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Cal/OSHA Penalties Increase

It has been two years since Congress enacted legislation requiring federal agencies to adjust their civil penalties to account for inflation.  This resulted in the first increase in federal OSHA’s penalty amounts since 1990 – beginning with a whopping one-time increase of 78%.  For federal OSHA, the new penalties went into effect for citations issued on or after August 1, 2016.

Federal OSHA’s position was that this increase did apply to state-plan states and California has followed suit, amending its own penalty statute, 8 CCR 336, to increase statutory penalty amounts. The new penalty structure went into effect on September 14, 2017.

  • The maximum penalty for general and regulatory violations has increased from $7,000 to $12,471.
  • The minimum penalty for willful violations has increased from $5,000 to $8,908, and the maximum penalty has increased from $70,000 to $124,709.
  • The minimum and maximum penalties for serious violations in California were already higher than federal OSHA’s newly-adjusted maximum penalty of $12,675. The minimum penalty for a serious violation in California remains $18,000, and the maximum remains $25,000. However, separate penalty requirements for serious violations of the tower crane and carcinogen use standards, which were set at $2,000, have been removed.
  • Likewise, California’s existing maximum penalty for failure-to-abate, $15,000 per day, already exceeded federal OSHA’s newly-adjusted maximum penalty of $12,675, and has not been changed. For serious violations of a crane standard, order, or special order that have lead to death or serious injury, the maximum penalty of $14,000 per calendar day has not changed.

Protecting Temporary Agency Employees

Temporary agency employees work for a “host employer” but are on the payroll of a “primary employer.” A primary employer can be either:

        1. A temporary (temp) agency that hires workers and sends them to work for a host employer, or 

        2. A professional employer organization (PEO) that puts a host employer’s employees on the PEO’s payroll as its own employees.

In these dual-employer situations, both the primary employer and the host employer must protect employees from safety and health hazards and comply with Cal/OSHA regulations.

The primary employer issues the employee’s paycheck, administers workers’ compensation insurance, and may maintain hiring and firing authority. The host employer (also called the “secondary employer”) contracts for the worker’s services and supervise the employee at the host employer’s worksite.

For more information see the attached Cal/OSHA Safety and Health factsheet.

Our Experience Shows!

Montgomery Investigations is a Veteran Owned Small Business specializing in environmental health and safety training and consultative services.  In addition, as a California licensed private investigation firm, we are able to provide workplace (industrial) accident investigation, per-employment background checks, e-verify and workers' compensation abuse and fraud investigative services. 

Montgomery Investigations was formed to provide a unique set of training and consultation services.  Over the past several decades, the proliferation of environmental and safety regulations has created a daunting task for businesses to keep abreast of them, let alone keep in compliance with them.  We provide the expertise to assist your company with its compliance efforts, so you can focus on your business' primary functions.

"Business can effectively comply with regulations
and profit from it."
Montgomery Investigations operates in a wide variety of roles across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.  We are widely acknowledged for our understanding and awareness of the unique characteristics and challenges facing each of these sectors.

Montgomery Investigations' professional qualification provides a comprehensive foundation of knowledge, understanding and skills that add up to a highly valuable resource for any organization.  The commitment of our staff to continuing professional development is an integral component of our organization's professional qualifications.

If you have any questions or would like additional information regarding our company's qualifications and capabilities, please do not hesitate to call us or contact us at:


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