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OSHA's civil penalties to increase

In a number of our posts, we have noted that the penalties for not reporting workplace injuries or hospitalizations will increase in 2017, but we would be remiss if we did not mention that the penalties for safety violations will increase much sooner.

According to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, all federal agencies with civil monetary penalties established by statute are required to update their fines and continue to increase them as the rate of inflation continues to grow. 

This mandates that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to update its civil penalty fines.  OSHA has not updated its fine schedule in over 25 years, so changes were more than just mandated by statute. They were long overdue.

The maximum penalty for serious violations will increase to $12,471 from $7,000. Similarly, the harshest penalty for repeat violations will now be $124,471 instead of $70,000. These are increases of over 70 percent, but it remains to be seen whether they will be effective in deterring fraudulent behavior.

Federal regulators believe that the new penalties will affect small employers, but as for large contractors, they are not expected to be particularly effective. For instance, a company that makes millions in fees on a weekly basis will be intimidated by what is essentially a $125,000 fine. Nevertheless, workers who are employed by these behemoths still are entitled to the protections created under federal law; and if an employer was not compliant or even negligent in its duties, an employee could be awarded much more than what may be paid out through workers compensation. 

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  1. My injury and subsequent WC case was one of the most difficult times in my life, and I wouldn't wish this upon my worst enemy. Throughout the entire ordeal though, Mr. Kropach and Ms. Shibata stood by my side, providing me amazing support.

    - Wpark
  2. I was in a very serious accident in early 2000 and found that Attorney Kropach and his Staff especially his paralegal Jill paid close attention to my case and no matter how many questions I asked they always had time to explain in layman's language what I needed to know.

    - Janice Ann
  3. I have been lucky to have William Kropach handle two different workers' compensation cases in the last several years that exceeded all of my expectations.

    - Arabella
  4. I hired Mr. Kropach years ago due to the fact that he was head of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association. After the insurance company denied my claim I thought my case was over but my attorney fought the insurance company all the way to the appellate court and WON.

    - Workers’ Compensation Client
  5. I hired Mr. Kropach years ago due to the fact that he was head of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association. After the insurance company denied my claim I thought my case was over but my attorney fought the insurance company all the way to the appellate court and WON.

    - Workers’ Compensation Client
  6. I have a 18 year old work-comp case. Mr. Kropach never gave up or settled for anything less. He kept fighting for my rights to win. He realized I was in the right and He never once asked me to just give up.I won my case 100 %

    - Edward
  7. I have known Bill for over 25 years. He is personable and very knowledgeable in the area of Workers Comp. My experience during this very stressful time has been excellent. His staff is courteous and efficient and always kept me up to date with my case.

    - Donna
  8. I hired Mr. Kropach for my workers compensation claim about 3 years ago. I was suffering severe pain on my elbow as a result of my job. Mr. Kropach was superb in helping me settle this case.

    - Dax
  9. Bill treated me with care, individuality, and really examined my case carefully. I was immediately impressed with his track record and his dedication to voluntary unpaid community services.

    - Brad
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