29 CFR 579.1 - Purpose and scope.
(a) Section 16(e), added to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, by the Fair Labor Standards Amendments of 1974, and as further amended by the Fair Labor Standards Amendments of 1989, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, the Compactor and Balers Safety Standards Modernization Act of 1996, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, provides for the imposition of civil money penalties in the following manner:
(i) Any person who violates the provisions of sections 212 or 213(c) of the FLSA, relating to child labor, or any regulation issued pursuant to such sections, shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed:
(A) $11,000 for each employee who was the subject of such a violation; or
(B) $50,000 with regard to each such violation that causes the death or serious injury of any employee under the age of 18 years, which penalty may be doubled where the violation is a repeated or willful violation.
(ii) For purposes of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section, the term “serious injury” means:
(A) Permanent loss or substantial impairment of one of the senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, tactile sensation);
(B) Permanent loss or substantial impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty, including the loss of all or part of an arm, leg, foot, hand or other body part; or
(C) Permanent paralysis or substantial impairment that causes loss of movement or mobility of an arm, leg, foot, hand or other body part.
(2) Any person who repeatedly or willfully violates section 206 or 207 of the FLSA, relating to wages, shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,100 for each such violation.
(3) In determining the amount of any penalty under section 216(e) of the FLSA, the appropriateness of such penalty to the size of the business of the person charged and the gravity of the violation shall be considered. The amount of any penalty under section 216(e) of the FLSA, when finally determined, may be:
(i) Deducted from any sums owing by the United States to the person charged;
(ii) Recovered in a civil action brought by the Secretary in any court of competent jurisdiction, in which litigation the Secretary shall be represented by the Solicitor of Labor; or
(iii) Ordered by the court, in an action brought for a violation of section 215(a)(4) or a repeated or willful violation of section 215(a)(2) of the FLSA, to be paid to the Secretary.
(4) Any administrative determination by the Secretary of the amount of any penalty under section 216(e) of the FLSA shall be final, unless within 15 days after receipt of notice thereof by certified mail the person charged with the violation takes exception to the determination that the violations for which the penalty is imposed occurred, in which event final determination of the penalty shall be made in an administrative proceeding after opportunity for hearing in accordance with section 554 of title 5, United States Code, and regulations to be promulgated by the Secretary.
(5) Except for civil penalties collected for violations of section 212 of the FLSA, sums collected as penalties pursuant to section 216(e) of the FLSA shall be applied toward reimbursement of the costs of determining the violations and assessing and collecting such penalties, in accordance with the provision of section 202 of the Act entitled “An Act to authorize the Department of Labor to make special statistical studies upon payment of the cost thereof and for other purposes” (29 U.S.C. 9a). Civil penalties collected for violations of section 212 shall be deposited in the general fund of the Treasury.
(b) The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-410), as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-134, section 31001(s)), requires that Federal agencies periodically adjust their civil money penalties for inflation according to a specified cost-of-living formula. This law requires each agency to make an initial inflationary adjustment for all covered civil money penalties, and to make further inflationary adjustments at least once every four years thereafter. Any increase in the civil money penalty amount will apply only to violations that occur after the date the increase takes effect.
(c) This part explains our procedures for issuing a notice of civil penalty to an employer that has violated section 12 or section 13(c)(5) of the Act, or any regulation issued under those sections; describes the types of violations for which we may impose a penalty and the factors we will consider in assessing the amount of the penalty; outlines the procedure for a person charged with violations to file an exception to the determination that the violations occurred; and summarizes the methods we will follow for collecting and recovering the penalty.