The blog post from February 9, 2017 included a discussion of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Industry Notice No. 160, which announced the latest increase in the amounts of civil penalties under the Longshore Act.
Below is a more comprehensive, section-by-section review of the various civil penalty and criminal fine provisions in the Act.
Section 8(j) (added by the 1984 Amendments)
“(j)(1) The employer may inform a disabled employee of his obligation to report to the employer not less than semiannually any earnings from employment or self-employment, on such forms as the Secretary shall specify in regulations (Form LS-200).
(2) An employee who –
(A) fails to report the employee’s earnings under paragraph (1) when requested, or
(B) knowingly and willfully omits or understates any part of such earnings … forfeits his right to compensation with respect to any period during which the employee was required to file such report.”
“(e) If any installment of compensation payable without an award is not paid within fourteen days after it becomes due, as provided in subdivision (b) of this section, there shall be added to such unpaid installment an amount equal to 10 per centum thereof, which shall be paid at the same time as, but in addition to, such installment … unless such nonpayment is excused by the deputy commissioner …”
Notes on Section 14(e):
“(f) If any compensation, payable under the terms of an award, is not paid within ten days after it becomes due, there shall be added to such unpaid compensation an amount equal to 20 per centum thereof, which shall be paid at the same time as, but in addition to, such compensation, unless review of the compensation order making such award is had as provided in section 21 and an order staying payments has been issued by the Board or court.”
Notes on Section 14(f):
“(g) Notice of payment; penalty. Within sixteen days after final payment of compensation has been made, the employer shall send to the deputy commissioner a notice, in accordance with a form prescribed by the Secretary of Labor (Form LS-208), stating that such final payment has been made, the total amount of compensation paid, the name of the employee and of any other person to whom compensation has been paid, the date of the injury or death, and the date to which compensation has been paid. If the employer fails to so notify the deputy commissioner within such time the Secretary of Labor shall assess against such employer a civil penalty in the amount of $100.”
Note on Section 14(g):
Effective January 13, 2017, the maximum penalty amount is $279.
“(a) No agreement by an employee to pay any portion of premium paid by his employer to a carrier or to contribute to a benefit fund or department maintained by such employer for the purpose of providing compensation or medical services and supplies as required by this Act shall be valid, and any employer who makes a deduction for such purpose from the pay of any employee entitled to the benefits of this Act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.”
Section 28(e) (added by the 1984 Amendments)
“(e) A person who receives a fee, gratuity, or other consideration on account of services rendered as a representative of a claimant, unless the consideration is approved by the deputy commissioner, administrative law judge, Board, or court, or who makes it a business to solicit employment for a lawyer, or for himself, with respect to a claim or award for compensation under this Act, shall, upon conviction thereof, for each offense be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 or be imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.”
“(e) Any employer, insurance carrier, or self-insured employer who knowingly and willfully fails or refuses to send any report (Form LS-202) required by this section or knowingly or willfully makes a false statement or misrepresentation in any such report shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for each such failure, refusal, false statement, or misrepresentation.”
Notes on Section 30(e):
“(b) Any employer who knowingly transfers, sells, encumbers, assigns, or in any manner disposes of, conceals, secretes, or destroys any property belonging to such employer, after one of his employees has been injured within the purview of this Act, and with intent to avoid the payment of compensation under this Act to such employee or his dependents, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment; and in any case where such employer is a corporation, the president, secretary, and treasurer thereof shall be also severally liable to such penalty or imprisonment as well as jointly liable with such corporation for such fine.”
Note on Section 38(b):
The amount of the fine was increased from $1,000 to $10,000 by the 1984 Amendments.
"(f) Any employer who, willfully, violates or fails or refuses to comply with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section (furnish and maintain safe places of employment) … shall be guilty of an offense, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished for each offense by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $3,000; and in any case where such employer is a corporation, the officer who willfully permits any such violation to occur shall be guilty of an offense, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished also for each offense by a fine or not less than $100 nor more than $3,000.”
Section 48(a) (as recodified; section 49 in printed versions of the Act)
“It shall be unlawful for any employer or his duly authorized agent to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against an employee as to his employment because such employee has claimed or attempted to claim compensation from such employer, or because he has testified or is about to testify in a proceeding under this Act … Any employer who violates this section shall be liable to a penalty of not less than $1,000 or more than $5,000…”
Notes on Section 48(a):