one thing that seems to have remained consistent is the enforcement of the Individual and Employer Mandates.

Earlier this week, the IRS made revisions to their Employer Shared Responsibility FAQ that leave little doubt that enforcement of the Employer Mandate will move forward.

What Does This Mean for Employers?

For the 2015 calendar year, the IRS plans to issue Letter 226J informing Applicable Large Employers (ALEs, with 50 full time employees, including full-time equivalents)  of their potential liability for an employer shared responsibility payment, if any, in late 2017.  ALEs can expect to receive a letter (226J) from the IRS informing them of their potential responsibility payment. The enforcement will begin with year 2015, which is the first year the Employer Mandate was put into effect.