DOL Increases Civil Penalty Amounts for 2021

To maintain their deterrent effect each year, the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, requires the Department to annually adjust its civil monetary penalty levels for inflation no later than January 15th. The Department of Labor (DOL) has released its 2021 inflation-adjusted civil monetary penalties that may be assessed on employers for violations of a wide range of federal laws.

The Inflation Adjustment Act provides a cost-of-living formula for modification of the civil penalties for violations against several federal laws, including:

  • 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).

According to the final rule published in the January 15th Federal Register, key penalty increases include:

  • 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 FMLA increases from $176 to $178 per offense.

To avoid penalty and ensure compliance is adhered to, we recommend employers become familiar with the new increased penalty amounts and review their pay practices, benefit plan administration, and safety protocols.

For additional information, click here.


It is our goal to guide you through ongoing change and to keep you informed. Questions? Contact our team at 866-306-0200 or solutions@creativebenefitsinc.com.