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DOL Issues New Assessment Procedures for Calculating Civil Monetary Penalties in Child Labor Violations

03 Jan

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Update Applicable to:Effective date
  All covered employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)  November 28, 2023

What happened?

On November 28, 2023, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced that it will assess child labor civil monetary penalties for nonserious injury and noninjury violations of the FLSA on a per-violation basis, rather than on a per-child basis as it had previously done, significantly increasing the aggregate of potential penalties.

What are the details?

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (the Department) has enhanced its response to child labor violations following an 88% increase in child labor violations between 2019 and 2023.

Previous procedure:

  • The Department fined for non-serious injury and non-injury violations per child based on the severity of the violation.
  • The penalty amount could change based on business size and deliberate behavior (or not).

New procedure

  • The Department will assess civil money penalties on a per-violation basis.
  • The penalty amount could change based on business size and deliberate behavior (or not). This remains unaffected by the new method.

The Department illustrates 2 examples, which apply the criteria of business size and gravity of conduct as factors, that can be consulted as Example 1 and Example 2.

This has changed the previous memorandum FAB 2016-5 on how the DOL handles these types of cases in the future.

Business Considerations

  • Update your policies, procedures, and practices regarding the employment of minors.
  • Have a plan in place to deliver an appropriate response to the DOL in case of an FLSA investigation.

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