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Cal/OSHA Announces Civil Penalty Increases

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Cal/OSHA, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, effective Jan. 1, 2024, increased penalties for certain violations to adjust for inflation and ensure consistency with California and federal law.

This annual increase is mandated by a statute enacted by California in 2017, which authorizes increases in certain minimum and maximum civil penalties to ensure consistency with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s civil penalties. The increase is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report on the October Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers each year. This year’s adjustment for the inflation rate was approximately 3.24 percent.

Cal/OSHA has three types of violations typically cited:

  • Regulatory: Relate to regulatory and statutory requirements such as injury and illness reporting and record keeping.
  • General: Violations relating to the safety and health of employees.
  • Serious: Violations where there is a realistic possibility of death or serious harm resulting from an actual hazard.

There are also penalties for repeat violations and willful violations of health and safety regulations.

For Cal/OSHA citations issued on or after Jan. 1, 2024, the maximum penalties will be as follows:

  • Regulatory and General: $15,873.
  • Willful and Repeat: $158,727.

There was no increase to serious violations, which remains at $25,000.

Joshua Henderson is an attorney with Jackson Lewis in San Francisco. Sean Paisan is an attorney with Jackson Lewis in Orange County, Calif. © 2024 Jackson Lewis. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission.


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