Penalties Increase for Employers Under the LHWCA

As of January 23, 2019, three monetary penalties for employers under the LHWCA have increased in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.

Failure to Report Termination of Payments

The penalty amount for failing to report the final payment of compensation to an employee within 16 days of such payment has increased from $285 to $292 per violation.

Penalty for Late Report of Injury or Death

The maximum penalty amount for knowingly and willfully failing to report an employee’s injury or death has been raised from $23,426 to $24,017. The penalty can also be assigned for any false statements or misrepresentations included in a Report of Injury. A graduated penalty scale is used by the District Director to assign the amount of the penalty, although he/she retains broad discretion in assigning the penalty.

  • 1st late report: $500
  • 2nd late report: $1,000
  • 3rd late report: $2,000
  • 4th late report: $4,000
  • 5th late report: $8,000
  • 6th late report: $16,000
  • 7th late report (& above): $24,017 (statutory maximum)

Penalty For Discrimination Against Employees Who Bring Proceedings

The minimum and maximum penalties associated with discriminating against an employee who brings an action under the LHWCA have increased. The minimum penalty has increased from $2,343 to $2,402 and the maximum penalty has increased from $11,712 to $12,007. Any penalty assigned will be paid exclusively by the relevant employer, not its insurance carrier. The employee shall also be restored to his/her employment along with any wages lost due to discrimination unless the employee is no longer qualified for the position.

Industry Notice No. 171.